Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2014

It’s that time of year again.

Time when every media outlet known to man puts together their year-end lists:

“Best of…” and “Worst of…”

“Top 10…” and “Top 100..”

“Things we want to remember…” and “Things we’d rather forget…”

They all make the rounds, competing for your attention, your likes and shares, your retweets and plus-ones.

And while my favorite kind of list – “Words for the New Year” – is nothing new, I’ve never made one of my own.

So to get my desire to do new things in 2014 kicked off right, I’m going to start today. Here’s my first ever “Three Words for the New Year:”

Community & Kindness – OK, so my first word is actually two, but that’s only because I think they’re inseparable. 2013 was a divisive year, with sides taken on almost everything. Anger, hostility, and a general incivility seemed to be everywhere we looked. In 2014, we need to be better at working together to achieve common goals and not just give lip service to “getting along” when all that is doing is providing yet another way to point a finger at someone. If you can’t start a conversation with a compliment of some kind, then you probably shouldn’t talk.

Economy – With so many resources, so much technology and so many things to do in a day, we could each make a full time job out of just managing what’s coming over our transom. In 2014, we need to slim our intake in order to make our output more productive. That doesn’t mean do less – it means eliminate the noise. Stay on course. Keep checking items off your to-do lists and adding new ones. Get to the finish line as fast as you can, and then go find a new one.

Creativity – Perhaps a perennial word, but one that should be repeated anyway. New years mean new starts, new things to discover and new records to smash. It means bending your brain in ways you haven’t yet – or haven’t in a while – to achieve that thing that’s been on your to-do list for so long it’s starting to collect dust. Creativity is the leaf-blower of your life, so plug that sucker in and go all Carl Spangler on it.

There are other words that came close to making the cut, but for now I’ll stick to these. A year from now, we’ll look back and see how these words – and the ideas behind them – held up.

What are your words for 2014?

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Happy New Blog Posts


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Hey, you. It’s been a while.

Yes, seems I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t churned out any new content in weeks. I could unload about how busy life has been: work, family, holidays and all that.

But I won’t. Because New Year’s Resolution #1 is NO EXCUSES. I will either perform or fail in 2013, and that includes this blog, purely recreational as it is.

I will also revisit my “Back to Work Manifesto,” which I wrote after returning to work after my daughter was born in August 2012.

So enough with the idle chatter and empty surfing. Let’s get to work!


Final Friday ShareDay for 2011

Happy New Year 2012

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One year ago this week I posted my first entry on this blog.

I mostly did it as an exercise for myself, to teach myself some new skills and to force myself to write creatively on a regular basis. It’s turned into a combination of personal viewpoints and a catalog of what I think are topical entries on my line of business and some of my best practices. I’ve been pleased at how it’s developed; this month, views broke through the 1,000-click ceiling and kept going!

So even if you’ve only read one or two entries, thank you for your interest. I truly appreciate your support, comments and feedback. I’ve got some new ideas for next year, so keep reading, and subscribe if you haven’t already!

For our final Friday ShareDay of 2011, let’s look forward to 2012 with this terrific entry from the Cision blog about what I agree will be “The Year of Data Driven Public Relations”.

Happy New Year!

“And So This Is Christmas…”

John Lennon Yoko Ono War Is Over So This is Christmas

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The classic John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band song is one of my favorites. I know it was written as a political condemnation of war and all humanity can’t accomplish. But growing up, it always spoke to me as a call to action: asking each of us to reflect on the year that has gone by and take stock of those things we haven’t yet been able to get to, but could if we tried hard enough. (WARNING: graphic images in the below video, which is the official video for the song)

As we head into the last two weeks of calendar year 2011, and the workload drops off (unless you work for an industry that’s having its busy season right now), it’s a terrific time to take stock of what you didn’t quite get around to this year, or set new goals that you didn’t have 12 months ago.

I love this process, because it gives me renewed energy for what’s to come once the food/egg nog coma has worn off.

When I’m setting my goals, I like to:

1. Dream big, plan little. While your goal may be to run a marathon, you’re not going to accomplish that in the next 30 days. Set up your action plan with lots of smaller, achievable steps in between that will get you to that larger goal.

2. Assess your arsenal. You know what you’re good at and what you suck at. So figure out what skills are going to get you to that goal, and note the ones you don’t have or aren’t good at. They go out and acquire them.

3. Write it down. There’s nothing like a reminder note flapping in your face to remind you of what’s yet to be done. Daily lists, notes in the refrigerator or pictures stuck to a bulletin board can all be great motivational tools. And every time the paper looks like it’s getting old and worn, write a new note to yourself, as a way to say the goal is still there, strong and new. And you’ve still got work to do.

4. Get to it. Rather than set a deadline to finish, set a deadline to start. And make it today. After all, we’re not getting younger.

Happy planning!