I love the New Year! It really is my favorite time of the year and I kick up a notch in terms of getting new projects started as well as finishing up anything left over from last year. 2020 also feels special because it's the start of a new decade and I am truly excited about the opportunities ahead.
In this episode, I'll share my goals for the year ahead in the hope that it will help you decide on how to shape your year.
(1) Operation Evergreen
I'm 45 this year, and The Creative Penn business and website have been the core of my last decade. I left my consulting job in 2011 so the business has made it through the tough initial years to a point of maturation. It's time to take things to the next level as well as make sure the fundamentals remain intact so the business can continue successfully.
After a decade in any career, things can stagnate, so you have to change things up over time. You also have to set things in place for long-term success so you can see options for the future. Like any job, you have to put money away for the future, invest and make sure you have choices. Because change is inevitable.
Most of the people I have met along the creative journey so far have disappeared down other paths. There are few of us still going after more than a decade — and most of us have multiple streams of income. For some people that means a day job; for others, it means a huge backlist of books spread across multiple genres; and for me, it's making sure that no single company controls the income for my business.
I'm diversified in my income streams and also in my investments, plus I have an eye on the future in terms of what disruption lies ahead. I have managed to thrive in the last decade of upheaval to the indie author business model, and I intend to surf the wave, rather than drown in it in the years to come.
So, I've decided to make Operation Evergreen my main focus for 2020 because long-term thinking brings a perspective to my day to day work and impacts what I choose to spend my time on. (More on that in Productivity for Authors, which is mostly about choosing what is really important!)
Even after improving my working practices over the last decade and co-writing The Healthy Writer, I still managed to end up with chronic pain in my shoulder in 2019. The specialist told me it was postural, a result of 20+ years hunched over and I had to retrain my back muscles in order to avoid it happening again. I started working with a personal trainer twice a week and am now pain-free, as well as changing my diet to reduce inflammation (low sugar, low GI). I'm lifting weights and I love my workouts. I am a strong woman in my mid-40s and getting stronger!
I'm really happy with the results and it's only the beginning of this shift. I'm stronger and feel fantastic, and I want to be away from my desk a lot more, which can only be healthier for the long-term. That glimpse of chronic pain was enough to scare me into making health my #1 priority. It is the most evergreen thing I can focus on for long-term sustainability, so in 2020, I will continue with my personal trainer, and in my 45th year, I intend to be in the best physical shape of my life. I have booked to do the 100km Race to the Stones in July, so that will be a good comparison to