Friday, January 6, 2017

After The Holidays...

Happy New Year! 

Isn't it wonderful to begin a brand new year with a sense of hope and a lighter feeling? A whole calendar of days, pristine and unstained by what's come before (or so it seems). I'm not sure what it is about the new date that makes me so ridiculously hopeful and even expectant of good things to come, but there it is.

Unfortunately for me, 2016 ended much the way 2015 did—sick an upper respiratory infection that started way before Christmas. At the end of 2015, I wanted to throw the whole year in a trash heap and say forgetaboutit. 2015 seemed like a horrid, awful year even though it really wasn't. What I realized and wrote about here was that I was judging the whole year on the last two weeks of December when I was so ill.

Realizing I had not done a very good job of keeping track of my goals and accomplishments for the year, I resolved to make some serious changes. At the beginning of 2016, I got myself a planner and an accountability partner. I have to say those are probably two of the smartest things I've done in a very long time!

I also chose a word of the year (see below) and incorporated it into my planner as well as some art that hung out on my desk all year so I would not forget the word I'd chosen. These changes had a tremendous impact!

Fast forward to the end of 2016. Even though I've been sick for two three weeks, my feelings towards the whole year are completely, totally different. I can thumb through a stack of weekly emails that tracked what I worked on and when, goals accomplished, areas that could stand to be improved and a few areas where there simply was not enough interest to keep going. I redirected that energy into areas that could benefit from more attention.

My word of the year started out as progress and then progressed into thrive around the middle of the year. I was able to create more "live" teaching opportunities for 2017 with classes at Keeton'sMarie Selby Botanical Gardens as well as a chance to teach a week-long workshop in England with The Blue Walk! That's when I realized my progress was turning into thrive as many of my goals were beginning to come to fruition!

I found that having someone read my list of tasks week after week was a great motivator to get things done that probably wouldn't have happened without that check-in. It was also nice to have someone ask for specifics on an ongoing project as it helped me to get interested again when I found myself getting sidetracked by too many other tempting opportunities.

It also motivated me when I had one of those weeks that went off the rails and nothing on my tasks list was accomplished. My partner was there offer insights, to help me pick myself up and to push me forward rather than letting me sink into a pity party (that had the potential to derail the next few weeks).

As the year marched by, we started to refine our lists and efforts in ways that helped us to see where we were going and what we were doing as well as what we were accomplishing. We celebrated each other's accomplishment and milestones. We had occasional meet-ups so we could discuss things more fully than you can via email.

When we met late last year to wrap up 2016 and celebrate our accomplishments, we started working on ways we can leverage last year's success into making 2017 an even better year. The year has already gotten off to a crazy-busy start with several streams of attention that I'm attempting to juggle.
I suspect both my planner and my accountability partner are going to key to keeping me on track. Otherwise, I'm fairly confident I'm going to fall victim to attention splatter (read more on that here).


I'm looking forward to a prosperous, happy, 
fun-filled year that is my best one yet!

How did your 2016 shake-out? I know some of you were going to use planners while others were going to use a bullet journal or a program online and some of you lucky duckies were retiring...what worked for you and what didn't??

 Let's learn and grow from each other by sharing ideas!
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6 comments:

  1. Happy New Year! Couple of days ago for the first time I decided to have a word for me for the year and was pleased to read today that in a way has kept you on track! --Looking forward to to keep myself on track. Wishing you wonderful painting days :)

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    1. Hi, Meera! I've chosen words for the last several years. For me, I have to keep the word I choose VISIBLE. On my desk, on my desktop, in my planner, with a symbol, etc. or it is immediately forgotten and doesn't help much. Good luck to you in 2017!

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  2. I had a pretty good year. It is always good to see your positive posts. They always encourage me. Carry on and I am wishing you great prosperity in the new year.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa, for the kind words! I gotta think retirement would agree with you! Happy New Year!

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  3. I am so happy to read how well you did in 2016, although I'm sorry you've been sick. I hope you get well really soon.

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  4. Thanks, Cheryl, it was a very good year and I'm nearly over the plague. A few more days and I think it will be gone. Hope your year is fabulous!

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