Do you ever make a commitment to doing something better and months later think, “Didn’t I say I was going to try and be better at this?” I don’t know how many times I’ve left the dentist promising to floss every day, or vented to girlfriends about how my diligent diet and workout schedule “doesn’t seem to be working”. GUILTY! Apart from the obvious health benefits and integrity built from self-discipline, I think really trying to be better (in general) improves our quality of life and sets us up for greater accomplishments.
REGULAR READING: A while back, I had set goals to read a write regularly. Although I’ve been better at writing regularly (yet not always published), I have been majorly slacking in the reading department. The irony is, reading helps writers become better writers.
TRAVEL WRITING: This is my favorite of favorite goals! A long story for another day, developing my skills in travel journalism is key to achieving long-term goals. Lately, I’ve notice daily life deterring my focus from this goal. Being 100% self-motivated and having no one to answer to, isn’t for everyone. Let me clarify…being self-employed means you have to hold yourself accountable. All successes rely 100% on your personal discipline and will to make it happen. Therefore, in order to be better and more successful with travel journalism, sacrifices need to be made. I need to study, read, network and pursue opportunities.
Suggestions: Podcasts (Amateur Traveler, Condé Nast, Rick Steves) Subscribe to Magazines and Newsletters (Travel + Leisure, AFAR, Bohemian Traveler, Nomadic Matt, Virgin Atlantic) |Get a Travel Journal (Ticket Stub Diary, TOMS Travel Journal) | Read Travel Guides (Gogobot Orlando, Lonely Planet) | Start Stacking Airline Miles (Southwest Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred) | Plan a Road Trip | JUST GO!
PHOTOGRAPHY: When my family asks, “How is your photography business going?” My positive and honest response is, “It’s growing, but I still have much to learn.” My goal as a photographer is to discover and own my style. Catering to each scenario is not going to make my work stand out…comparing myself to more experienced photographers isn’t going to get me anywhere either. How can I be a unique and innovative photographer? Apart from experimenting, I can grow in my knowledge of equipment, processes, editing, software and techniques. This means taking classes, meeting with mentors, asking questions and studying.
RUNNING AND YOGA : Most of my life, I’ve been a dancer. For more than 20 years, I was in a studio, on a team, competing, taking classes and/or training. After leaving team dance, I wasn’t able to find a regimen challenging enough to keep me interested until I started running and doing yoga. With marathon and strength goals, its important to identify what is keeping me from being a better runner and yogi. Unlike the midwest, Florida living made it much easier to run year-round. Yoga classes, lets be honest, are freaking expensive and DVDs get old. I needed to find solutions or make sacrifices in order to get rid of the excuses.
Suggestions – Yogaglo.com ($18/month unlimited classes) | All-season running gear (North Face Jacket, Nike Hyperwarm Tights, Patagonia Neck Gaiter, Winter White Running Nikes) | Set a date! (Omaha Marathon | Big Sur International Marathon | Wanderlust Festival)
What are some things you could do better? Things you could put more effort into? What steps could you take to achieve your goals? This could mean making sacrifices you don’t want to make, but remember, the ultimate gain lasts much longer than the instant gratification of today’s comforts.