The end of the year seems to come inherently with a bit of nostalgia and self-reflection. We are often bombarded with messages to make the most of the holiday moments with family, to think back over the successes and failures of the past year, and finish well. I'm coming to the end of my work year, looking forward to a week and a half of staycation time, and thinking about how this year did not end up the way I thought it would at all. Some of that is great, and some of it is disappointing. But just like Ebenezer Scrooge, I also can get a glimpse of what the future might hold, and what I might do to affect how 2024 will be. Here are some of my thoughts for myself and my business:
I got the opportunity to return to campus as an adjunct this year, and it was both fulfilling and overwhelming. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I underestimated the work load, and the emotional and mental toll it would take. I'll be continuing that next semester, though with a reduced work load and a lot more knowledge of what that will require of me. One thing I will do to help is to manage what I put on my schedule on those on-campus days, so I don't have more work tasks than I can do well. This requires a mindset shift from me, because I'm somebody who is pretty set in her ways, and to change how I write out my schedule and my expectations of crossing things off the list creates almost a crisis in my mind. The fact it, I have to do less, and that's all there is to it.
I really took a big step back in my marketing this year because I had trouble finding time to write, make social media posts, or even think about it at all. Yet I still added clients. That part is very interesting. However, I don't think my story is being told as much as I want it to be. Folks don't know, or have forgotten, who I am and that I exist. Like Ebenezer, if I don't spend time investing in the job of relationship building, I might lose out on some valuable things. I'd like to figure out how to make that work in the new year, in a sustainable and realistic way. I'm totally open to ideas here.
The work I really want to do, teaching the teachers, is happening on campus, but not through my business as much as it could. I have things to offer, and dreams I'd like to fulfill here. Again, like Scrooge, I could let these go and just keep on the way things are, but I think I have the opportunity to rebuild and revamp how I do things, again in a sustainable and realistic way. I think this will involve me setting down some goals, breaking them down into steps, and taking one a week or so. It's going to be slow progress, but I think I need to embrace slow in this part of my life. I don't like that idea, to be honest, because I want things to happen now, but wishing doesn't make it so. Doing things will make it so. So to do small things that help me step forward along the way is enough. This will also involve some mindset work.
I am absolutely terrible at celebrating my wins. Like, I totally suck at acknowledging when I've done something positive toward my goals. I think I need to change this, but I don't know how exactly. I think celebrating as I go will help me feel more accomplished and will just be fun. For someone who has a high value on fun, you'd think I'd be better at this, but alas, my tendency to downplay successes and work myself too hard usually wins out. I'm open to ideas here, too.
All of us have the opportunity to reflect, like Ebenezer Scrooge, and change the things that need changing. For me, it's going to be a lot of habit shifts and mindset work as I'm going into the new year. I'm hoping some of those small shifts will change my trajectory just enough to get me on a path toward fulfilling some things I've had in my dream bucket for a long time. The Ghost of 2023 has been helfpul to me, showing me where things need to change and giving me some insight into how to do it. Hopefully the Ghost of the Year to Come will help as I plan and pray and work on new routines.
What kinds of things are coming up for you as you are looking into the new year? How has reflecting on this year been positive or challenging for you? I'd love to hear about it! You can drop a comment below or send me a message to tell me about it. And I hope as you are starting your new year, you have the tools you need. If I can help you strengthen your pedagogy, I'd love to help! Happy New Year!