The top things I’ll remember from the last 12 months.
To remember 2021 as a record setting year might not be enough. The year saw unprecedented events, but it wasn’t all bad.
There were definite challenges, but I’m focusing on the positive. Despite everything, I has a year full of good things.
My biggest wins for 2021 involved taking charge of my blog, Speaking Bipolar, **** and choosing a better path for creating online content. I updated the blog to make it more appealing and added a store and a free library.
On Medium, I pumped out over 60 fresh stories, publishing half of them in the last three months or the year. I also joined new sites, publishing content on Vocal Media and having had my first piece accepted by The Mighty.
Email subscribers increased by 100%, and YouTube subscribers jumped from 27 to 279. I’m still a tiny fish is a huge ocean, but I’ll take those growth numbers any day. My followers on Instagram also nearly doubled.
Perhaps the biggest win is the 30 Days of Positivity Email Course. Launched in late November, it’s growing by leaps and bounds. If the growth stays on track, over 1,000 students will graduate from the course by the end of next year.
All the new avenues explored inspired me to come up with a substantial list of ideas for 2022, so I’m eager to keep working to see what else I can do.Start Today!
I am most thankful for my family, especially my aging parents, who are in relatively good health. A few days ago, they celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary, and it was cute to see my dad have flowers delivered for the first time in years. They may cause me some stress, but I know every day with them is a gift.
Running a close second, I am immensely grateful for my readers. Many of you are loyal fans. You share my content on social media, read every email, and reach out to offer encouragement when I need it.
I may not say it often enough, but each of you brings me joy daily. The past year would have been much more challenging if not for you. Thank you for being part of my writing journey.
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.”– Brene Brown
My health remained relatively stable throughout the year, both mentally and physically, and it’s one of the top items on my gratitude list every day. By learning to make better choices regarding nutrition and exercise, I’m starting 2022 in the best place I’ve been in a while.
I’m also grateful for my ability to write. Looking back on the last three years, I posted over 200,000 words of online content. Many of those posts inspired people to reach out to me to express how my words touched them. Those messages make me happier than I can describe.
My writing ability is nothing I did. Yes, I work hard on my craft, but I know primarily it’s a gift God gave me. I hope I’m using it in a way that makes Him happy.
In November, as I saw many posting on social media about how depressed they were, I knew I had to do something. End-of-the-year depression is a struggle for me, so my heart hurt as I saw others suffering.
One morning at work, I had a moment of clarity and the 30 Days of Positivity Email Course was born. I wasn’t sure if anyone would sign up, but I knew what helped me stay positive and knew it could help others. It was a gift I could give to thank my readers, so that night, I got to work.
I launched the course with five days’ worth of content ready, part of me not really expecting anyone to sign up. The course took on a life of its own and will probably influence the direction of much of my content in the coming year.
“Remember: There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.”– Zora Neale Hurston
Creating the course took a lot of time. I finally finished creating the content yesterday, only three days ahead of my first sign-ups.
The response has been amazing. It’s taught me the value of sharing positive things with the world and that keeping busy helps me remain stable.
Like many writers, my views and reads stats took a dive during the year. I created very little content from August 2020 until June 2021, and the extended hiatus sent my numbers off a cliff. It’s no wonder I feel like I’m starting over.
As I look at the impact of producing less content, it’s helping me plan for a better year. At the very least, I know I will send my subscribers their weekly newsletter every week. I also learned that the more I write, the more I’m inspired to write.
My blog idea list has 127 entries. The only problem with a lot of ideas is narrowing them down to one or two to work on.
The first project is launching the Speaking Bipolar Positivity Club. As the club continues to take shape in my mind, the one thing I know it will be is a continuation of the successful 30 Days of Positivity Email Course.
My next biggest goal is two books. Both will be a collection of posts from the past two years. The first one is near the final editing stage, so I hope to share more about it soon.
Finally, and perhaps this should be my first goal since it really is the biggest, I hope to transition into being a full-time writer during the next year. While I like my job, writing is my passion. During 2021, I learned online content could generate a realistic income, so 2022 will be about working toward the minimum monthly amount I need to go all in.
Historically, December is a hard month for me. The season change and short daylight hours drive me into depression. This year has been easier because I stayed busy and focused on the best things from the past 12 months.
You can take a positive review of your year, too. Read, How to Close Your Year in the Best Possible Way, for tips on how to do it. As you think about the past 12 months, come back here and share your biggest win and number one reason to be grateful in the comments. I look forward to reading them.
A new year is here. Here’s hoping it will be the best one ever.
Until next time, keep fighting.