In a word … Challenge
I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. I just never thought of them as very motivating. Of course, I would love to think that I will lose 10 pounds (a goal of mine probably since junior year of high school) or save more money over the course of the year. If I actually made these resolutions, however, I would immediately go have a cheeseburger and fries, then sit on my couch and do some online shopping.
For me, I think it’s because I’ve always thought of resolutions in the form of statements that are restrictive and very specific.
– I will run 1,000 miles this year.
– I will get married and have 2.5 kids this year.
*Trust me, these are NOT my resolutions.
I think INKers have the right idea about professional and personal growth in 2012. See Blair and Rachael’s blog posts below. It isn’t just about achieving one specific resolution. It’s about the various possibilities, experiences and things you will go through in the next year.
As Blair mentioned, each INKer chose a word to define our goals and experiences for the year. I like this idea because it’s not confining and can encompass anything you want it to include, personally and professionally.
My word is CHALLENGE. What this word means for me is that I want to challenge myself…
– to step outside of my comfort zone
– to take on different things that I would usually step back from
– to push myself and not just do the things I am comfortable with already
(“Uncomfortable” could have also been my word, but that’s not very positive J)
The reason I chose “challenge” is because I often feel like it’s easy to just be comfortable with what you know, what you are used to doing and to maintain the status quo – to stay exactly the same because you already know what that’s like. However, when things become too comfortable, you may find yourself in a rut.
Challenging yourself means change, and change is often times uncomfortable and scary. It’s hard – making that leap of faith, going outside of the box and taking the road less traveled. When we do challenge ourselves, it doesn’t have to be big, extravagant displays but instead, steady and small movements forward.
Tackling different projects – For me this means, taking on projects beyond building media lists, editorial calendars and monitoring reports that I already know I can do well. I’ve already gotten off to a good start with writing a byline, putting together a case study and handling social media channels for two weeks.
Stepping up to the plate without fear of striking out – When I start off in a new job, I often shy away from certain tasks because I think someone with more experience should take it. However, as of March of this year, I will be at INK for a full year. I know that I have a good foundation and knowledge regarding my clients, because I’ve learned from the best around me. So when I do see those to-do’s come along, I can assess them and realize I have the qualifications to accomplish them.
Networking – Good relationships with clients, media and others leaders in the industry are important in growing yourself and your company. CES 2012 was an excellent opportunity for me to get to know my clients (Bluetooth SIG and Gemalto) better, meet different media and analysts and challenge myself to be more than just a name on an email or business card.
A big reason why I like this “New Year Word” is that it can apply to anything. I’ve started using this word in my personal decision-making and personal growth
Work-Life Balance – One of the things I love about working at INK is that they get this. I know it’s really easy to just go home after work, lie down and watch TV but there’s a lot to learn and do out there. My challenge is to do so. I would like to volunteer. Check out this great list of opportunities from Austin360. I would like to continue my education and learn more skill sets that are fun and just good to know. UT offers several informal classes. I’ve signed up to take an InDesign class in February (this one is a work challenge, too J).
Make time for family and friends – I’ve realized in the past year how important family and friends are. Yes, it takes time. Everyone is busy and traveling is expensive, but it matters. I can make an effort to call my Dad more often (though I’m not a fan of phones), I can make plans to have dinner with my sister and see her adorable puppy (she lives just 15 minutes away) and I can talk to my cousins and friends online. I’ll be heading to Florida for Chinese New Year’s with my grandma and to Chicago in April to see several friends.
It’s always easy to say I’m going to X, Y and Z but then never get to it. Having a new year word means having a driving force behind my thoughts, decisions and actions.
The challenge to my challenge will be to keep this going through 2012!