How did the last two weeks go? What does next year look like?

Two weeks ago I started journaling with purpose. Writing in the morning and evening about how the previous day went, plans for the day ahead, how I feel, what the long term goal is and what I can do today to get closer to that goal.

I maintained it for two or three days.

I didn’t take anything other than my phone with me while working away and journaling on my phone feels a chore, plus it means having to look at a screen first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Not ideal.

I failed to prepare.

This week I will take a notepad and pen. My aim is to write each morning a brief summary of the day before, plans for the day ahead, how I’m feeling and try to come up with a platitude to end with that reminds me of future goals and what I’m doing to achieve them.

My usual work week is long days Monday to Thursday so I can have Friday off. I worked Friday last week to get some overtime hours, which made my weekend seem incredibly short. Add to that the fact it was a very busy weekend. This made for a difficult week of work this week. It has been slow, laborious, difficult and a real test. I’ve made it through; yesterday was payday, I have three days at home, it is my daughter’s birthday and I am back to feeling sure about my vision.

Last weekend, despite being short and busy, I had a few pockets of time where I could have worked on my personal goals. For the majority of the previous month I have been confident in what I am building toward. I’m at a very early stage but I was sure this was right and would be what I need to break free of the rat race and work for myself in the digital space.

But last weekend I had a wobble.

Like a recovering alcoholic swirling a drink in a glass pondering what it all means, if it is all worth it, if they have the strength of character, I felt like giving in. I put the drink down and while I didn’t do much work I went for a walk, read, spent time with family and kept myself busy. This afforded me the mental reset I needed and now I am back on the wagon.

Around 5am I woke up this morning, excited to do the personal work I’ve been thinking about all week at my job.

Too often I have spent a week at my job thinking about what I could, would and should be doing in regards to my personal work – only to get home and need a rest, have family commitments that I prioritise or quite simply let self-doubt kick in and allow myself to not work anywhere near my maximum capacity.

But today I am determined. I’m not exactly sure why. It’s not an exact science. Could it be that a harder couple of weeks at work have reiterated how important it is to build an online business to take over from my job?

Possibly. Regardless if I could bottle this feeling I would. My aim has to be to recreate some semblance of this feeling when I’m not quite with it or having another wobble. Failing that, if I can’t recreate the feeling I have to just push myself and get on with it anyway. Poor work is better than no work, it also opens the door to so much more.

Once out of bed this morning I turned the heating on (first things first), put a jacket on (my house is cold), drank a tall glass of water and poured myself another then got to work handwriting my morning journal.

I asked myself how I feel right now, and what I plan to do today before ending with ‘What does life look like one year from today?’ and ‘What would Mike from that time say to me now?’

I’m not sure where these questions came from but I’m very happy with them.

My vision for where I plan to be in a year includes living in a nice house in the area where my partner grew up. It is three to four hours away from where we currently live and we’re aiming to move before September of this year.

Once there we will be able to go out more as a family as the town centre is a gorgeous place to be and the beach is probably the best I have seen in the UK (I know that may not be high praise, we aren’t exactly known for our beaches). Also with Penny’s family there we will have more help with the kids and be able to spend more time together, just the two of us.

The other main aspect of where I see myself in a year is that I no longer work in construction. To write this out and picture it was particularly freeing to my mind. I currently have a pretty great job for possibly the best employer I have had, and I am grateful for this but I know I need to think of myself and leave the industry when possible.

My goal, as mentioned earlier, is to build a business of my own that is internet based and I can do from anywhere. The ambitious figure I have set myself is £10,000 per month and I am laser focused on this goal. If I aim for a target this high and just fall short it is still a pretty good amount to be working with. Rather than aiming for a minimum target, doing the work that should achieve that, and also potentially falling short.

First step has to be actually working out what this £10,000 per month online business is. What service or product am I offering? In an ideal world I could write fiction and earn that but it is unlikely and would take longer than a year to get near to that level.

Fiction writing is my passion, and if it ever makes me any money that is a bonus.

I am currently looking in to non-fiction e-books, AI, coding, faceless YouTube/TikTok, website building, app development, sales leads, SEO, funnels and marketing as options. I could go all in on one of these, learn the skill, share what I know, solve problems, acquire clients and have a legitimate online business.

These options seem more tangible and ‘real’ than my preferred 2nd choice (after writing fiction), which is coaching.

From a young age I’ve been deeply interested in psychology; specifically human choice and why we do what we do.

Motivation, inspiration, biases, prejudices, persuasion, subliminal coercion, hypnotism, herd mentality, freedom of choice all spark a blinding light of interest and curiosity within me.

I have always taken a keen look at what people do and why. I enjoy and am naturally good at persuading and influencing others. Psychology (as well as English literature) is what I have a university degree in.

Psychology, though, is seen by many as a pseudo-science in comparison to the likes of physics and biology and in the same vein coaching is largely seen as a pseudo-skilll or pseudo-career whereas being in coding or marketing is looked upon as ‘real’.

I truly believe I can help people figure out the problems and obstacles in their life, assess and establish their goals and set up an actionable plan to achieve them, as well as maintaining this when the motivation runs low or doubt creeps in.

I have many experiences from my personal life where I have helped friends and family to lose weight, start and keep up with the gym, move in to better jobs for them, improve their business, build confidence, dress well, get better at communicating with others (specifically the opposite sex), even win back partners that have left and made it clear they are done with the relationship.

But still, I have this nagging doubt of my own that tells me this is not a career and people will not pay me for this. Crazy right?

My logical, analytical mind tells me I need to pick one of the ‘real’ skills I listed above to learn rather than cultivate this interest, and I would say natural skill, that I already have.

I guess there is a lot for me to think about.

Part of what I would like to do today is to test the waters on my coaching idea. Years ago I offered free coaching to people on Reddit and was overwhelmed by the response I got. I really enjoyed conversating with and possibly helping the people I spoke to.

I think that speaks volumes. That people did ask for help despite my lack of experience, and gave me good feedback (one even said that he would not have regretted spending up to $100 for the advice and help he received, admiring the time, effort and personal touch I put in to aiding him).

It helps massively that not only was there need, and good feedback but also that I very much enjoyed it. Enjoy what you do and you will never work a day in your life, and all that jazz.

Can I get over that (rather large) hurdle of self-doubt and be a coach and fiction writer?

When I picture myself a year from now, coaching and writing, in my nice home in our seaside town I feel extremely fulfilled – this too is very telling.

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