2015 Review

The end of the year is a great time to take a step back and see how all our intentions, goals, and desires translated into action and reality. It's a time to face difficult truths of where we failed and celebrate in where we succeeded.

For me, 2015 was an unusual year. I suppose it was a good year to see what strengths and weaknesses I have when it comes to motivation and work. For a time I tried to make some money doing things from home and quickly discovered how hard that can be without the proper structure and networks built up beforehand. Basically, if you want a good at-home job, you have to work hard to build it. Anywhere that's easy is too cheap to be worthwhile and anywhere that’s good usually gets too flooded with people willing to work hard. Only with the right networks, agreements, or clients built up can you have a good wage working on your own time.

I still think it would be possible for me, or pretty much anyone, to be self-employed, but I can now see that I'll have to put in a lot more work before that dream could be made into a reality. This year I worked a little on the sort of discipline I’ll need to have for such a dream, but I can now see it will take a lot of work.

But work is just a small part of what makes life worth living. What about all the other goals and hopes I had for the year? To put it simply, the goals I made easy are the ones I achieved. Some of them might be considered difficult goals, but with the right dedication and planning, even the difficult can become easy and attainable.

Goals also come in different sorts. Many of mine are the more difficult sort that require constant effort. You can't climb twelve mountains in a single day (at least not anywhere I've found yet), nor can you run marathons without putting in consistent practice beforehand. With goals like this you have to plan not only the main event, but also most your preparation. For now I'll call these goals marathon goals.

Marathon goals take a lot of practice and even more effort right before you reach the finish line. But they're also some of the most worthwhile goals. The great creative efforts like writing a book, starting a business, or channeling a new skill into something meaningful all are this sort of goal.

Almost all my goals were this type of goal so its easy to see what things helped or hurt me in trying to achieve them. The easiest way to make these goals possible is to make the practice and smaller steps towards them into part of your daily routine. Simple things like going to the gym and doing a bit of jogging make things like climbing mountains much easier.

In contrast, the way to make such goals hard or impossible is to put them off or think you'll do them in one quick go. My goals for art and writing often fell into this trap. Sometimes I'd rush to finish something before a deadline, but I know I would have gotten much more done for these goals and been much happier with the results if I had worked on them every day. And such a haphazard approach made the bigger things like designing costumes or writing novels impossible.

2015 was a year of ups and downs, but I feel through it all, I worked on making myself a more steady person and I feel I learned a lot more about what it will take to achieve the sort of goals I’ll have in 2016. I hope all of you had a great, or at least a good, year. Even if it wasn't the best, there’s certainly something you can take from it to make yourself stronger for the future.