Towards the end of 2014, I got some advice from a business coach. She suggested I spend some time writing out my 2015. She said to go month by month and write down everything that would happen in that month. The idea was that if I wrote something down, it would become part of my brain somehow. I would start doing things to make those goals happen, almost without realizing it. The written word is powerful, she said. I couldn’t agree more.
The last few days of 2014, I took myself to Kentucky for a few days, stayed by myself at a cabin in a state park, hiked all day and wrote at night. I called the thing I wrote my manifesto.
The first few months came easily. I wrote in a flurry — visioning and planning my future as fast as I could move my pen over the paper. I wrote in an incredible amount of detail about the people I would meet, the number of clients I would have, and how I would feel while doing it. I felt pretty smugly realistic about it, too. I threw in some challenges, and even a few setbacks.
Everything was clicking along until I got to writing September. I stalled. I filled up half a page with doodles and scribbles before I finally managed to eke out a loosely drawn page or two. The rest of the manifesto was equally challenging. December, I recall, was barely half a page. (By contrast, February was getting on for 6 pages before I was done.) Still, I came back from Kentucky clutching that green notebook like it would drag me into the future depicted on its pages.
And then, the universe gigglesnorted and did whatever it damn well pleased.
Sure, many of the things I wrote about did happen. I did leave my soul-sucking teaching job to focus on more soul-building teaching opportunities. I did move to a new home. (Twice — but to be fair I didn’t really specify “Move only one time” in the manifesto.) I did send out a newsletter in the first week of every month.
And many of the things I wrote did not happen. I spent a good part of last year (when I wasn’t moving) going back to Kentucky where I was needed. While this put a damper on the goals of the manifesto, I was damn grateful that I could do it.
So, really, the year in action went much like the writing of that year. Clicking along easily at first, until I stalled, hiccuped and got derailed. But now, after the end of that year, I would still call it a success.
I spent the entire year employed by myself doing work I chose with my heart and soul.
I spent the better part of the year being present for family and friends when they needed me.
I spent a part of most days engaged in some creative pursuit.
All in all, 2015 was a powerful year in both its written and lived forms.