goals

Words to live by in 2014

In my last post, I encouraged you to think about what would make 2014 great for you. I’ve been doing the same.

I don’t generally make New Year’s resolutions; however, each year I identify an overall theme or idea I want to live by.  For the past few years it’s been: to be uncomfortable as much as possible. In other words, to constantly say “yes” to new things, to push myself, to make possibilities become realities. Because the more uncomfortable you are, the more you grow.

A year of adventures

Thank you Hawaiian Fire Surf School

And, it’s worked quite well. I’ve gotten my own business running on all cylinders, developed some wonderful clients, taught at my former college, become a public speaker of sorts, started a new networking group, traveled to several new places, learned to surf (barely), learned to play the piano (sort of), kayaked and went paddleboarding for the first time, started a creativity blog with some friends, made some goofy videos with said friends and a lot of other cool or (at least fun) stuff. It’s been great and I wouldn’t trade the last few years for the world.

But this year, I’m feeling the need to slow down, not just for the sake of slowing down, but to focus on creating quality. The things I’m doing, I want to do better. Each project or commitment, I want to look at more closely and ask, how can I do it better?

Make it Sparkle are my 2014 words to live by.  What are yours?

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Envision an amazing 2014

These past few years, I’ve had quite a few “aha” moments. Those moments when I realized my dreams were coming true: from launching my own consulting practice, to teaching in the Master’s program from which I graduated, and now working with WOMEN Unlimited ten years after completing that wonderful program. In each case, it felt like serendipity, but the truth is, I had envisioned each of them and had taken steps along my path leading me toward them.

What about your path? What is ahead for you? And specifically, where will you be in 2014? The power of vision + action is incredible. So, take a few moments to ask yourself these questions:

What would make 2014 a truly amazing year for you? 

Take some time to think deeply about it. No one else can, or should, define this for you. Be open and honest with yourself. Admit those things that you are scared to wish for.

What are you doing to make that vision a reality?

What are you really doing? Not just thinking. While there are things you can’t control, they tend to work in your favor if you attend to those things you can control.

Who can help you?

We cannot be successful in a vacuum.  The good news is successful people tend to enjoy helping others become successful too. Who is doing what you’d like to do? How can you learn from them or get support from them?

Taking these last couple weeks of the year to rejoice, renew and reflect on your present and the path ahead can launch your success in the new year.

All the best in 2014!

Career resolutions 2011

As promised, I am making some career resolutions this year.  To be honest, I reassess and make new goals throughout each year, and usually ignore the January 1 milestone.  This year, though, it provides a needed opportunity to reflect and plan.  So, here are my resolutions for 2011:

  • To consciously connect – it’s essential in my work to stay connected with a wide variety of people, from business leaders to job seekers to thought partners and mentors; I will consciously guide my outreach during the year to ensure I connect with those that I should
  • To write more – because it’s something I love, a skill I want to keep building, and it allows me to connect with people more, which, besides providing enjoyment, provides more work opportunity
  • To give myself a pay raise – yes, that’s right, only not in the way you think.  I’m not on salary, but I can influence my pay in a number of ways.  Though I will work to increase my overall revenue this year, my primary focus here is on what I make per unit of time.  So, I can do a number of things including: raise my rates, schedule more efficiently so that I have less “downtime” in between paid work, work faster on fee-based projects, and focus on higher rate work.  I will actually employ all of these to some degree
  • To maintain balance – I know, “balance” has almost become a dirty word it’s so cliche’, but one of the reasons I love what I do is that it provides an opportunity for balance that was almost impossible in my former life.  Looking back over last year, I did pretty well.  I need to keep it on my radar and I know I can do it again this year.  My key tools are: aggressive prioritization and the willingness to say “no” at the right times

Sounds like a pretty heavy load, huh?  Not really.  All these are essential to my continued career and personal well-being, so I need to be doing them anyway. 

Now, to be really effective, resolutions must have some detail or they lose their bite.  Though I haven’t laid out the details here, I am doing this for myself.  I hope you are too, and I wish you the very best in achieving all that you resolve to this year!