I like to end and begin most years by looking back and looking forward. That makes this my official “infamous goal-setting post” of 2017.
Looking Back on 2016
I know a lot of us are grateful to leave 2016 behind. The social and political climate has obviously had an impact on my life, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about today. This post is about my year, which at times, felt oddly out of sync with what the world was experiencing. In other words, a lot of big and joyous things happened for me in 2016. But the best word I can think of to describe 2016 is FULL.
In the last 12 months I:
- Signed a publishing contract with HarperCollins to write a book about making a living as a multipotentialite
- Wrote said book (it’ll be out in stores May 2!)
- Gave a few big talks in California
- Hired the wonderful Joel Zaslofsky to be the COO (Connections and Operations Officer) in the Puttytribe so that he would help make our community more amazing for our members and begin the process of developing our new Puttytribe 2.0 platform
- Planned my wedding and got married!
- Travelled to Australia to give the closing keynote at the ProBlogger Training Event and to go on our honeymoon
- Made a last minute decision with my wife to move to Canada and then moved right after Christmas
So yeah. Full year.
There were many moments of bliss and pride. But if I’m being honest, there was also a lot of fear and stress. Fear always comes with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, so I’ll take it. The stress, though understandable, was not all that wonderful.
I spent much of 2016 looking forward to a time when I could finally take a break and BREATHE–just wanting desperately to get there.
I took steps to relax and to clear out my schedule as much as possible. I stopped replying to every email and began saying no to almost all interview requests and speaking offers. Letting these “things I should be doing” go was a huge weight off my shoulders. I still feel bad sometimes for not replying to a sweet multipotentialite who has emailed me with a dozen questions. But focusing on writing the book and writing blog posts (not to mention taking time for myself) will help more multipotentialites in the long run. I can’t do it all and unfortunately everything has an opportunity (and emotional) cost, so I have to make choices.
Cut to Today
2016 is over and here I am on this picturesque island in British Columbia in one of the most comfortable houses I’ve ever lived in. After a stressful and rapid move to Canada and a stressful and momentous year, I am ready–for lack of a better word–to just, CHILL.
And so, I am officially declaring 2017 the year of rest.
It’s kind of ironic because I have a ton of work ahead of me, with the book coming out in May and the launch of the new Puttytribe 2.0. But you know what? I’m actually really excited about those projects. That work doesn’t feel stressful. It feels manageable and exciting.
And it’s AROUND the work that I plan on resting.
In other words, if I get a decent amount of work done one day, I’m not going to pack more work into my day. Fuck efficiency. I’m keeping my expectations low as far as the amount of work I accomplish each day. Other things are more important right now (and will, ironically, make my work better anyway).
With my free time, I will read or go for a hike or spend time with my wife. Maybe I’ll make some art or take a class or otherwise better myself, but self-improvement won’t be the goal. The goal will be rest… Passivity even. Which I’m just not sure I know how to do anymore.
In our productivity obsessed culture, “rest” is not considered a good thing. I’m going to challenge that. And anyway, I don’t think my form of rest will look like me collapsed on the couch for eight hours with a bowl of chips in my lap. That actually sounds pretty boring.
I’m not going to set any specific goals for what I’ll do in my free time because not setting goals is exactly the point. I want to learn how to not have a goal or purpose or something that I’m running toward. I want to stop feeling addicted to social media (i.e. other people’s approval) and to distraction. I just want to learn how to just be.
Here’s to a beautiful, restful and creative new year!
Your pal and fellow multipotentialite,
Do you have goals or intentions for the new year?
Emilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites build lives and careers around ALL their interests. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe
scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.