When New Year arrived, on the first morning of 2018 I decided I want to be braver this year. We lost my father to cancer in August and I’m sure many of you will appreciate that loss and grief changes you in unexpected ways. The past few months leading up to the new year were overwhelming, painful, and so many other things that I had no words for and that was something new for me.
I finally found my voice again on the day we received the speech the celebrant would be reading at the service. It read like an edited template with slotted in anecdotes, facts about my dad, and one amusing story. While the copywriter in me was ‘out of service’ while we dealt with everything, the writer in me fired up and everything I had been holding in came pouring out of me in the middle of the night. I tapped away for hours on my iPad, writing everything that was in my heart and mind, until I was exhausted but finally feeling like the acceptance and perhaps a little healing had begun.
Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Had To Write
The next day, I edited furiously until I was happy, printed off copies, and let my family read what I had written. I had written his eulogy and on the day of the funeral, I was invited up to read it in front of nearly two-hundred people. I’ve never been more nervous about my writing, not when my debut novel was published, or my first interview on the radio, not even when I wait for feedback from clients. Since that day, I have been aware that I have been holding back in my career and life. Not immediately but not too long after, I began taking steps to change that.
New Year, New Me is so overused, it’s become a cliche. No one really expects that at the stroke of midnight, we will suddenly have the ability to change their entire life/personality/habits of a lifetime. It’s a date marked on the calendar, raised up to some infinite proportions, where we apply pressure on ourselves to turn coal into diamonds. The idea that New Year offers up a clean slate is a tempting one, however, we can’t forget that lessons are learned from our mistakes, regrets, and losses in life and career. Success nowadays, I believe is full of character, life lessons, change and abilities, and lots of grafting.
New Years And Bad Habits
For the past few years, each new year instead of trying to create a new good habit, I would choose one bad habit and actively try to make an improvement in myself. In 2017, I focused on my timekeeping which has always been a bit lax. After spending four months living in Asia, I learned to appreciate that being on time was already late and so my ‘just scraping through the door a few minutes after’ was most definitely not good enough. My defence had always been that I’d always been let away with it. I’m a damn hard worker, go above and beyond, and I was usually the last one there at the end of the idea. What I lacked in punctuality, I thought I made up for problem-solving and an otherwise great attitude. Since then I’ve learned that being on time or early means I’m more relaxed, organised, and often have a little extra time to update my writing notes.
With the past few months behind me, I’ve taken on a different attitude to change. I’ll continue to work on my bad habits for as long as I have them but I’m also working on being braver for this year ahead. In times of loss, you have a new appreciation for time and life becomes all the more precious. That non-essential to-do-list and the forever-never-getting-to-bucket list seem to skew the opposite way on the sliding scale. Now, I’m going for the big goals! I have four lists – Life Goals, Business Goals, Travel Goals, and my Bucket List with short, mid, and long-term plans and a strategy in place to reach them.
Here are just a few of them:
- Read 50 books (already placed a big order online and started reading my first book of 2018)
- Confidence Coaching (already had my first session and setting those HUGE goals)
- Do more public speaking and apply to be a speaker for TEDxGlasgow
- Complete the business book I’ve been working on and get it published
- Finish my YA novel and get it published
- Learn to drive (Yes, I have never had a single lesson until now)
- BE FREAKIN’ BRAVE!!!