New Year, New Purpose, New Plan


Ok, so first of all, how the hell is it 2018 already?  I am a huge fan of (read: OCD about) even numbers, so the year 2018 does appeal to me more than 2017 did, but I feel like this has to be a big mistake.  I graduated college in 2014, which means it’s gotta be like… 2016… max.  2017 on a bad day, or if I’m hungover.  But 2018?  Absolutely not.

I guess if it really is 2018 (it’s not), I’ll roll with the punches as they come (do I sound old or what?), so I’m actually really excited to make the most of this year.  I’ve been thinking about this kickoff post for a while, but it took me a full month to publish it because I wanted to take some time to do quiet reflecting.

Just two weekends ago, on January 28th, I turned 26 (AKA a Level-Five 21-year-old).  Being in the less awesome half of my twenties is kind of like having an old man version of me yelling in my ear, “It’s time to grow up and start accomplishing things!  Back in my day, we used to walk seven miles to get to school, barefoot and uphill both ways!” (On my birthday I ended up doing 26 shots with said old man).

The next morning, with those thoughts still ringing in my head as I tried and failed to sleep off my hangover, I settled on what this year would be all about.

In the end, for me, it’s all about renewed focus.  This is the oldest (and wisest) any of us have ever been, and the youngest and most energetic we’ll ever be (yes I stole that from somewhere, and yes I was too lazy to look up where it came from).  This means there will never be a better year for us to do what we really want to do.

I’m coming to realize lately just how much I want out of life.  To see all there is to see, eat all there is to eat, party on every continent, write as many good books as I can (turn them into movies, write the screenplays, direct them, star in them and also play every single character with the help of makeup and CGI).  I want to be free to make the most out of my days, to write all day or all night if I want to, to walk around my city (DC) or any other city aimlessly just because I can.  I want to make a thousand friends, bring the ones I have closer, drink with them to celebrate our highs and also to forget our lows, get into and out of trouble as often as possible, travel the world with them and laugh about how strange and amazing it all is.  I want to learn a hundred languages, experience a hundred cultures, live on a boat, sail around the world, fly to Mars and bring an alien friend back, write my name on the moon.  And that’s just what I think I want to do right now.

But dreams are just dreams unless you do something about them.  With a plan a dream becomes an achievable goal.  Breaking down that goal into steps, and breaking those steps into actions, arms you with the world’s simplest roadmap.  The next step in my personal roadmap is to do several rewrites/edits of my current book and get it out there in any way I can.  I’m so excited about it – more excited than I’ve ever been about something – that I want the editing process to take a long time, because I want it to be the best book it can be.  And I will publish it, whether through a large publishing house or myself.

So I bought myself a productivity journal to keep accountable and on track.  I’ve been using it since January 1, and I absolutely love it.  It helps me clarify my goals, plan out my days, stay positive, and make sure I always have time to take the actions I need to achieve them.  If you haven’t taken the time to write down your goals and understand which activities will get you closer to them, you’re missing out.  I personally am using the BestSelfCo ‘SELF Journal’ (no this is not an ad – do you honestly think I’m nearly important enough for them to care if I mention their journal?).  There are dozens of them out there, but they all accomplish the same thing: help you focus.

Another of my immediate goals is to connect with even more people (read: you) on this amazing medium we call blogging – to learn more, make friends, see from other perspectives.  How amazing is it that in all of human history we live in a time when connecting with dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of likeminded individuals rests no further than our own fingertips?  So if you feel like it, leave a comment below with your thoughts so I can come by your blog and spend some time there, which to be clear is you doing me a favor – not the other way around – because what I want most right now is to read other peoples’ (your) writing, learn from what they (you) have to say, and hopefully find a lot of new blogs to add to my list of regular reading.

Huge shout out and thank you to awesome fellow blogger Milly Schmidt, who was kind enough to let me copy her amazing blog layout recently.  Changing things up served as a really fun and fresh kickstart to blogging in 2018.  If you haven’t checked out her blog yet you definitely should, especially if you like writing and/or cats (full disclaimer she has a dog, too, thank god).

Anyway, thanks for stopping by!  Happy 2018.


31 comments on “New Year, New Purpose, New Plan”

  1. Hey Dibenami, the most helpful pieces of advice that I got from friends that are published authors: (1) Set a deadline to finish writing your book, even if it’s arbitrary. Even if you don’t meet it and have to push it out a bit, it gets you working toward it. (2) Set a specific day and time for writing. Even if you miss some, it makes you work on it. Mine is Sunday afternoons. (3) Write something, anything, during those writing times. Sometimes I write a sentence, sometimes several chapters. That’s it! Check out my blog at I self-published on Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing), and have a second book nearly ready for publishing.

    1. Thanks, I agree with all of those points. I like to set mini deadlines for things within writing (like a chapter count by this date, or an outline by this date, etc.). I also try to set times to write, but schedule is hectic so it’s hard – 6pm usually works best for me unless I can find time in the morning. And yes(!) I always try to write something, even if it’s just random thoughts when I can’t make the better words come. I’ll definitely check it out!

  2. As someone older (wiser is still to be determined), I recommend watching the alcohol intake. No, I’m not saying give up drinking entirely and not go out partying with your friends, but use moderation. Avoid all the time wasted recovering from that hangover, and use it more productively toward those goals. And I want to be introduced to your alien friend from Mars, so try to accomplish that in my lifetime, okay?

    Good luck! Onward!!!!

    1. Haha yes, moderation is key! I might have used hyperbole a bit – my drinking habits are 1000% better than they were in college. I’ll let you know when I come back with my friend!

  3. Happy Belated Birthday, David! Best of luck with the SELF journal. I used to be very disciplined with calendars and planners, but not anymore. Now that I am in the “less awesome” half of my 50’s, I just kinda take a day at a time! I DO enjoy being retired. Every age has its advantages! Cheers

  4. Happy birthday!! Next minute you’ll be 30 like me and thinking, wtf happened to my 20s??
    When you started mentioning all the things you want out of life, I was like, you sound like me!! I want to be everywhere and experience everything all at once. I just want to do shit, all the shit, make friends, party the night away, travel to every county, go on adventures, see the sunrise over every mountain…
    Thanks so much for mentioning me by the way, that was an expected surprise lol!!

    1. Thanks! Seriously, I have desire ADD, I’m just walking around or browsing the internet going ‘I have to do that. Or way, no, that, I have to do that one. Actually I have to do this one also’. It’s some crazy combination of wanderlust and FOMO.

    1. Thanks! I LOVE the theme, I’m so happy I decided to ask you what it was. And I didn’t even customize it that much, just a couple of the colors (I mean, I couldn’t completely copy you exactly haha). This one will definitely stick for a while

  5. Ah, you young’uns and your goals!
    Anyway, having finally accomplished getting up early to write nearly every single day for the past 3 months, demonstrating my resolve at last, I now find my thoughts drifting towards how best to channel this new-found reliability and productivity.
    Your journal seems like just the ticket: off to get some ideas on productivity journals. Reading, writing, beta reading, revising. . .and my very first writer conference in April. Thanks!

    1. 3 months!?!? Wow, that’s a long streak – awesome! I think you’ll be able to find a journal you like, there are a lot of them out there.

      One of my guilty admissions is that I’ve never been to a writer conference either – I should take your cue and find a good one nearby to sign up for.

      1. Oh, when you say there are a lot out there. . .Do you mean physical blank page journals? or calendar? I was gonna have a look at using an ordinary calendar/weekly/monthly planner. Somehow. Show us an example of what you do? THANKS!

      2. Ah! I meant there are a lot of journals out there designed specifically for productivity, which is what I use. If you look up ‘SELF Journal’ online you’ll find exactly what I do every day! Thought a blank journal can be just as good as long as you’re dilligent about using it of course!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday! Oh, to be 26 again! Wait a minute…maybe I don’t want that. I’m happy with where I am now, because babies are grown and no one is demanding all of my time. I can now write when I want (must. Schedule. Time. And. Word count goals.), eat what I want and enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings.

    I too have decided it’s time to come up with a plan to achieve my dreams. I started using a bullet journal almost a year ago, and it has been a wonderful tool. I did slack off in the fall due to life getting in the way, but I am now back on track with it. My priority right now is to dedicate time to my writing every day so I can hit the Publish button again. My plan is to have copies of it flying off the virtual shelves by my 50th birthday (which isn’t all that far away).

    I highly recommend giving self-publishing a try. It’s quicker than traditional, and you seem to have it all together as far as spelling, grammar and sentence structure is concerned. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a shot (and have one too).

    Best of luck, and welcome to 2018!

    1. Thank you! I’ve always wanted to try bullet journaling, just because I like that it’s designed to be quick when you need it to be. I also love writing in incomplete sentences. I’m also really lazy sometimes! So it sounds perfect, but I’ve never given it a go for some reason.

      And I certainly have self-publishing on my radar. Once I get to that point I’m going to have a good long think about what makes sense – I appreciate the encouragement, I need it!

      1. I researched a lot when I started writing. What I learned was whether self-published or traditionally published, it’s up to the author to do the marketing. My thought: if I have to work so hard, then I should get more than ten or fifteen percent royalties. With that being said, self-publishing isn’t for everyone. I chose it because it worked for me; and I am the first to admit I have been lax in the self-promotion department. If you ever want to know more about my self-publishing experience, you can send me an email.

      2. Wow, thank you! Once I get to the point of being ready, if I decide to do self-publishing, I definitely will. That’s so generous of you!

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