It’s the last week of January! We’ve almost made it through the first month of 2019. Where does the time go? Every week of the month so far I’ve shared a story of someone who motivated me in 2018. Inspiring, but also with lessons we could apply to our own lives and the goals we all start 2019 trying to achieve.

This week I’m sharing the story of … me in 2018. Come on – it’s completely ok to be a source of inspiration for yourself. Not vain at all!

In 2018 I had 2 big goals for my professional life. The first was about networking. When 2018 started, I was not a fan of networking events. Now I don’t mind them so much. I’d even go as far as saying that I enjoy some of them.  That’s because I spent all of 2018 working on my aversion to it. I dipped my toes in the pool by doing some one-on-one catchups, and then I graduated to group events where I didn’t know anyone. Lecture Series, Training Courses, Meet-Ups, Client Events – I did them all. And I found myself dreading them less and less and discovering that they were never as bad as I thought. I always found someone to talk to. I always found things to say and to ask. I was never the only person by myself. I also met some amazing people who have invited me to other great events and catch-ups. It’s a virtuous circle.

My second goal centred on drawing and my graphic facilitation journey. Before 2018, I always thought and said out loud, that I couldn’t draw. In Secondary School, we were given a choice of Art or Home Economics, except I didn’t really have a choice. Let’s just say the Art Teacher was vocally and publicly not encouraging of my best efforts. I can be honest and admit that my best efforts were honestly not that good. But I know now that while I may not have been able to paint landscapes or sell my art for profit, I could definitely have worked on my drawing with help and support. Instead, I stopped trying anything artistic and I just accepted that it wasn’t something I was good at.

In 2018 I found that support. First, I went to a graphic class which started with the words “Everyone can draw” from a very encouraging facilitator and artist. Some part of me really needed to hear that. That gave me the strength I needed to get started. My first few attempts at simple icons and graphics almost made me cry and I really wasn’t that enthused at the start. But by the end of the session I was convinced that I could do it, with practice. And so, I practiced. I practiced until I could produce the graphics for an entire training session’s set of flipcharts by hand. I formerly printed and cut out all my images and then stuck them to my flipcharts. Reaching the milestone of producing an entire set of flipcharts by my own hand, before the end of the year was exhilarating.

But that was 2018, we’re in 2019 now and I have new things to work toward. Do I throw my 2018 goals out the window? Do I check them off the list and tell myself that I’ve accomplished all there is to accomplish in those spaces and move on to new paths? I can’t. If I stop networking and stop practicing my visual facilitation, I’ll lose all the headway that I made in the last year. I also won’t be able to draw on the skills as readily when I need them. In a nutshell, if I forget about those goals in 2019 to move on to the next thing – they’ll be back on the list of things I need to achieve in 2020. So I already make time every week to practice my graphics and icons, and I’m still planning to keep up with my networking. After all, I’m on some great event lists now and I don’t want to miss out.

So just two last things to think about as you work on your own goals:

What plans do you have to make sure that the goals you accomplished in 2018 remain firmly in the “Achieved” column ?

Once you start achieving your 2019 goals, what do you have in place to make sure that you continue to deliver on and achieve those goals way beyond the end of the year?

That’s it from me! I hope you enjoyed my January series and feel ready to achieve your own 2019 goals! If you’re looking for the whole series, here are links to Week 1 – The Graduate, Week 2 – Elias, Week 3 – Traci and JJ and Week 4 – Ciara.

I have every faith that you’ll accomplish the goals you set for yourself and achieve the things you set out to accomplish in 2019.