I’m deep into thinking about how my 2021 will look. Not so much making lists and getting into the nitty gritty details, more like daydreaming about little adventures. Places to go, things to see, that sort of thing.
One of my favorite daydreams is of travel niches I want to explore.
Like eco-travel. For years it’s been a goal of mine to sleep in one of those timber log cabin-style treehouses, the ones nestled in a giant ancient tree submerged in nature.
And staying in a villa that juts out over a gorgeous lake. I envision dipping my toes in the soothing lake while lazing in a hammock hanging over the water and getting lost in a good book. And when it’s time to cool off, slipping into the water to escape the Mexican sun.
This sort of dreaming is crucial to starting my new year off well. It helps me focus on the goals to make them happen, so that at the end of 2021 I’m not disappointed when looking back.
It doesn’t take long either, usually around half an hour. I know the few things that are needed to achieve my dreams, so they go on my goal list. Some are weekly, some monthly, and some yearly. Here are the three major things on my list I know I need if I’m to succeed:
1. A wider base of publications in my portfolio.
By expanding my portfolio, I have more to show PR reps, tourism boards, and sales managers, and they are the ones that will make my dreams reality. They are the ones that will host my mini vacations, adventures, and relaxing nature-based experiences.
2. A targeted social media campaign.
By having good analytics and a loyal following, my engagement rates will rise and be a huge support in achieving my dreams.
The most important thing I need is focus. That is where my lists and all-important yearly goal setting comes into play. I start the year fresh, knowing what needs to be done in order to achieve my dreams. Plus, I work to make sure my goals are realistic. I tend to reach for Jupiter instead of the Moon. But dream big, I say.
Without a plan, I tend to wander. It’s easy to wake up and think, “I’ll just duck out for a quick swim,” rather than spending my time researching new publications or pitching new magazines. After all, wouldn’t you prefer to be snorkeling with swaying purple sea fans and brightly colored tropical fish? I would.
In the past I’ve lost hours, if not days, procrastinating and burying my head in the ocean. But having a plan stops me from just wandering about.
I know its common sense, but from speaking with other writers in the past, it’s rare that they have clear goals set out or a plan to help them achieve it.
Creative souls like us do tend to dream. So, it’s essential to take time to sit and think about what you want your year to look like.
Otherwise, it’s 10 times harder to succeed.
Looking back, I chose to switch to full-time travel writing a few months before COVID hit. If I can survive in a market flooded with more experienced writers looking to make money online, then anyone can.
I don’t have any fancy degrees or years of work experience. I just decided to jump in, try my hardest, and put a plan in place as a guideline to stop myself wandering.
So, promise me that you will take a half hour out of your day to think about where you’d like to be with your writing in a years’ time. That way, this time next year you’ll be reminiscing over a successful year and dreaming of an even better 2022.