New Years Dive 2022

Happy new year, dear reader. I hope 2022 will be a year of joy, love and good health. Today I’ll tell you about my 2022 year theme. A new year means a new Year Theme. But before I get to that, let’s get you up to speed if you’re not familiar with the terminology.

A Year Theme is one word or a short sentence which denotes your goals of the year. For me, it is a tradition that I’ve implemented to make the best of said new year. It provides structure and empowers to make decisions which improve your life. It is important that a theme is positively formulated, so it helps to create a better situation in a specific area of your life. In other words, it should imply personal growth. Here’s a video explaining a Year Theme.

2021 in review: “Connecting the Dots”

Before I tell you about 2022; I’ll do a quick review of 2021. What has my 2021 year theme “Connecting the Dots” given me in hindsight. What did I do, didn’t do, and what did I learn? 

2021 was a messy year for me. I started with great expectations, but I had to temper those pretty fast because the situation at work wasn’t optimal. Looking back, it felt like I had to work in sixth gear for the first 3 to 4 months. As time passed it slowly improved, which allowed me to get back to work on the second draft of my book. I also started making bi-weekly video updates to help with goal setting and to keep my focus on writing. It is a simple accountability tool to keep moving forward; even if no one watches the videos. 

After decent progress for 6 to 8 weeks, the pacing of editing slowed down again. This time due to my volunteer job. The volunteer work (organising a tournament) demanded a lot of attention. And if you watched my writing vlog you might remember I had to shift priorities. This was to prevent a burnout situation. After I recovered and pushed through some harsh edits I finished my second draft on the 28th of December, editing almost 20.000 words in the two weeks before that. 

I’m proud I finished the second draft. It was the only hard target I’d set for 2021. And I worked really hard to achieve that. In hindsight, I worked really hard all year round. If you know me personally you might not realize that I have a tendency to put pressure on myself to achieve things. Even if it involves something relaxing like watching a series.

Don’t get me wrong, I tremendously enjoyed my little venture into the 1998 anime and the couple of K-Drama shows I watched. But they also require me to find something interesting to write about. And while not all of my blogs are a success, writing those is a fun little exercise to put perspective on a certain show. An exercise to connect with myself and the world.

To connect

The last year showed me that storytelling remains a field of interest I want to continue to explore. The media I consumed sparked curiosity into semiotics, folklore and storytelling. Because it is the place that I believe I can make my ikigai (to connect) work. Through the media I consumed last year I connected with myself on different levels. Not just emotionally, but also on a professional level. It gave me a better understanding of the stories that I want to produce.

Lastly, it showed me that I need to cut some things from my personal agenda. Time still remains an issue. I’m fine with removing a goal like streaming from my agenda, but protest heavily against the thought of not spending my spare time on my writing projects for a duration of 3-4 months. This (internal) conflict is what gave me a lot of stress and it is something I want to take action on in 2022.

I think that 2021 was a productive year, but I learned the hard way that I need to set things straight before I will be able to move on.

2022 and a new year theme

Just before Christmas there was an item on the radio that the song ranked first in the music charts on the day you turned 18 should be your year theme. For me this would be the Dutch song Watskeburt?! (which translates as “What happened?!“.

While I find the idea endearing and maybe next year I will summarize 2022 as such; I’m not choosing it.

The reason that I don’t like it is because it implies that the responsibility of my actions are outside of me. And the Year Theme should be something that is exciting and triggers options. As I mentioned before I want to organise a couple of things in my life. Set my house in order if you will. 

By the end of the year I want to: 

  1. Be able to spend my time more focussed on personal projects
  2. know how I can decrease my working hours for a boss to create more time for writing
  3. have investigated different ways into making money. Think in the areas of publishing work like creative writing.
  4. Check my spending and cut where necessary

There is a lot of focus on the financial aspects here, and this is intentional. In order to grow I want to make sure I made progress on these elements.

 When condensed, my theme for 2022 is: Future Smart

My aimed growth for the new year is to be smarter about the mentioned things, so I’m ready when an opportunity arises.1

Again: All the best for 2022. Make it a good one.

  1. In regard to writing: I’m not sure how things will progress so I want to leave it a bit open for now.