I sat down today to talk about my thoughts on 2016 and this coming year. However, after writing, the post ended up being a few thousand words long, so I decided to break it up into 3 sections. The first section was “Reflecting on 2016”. This one, however, is devoted to my plans for 2017 and beyond. My current life goals are:
1. Be the “Best Mom Ever!”
Christian calls me this, but I often feel as though I fall very short of what I should be. I feel like I drop the ball every other day and like I should be doing more. I want to learn how to strike a balance between the many hats that I wear, to feel as though I am doing what needs to be done as a parent, and to have confidence that I am handling things the best that I can.
2. Be a Homeschool Queen
Another area where I have felt like I have been dropping the ball is with homeschool. Granted, he is only in kindergarten (which isn’t even mandatory in our state), but I feel like I should have been doing more. We have done some things. He’s attended every session of our homeschool co-op (except maybe one when we were both sick). He’s been involved with 4-H. He’s been loving ABCMouse. We watch a lot of educational programming. He works in funducational workbooks. He plays logic and memory games from Thinkfun. We work on the alphabet, numbers, writing, and reading. But I still feel something when my mom brags about what his public school counterparts have learned. I wonder if he should already be counting to 100 with ease instead of having difficulty with the transitions to 20, 30, 40, etc. I look at his cousin (who is the same age, but a grade ahead due to her birthday) and see how she is spelling and writing full sentences and feel like I have somehow failed him since the only thing he can spell right now is his name. However, rather than just moan and worry, I want to take action. Invest in new homeschool materials that are both effective and enjoyable (because I want him to enjoy learning the way that I did). Get us settled into a consistent routine. I want to be able to know in my heart that I am doing the best for him and that he is moving along at a good pace – without comparing him to other people’s children.
3. Become a Bestselling Author
Initially, when I wrote this, it was sort of just a “big dream that probably won’t happen, but might as well put it down anyway”. But, really, why can’t it be me? Just yesterday, I was talking to a friend about how a lot of successful authors wrote their best books after getting just a small idea. For example. Stephanie Meyers wrote Twilight after having a dream about a girl having a conversation with a beautiful vampire. Instead of just forgetting about the dream, she started writing about it and expanded on it. The rest is literary and cinematic history. I know that I have a great story inside of me,whether it is an idea I’ve already had or one that will randomly bubble out. So I’ve decided to write down every idea that I have and to see which ones inspire me to keep writing. Or maybe I should just take one idea each day and write, even if I’m not feeling inspired. You never know when a plot twist will insert itself that gets me excited to keep going.
4. Be a Copywriting Ninja
After nearly 5 years of writing strictly for other bloggers (and living in feast-or-famine mode), I finally decided to do something I had been wanting to do since 2013 – copywriting. I wasn’t sure if I had what it takes. I thought that maybe it was too technical for me. It would include too much jargon and too much math, algorithms, and other things I know little about. But then I realized that the main goal of copywriting is to connect with an audience that needs some kind of a solution to a problem and show them why whatever you are writing about is something they should take advantage of. It’s about understanding your audience, their needs, and their concerns. It’s about understanding the emotions behind people’s purchasing decisions. It’s also about understanding your client, their offering, what it does, and how it can help people. Then simply putting all of that together in a message that will help to bring together your client and their audience in a mutually beneficial relationship. And it was fun! I am passionate about helping other women (especially moms) to be able to get paid to do what they love and being a copywriter that focuses specifically on female solopreneurs seems to be a great way for me to do that. And once my copywriting business is flourishing, I will have more time and financial freedom to pursue more creative writing. P.S. If you are a female solopreneur who needs some help, check out my freelance website.
5. Embrace Mentoring
I think that finding a mentor is something that prove to be very valuable. I always hear the advice that you should align yourself with people who are already doing the things that you want to do or who have achieved the level of success that you desire. They should be people who not only want to see you achieve your goals, but who can share tips, tools, and strategies which (if you implement them) can help you achieve those goals. I would also like to mentor someone else. I don’t consider myself to be an expert at anything, but I am skilled at a few things that I really enjoy doing.
6. Gain Freedom
I know this sounds cliche, but that’s because it is what most people want. I want freedom. Time freedom. Financial freedom. Personal freedom. Freedom from fears and doubts. Freedom to be who I want to be and do what I want to do.
7. Have a Social Life
Outside of the few blogging events that I attend throughout the year, I don’t really have a social life. I mean, I have friends. But most of our outings and get-togethers revolve around our children. I enjoy playdates and all that, but I crave time to go out as just a woman and a friend. I want to go out to eat. Catch a new movie. Have a glass (or two) of wine. Listen to music. Dance. Sing. Laugh. Take fun classes. Do one of those painting classes. Be silly and loud and not have to worry about what the kids are doing for a few hours. I want to get out and do something fun (sans kiddo) at least once a month. I feel like this may also force me to make more friends. I feel like most of my friends in town feel pretty content with their social life. I, however, am not. I need to meet some people who like to get out every now and then and do something fun. I don’t want to wait another 12 years to be able to enjoy some of the things I used to do before I became a mom. I also don’t want to feel like I am a bad or weird mom for wanting to do that regularly. I’ve heard some pretty good things about various Meetups. I’ve actually joined several (many centered on “geeky” things like book clubs and game nights) and think I am finally going to start participating.
8. Have More Fulfilling Relationships
A part of my goals for having a social life is making sure I spend time with the people I care about like my siblings, my mom (and maybe try to make things better with my stepfather), my grandmother, my cousins, and my friends. I feel like over the years, I have let a lot of relationships deteriorate or become stagnant. I mean, I think it is probably a two-way thing. Life is a lot more busy when you’re an adult and when you have children. But I would love to see more of my relationships flourish. After all, if there was anything 2016 reminded many of us, it is that life is short and people who are here today could be gone tomorrow. I don’t want to let another year go by where I feel like relationships are becoming more and more surface.
9. Treat Yo’Self
This is another thing that I haven’t really done much lately. I very rarely buy something for myself unless it is absolutely necessary. I will wear a pair of shoes until the soles go soft before I buy a new pair, lol. But I think that part of why business feels so stressful at times is because I am always just working to pay the bills. I don’t really treat myself to anything fun (though I am constantly buying things for my son that I think he would like). So, from now on, every time I get paid, I am going to treat myself. It may be something small, like a book that is on my wishlist. Or it could be something bigger, like going out to eat at my favorite restaurant or buying a new gadget that I have had my eye on. Maybe even buying a ticket to a concert that is coming to town. Something that makes me feel giddy and happy. (Confession: I will probably always treat Christian as well – I just can’t help myself).
10. Be a MILF
Ok, I know that sounds a bit crass. But it really just boils down to my desire to reclaim not only my health, but my feeling of being sexy. Granted, I don’t know if I ever really viewed myself as sexy. I always felt awkward. Pretty, at best. However, there was a time when I did take pride in my appearance and was much more confident than I am now. I am working towards being able to look in the mirror and love what I see. I know that people say you should love your body as it is. Being honest – I don’t. I feel fat and out of shape because I am fat and out of shape. However, I believe two things:
1. Just because you are overweight doesn’t mean you have to have low self-esteem.
2. You can want to lose weight and still love yourself in the process.
So I am working on both things – losing weight and loving myself in the process.