11 Things You Must Do To Live Your Best Life in 2018
The New Year is finally here - and whatever you started in 2017 needs to be finished! But we're not doing business, as usual, this year - and we're certainly not going to be apart of the 68.4% that's expected to quit on their resolutions by the second week of January, as noted by statisticbrain.com. Instead, we're going to embrace this year with tenacity and a solid plan to make sure that we live our best lives in 2018. Here's how:
1. Put yourself at the top of your priority list.
Creating a sustainable self-care regimen is the first thing you must lock-in, out the gate, this year. It's no longer cool to put others needs consistently in front of your own. It's no longer sexy for you to "walk in humility" helping everyone else, while you quietly suffer due to your needs often going unmet. In 2018, it's imperative that you put yourself at the top of your priority list. As a result, you may find yourself using the word "no" more often than usual. But living your best life in 2018 requires that you get real about your limitations, and stop apologizing for them.
Put Yourself at the top of your priority list.
Additionally, creating routines and habits that feed your spirit, mind, and body will help you in creating and maintaining a sustainable year. Exercise, meditation, prayer, eating well, and nurturing your relationships are important habits that will have a direct impact on you and your well-being. A great way to make sure that these practices become apart of your everyday routine is to start the day doing them. Tony Robbins suggests that most successful people begin their day with a power hour, which includes the principles I mentioned. I know it's tempting to check Instagram, Twitter, or your email as soon as you wake up. But many successful people would disagree. The truth is that YOU are the most important person to check in with when you wake up. All those others things can wait until you're centered and prepared to start the day.
2. Review and reassess unmet goals from 2017.
The process of establishing a sustainable empire requires you to acknowledge and reassess goals that you made for 2017, but that you didn't accomplish. The truth is that a lot can get done in a year. But life can make goals seem out of reach. Things in your life can happen that you didn't expect, but that requires you to stop and pay attention. So don't be too hard on yourself if that was the case for you. However, I totally know about some of y'all who didn't fully commit to seeing certain goals through and now you're wondering if it's worth trying to reach that goal this year. Unfortunately, I can't answer that question - only you can. However, I will say that if the unmet goal still means something to you and your willing to outline practical methods to help you reach it, then go for it! I looked at the scale at the end of the year and cried out, "LIAR!" I didn't meet my weight loss goals in 2017, but I totally want to finish the quest. So I'm suiting up and preparing myself to go harder.
3. Identify your goals for the year and then reverse engineer the process to achieving them.
My questions for you as it relates to your goals are simple: What do you want? What picture would you paint if you were given a paintbrush and could create your ideal design? What would you paint? Really see it. Who's with you? How do you feel about what you've accomplished? Now, for at least 15-30 minutes just brain dump and answer those questions without judging yourself - and be as specific as possible.
Now that you know what you want, it's time to reverse engineer the process. What's the deadline? You must answer this question. The absence of our answer or a soft answer like, "around March" will squash your attempt to meet your goals. So please, friend - answer the question, "When?"
10 things you must do to live your best life in 2018
Once you've determined when it's getting done, then you can break down all the tasks that need to be done up to that date. Does a venue need to be booked? Are you planning it alone or is a team needed? Work backward from the day you meet this goal and identify all of the key things that have to happen and the deadlines for the tasks to be completed. With a clear roadmap in front of you, you'll feel more confident and competent to follow through on all the tasks associated with this particular goal.
This process also allows you to see and work through the details of meeting that goal. You'll be able to anticipate potential needs, challenges, and resources required to carry the mission through. As a result, when and if you should bump into challenges throughout the process, you'll feel more prepared and confident to resolve those challenges quickly and efficiently.
If you're someone who benefits from talking things out with others, then do this exercise a few trusted friends. I invite you to also consider attending the BOSS CIRCLE on January 23rd in New York City. The opportunity is for motivated artists to brainstorm, work out next steps, and build a solid action plan for approaching their goals. You can learn more about the BOSS CIRCLE and our upcoming events by clicking this link: http://www.bossartistnation.com/the-meet-ups
4. Stretch out in your strengths.
In 2018, make it a point to stretch out in your passion and the areas of your advanced skill set. Don't be timid about starting or expanding. Think of other ways that you can engage your audience in your product or project(s).
As an artist, there are so many ways to engage your fans based on your area of expertise. This year, I want you to commit to exploring 1-2 ways that you can stretch out in your strengths. For example, if you're a character actor, perhaps consider creating your own one woman/man show so you can explore layered characters that are close to your heart and experiences. If you love writing short stories, why not combine some of your best stories into a book of short stories and sell it on Amazon?
5. Identify your weaknesses and build accountability into your life to protect you from yourself.
We all have weaknesses. But weaknesses left unchecked become catalysts for procrastination, setbacks, false starts, and even burnout. The way to deal with your weaknesses it to confront them head-on. Identify and explore solutions with a friend or loved one who will hold you accountable for adopting healthier habits and routines. One of my weaknesses is that I can be too involved in too many projects at one time.
6. Exhaust all resources before looking for more.
The amount of online courses, networking events, festivals, and panels that most of us have attended over the course of 3-5 years has offered more than enough resources and knowledge to jumpstart any new idea that you or I may have in mind for 2018. When you consider all the notes we've taken, business cards we've collected, and people that we've had coffee with - you'll realize that you already have so much in your hand. So in 2018 make sure you use it!
Stop spending money and time attending classes and events that you don't need to attend. Instead, move with intention and laser beam focus. If you're going to attend events, go with specific outcomes in mind. Take a look at the list of speakers and decide 1-3 people that you'll introduce yourself to while there. But whatever you do, invest the majority of your time this year applying the knowledge and information obtained about your career - to your career!
7. Determine the areas of your life that require more intention and then give them some attention.
The areas of your life that aren't thriving require your attention and intentionality in order to change for the better. You know those areas that I speak of: the ones that are slightly nagging, but they don't shut down your life in a way that's urgent or life-altering. But in the back of your mind, those areas are like thorns in your side. Those things could be that last 25 pounds you wanna lose or the relationship that you want to develop but requires some nurturing and maintenance, the film you want to write but haven't made the time to complete. In order for any area of your life to thrive, it must be given the proper amount of attention on a consistent basis. You will need to be intentional in your approach. But if the result matters to you, then you will need to carve out time to give to see it through.
8. Decide how you will develop, maintain and nurture your relationships.
With social media being so prominent in our time, we are offering less and less face time as the years progress. More individuals are claiming to be introverted and therefore anxious when it comes to attending live events. I can't lie, my sweatpants and t-shirts never let me down. But in order to grow my business, I understand that attending festivals, writer's rooms, and other events is apart of my job. The time I put into creating and nurturing my relationships is just as important as the time I put in every day to write films and blog posts.
But life gets busy - I'm a wife and a mother to two, active boys. Most weeks feel like the days and nights blend together. So I find that I have to create a system that ensures that I'm consistently reaching out to people in my network. A book that I mentioned in the 25 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Artist in Your Life, called Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferazzi, does a phenomenal job at breaking down strategies to staying in touch with individuals in your network and ways to make them feel special. I read it at the top of every year to refresh myself on ways that I can add more value to my network.
9. Plan vacations and trips to see loved ones.
The day is over for being too busy to vacation or visit the ones you love. With so many frugal ways to travel, it's imperative that you save those coins and put them towards taking more trips around the world.
10. Join a group or network that is moving towards similar goals with like-minded people.
If you have big ideas and goals for 2018, you'll need motivated, supportive, and resourceful people in your corner to help you implement them. Therefore, you may want to consider joining a group or network that caters to your area of expertise and has a motivated and active membership. Over the last two years, I've moved in this exact way. I've joined writing and filmmaking groups - and also began collaborating as a writing partner with a few of my peers. The group dynamic and exposure to other dope folks, resources, and information that I would have otherwise not been privy to has helped me tremendously on my journey - and my productivity sky-rocketed!
So if you're thinking you'll just pursue your goals alone, you're thinking about your process the wrong way. But I get it. Trust me, I get it. As someone who was raised as an only child and who HATED group projects throughout my academic career, I totally understand that default mentality. But unlike high school and college, the pool of team members is much larger and diverse! Take some time to get to know a group or coach, their mission and objectives before you decide to jump in. But definitely commit to joining a community. You need the people, not to mention, you also have tons of value to share.
11. Contribute to and/or volunteer for a charitable organization regularly.
When you've got yourself all the way together, it's time to think about serving someone else. Don't let the year go by without contributing your fair share of time and resources to a charitable organization in your local community. Serving others helps to keep your ego in check. It's so easy to become self-absorbed and only focus on your own problems. But there are many who have much less and the glimmer of hope is fading. As artists it's part of our job to care, to listen to other's stories with compassion, to inquire ways to help, and put our hands to work on others' behalf.
What things are you going to do to ensure a successful 2018? Let me know in the comments - and as always please like and share with someone who's looking to kill it this year!
Cheers to our best days ahead!
happy new year!
Let's make 2018 our best year yet!