creativity, culture, community
With the New Year beginning, I find myself reflecting over the last year and making plans to start fresh. As Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” In an effort to make 2013 the best of times, I’m evaluating what I can improve. Here are seven areas that I’ve identified to work on in this year.
1) CARD GAMES. In the last year I collected a lot of business cards from PRSA meetings, client events and networking lunches. I added some to ACT! with notes about where and when I got them. For others, I rubber-banded them and put them aside. At one conference I took photos of 6 cards with my smart phone then added them to my address book later. I’m going to carve out time to finish adding my saved cards and try to keep my contacts updated better in 2013. One new thing I vow to do is to add birthdays to key contacts so I can send cards or emails to celebrate. How do you keep track of your contacts?
2) TO DOS & DON’TS. I’m a list maker and enjoy checking things off. I’ve marked up a ton of legal pads. However, I have started using Microsoft OneNote and find that it is very helpful in keeping up with client projects as well as personal reminders. And I’m cutting down on paper to recycle! I have an on-going “to do” list, a grocery & errand list, and coffee & lunch reminders. Here’s a video about OneNote so you can see if it’s right for you.
3) WHY WEIGHT? When I get busy on a project, I sit in front of my computer too much and don’t get enough exercise. In an ongoing attempt to move more during the work day, I’ve put two sets of weights near my computer. At various intervals I do a few reps. It’s actually fun and I’m finding that I take a break more often to use them. One of my goals is to walk more and find fun ways to get exercise. Here’s an article from WebMD with some great tips on how to exercise at your desk: http://on.webmd.com/MwYhJ
4) TIME IS ON MY SIDE. Sometimes I complain about not having enough time to get stuff done. I’m going to work on prioritizing. I might want to accomplish 20 things every day, but only 10 actually work out. I have to be okay with that. As Scarlett said, “Tomorrow is another day.”
5) JONES ALONE. When it comes to my PR business, I need to upgrade and update tools regularly. I confess that in the past, I’ve been jealous of colleagues who always have the latest and greatest gadgets. I’m getting better at asking myself before I purchase something “is it a need or a want?” and in spending time researching several opinions before I invest in something new. It’s wise to keep up with technology, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the most money. I don’t need to keep up with the Joneses, I just need to be creative and do my best.
6) FEED MY MIND. If I don’t stay engaged, how can I expect to stay relevant? With so many avenues available for learning, I intend to organize my week to include at least two activities to improve my mind. I’ve just added some educational outlets to my YouTube subscriptions so I can check those out for interesting topics. I’m updating who I follow on Twitter to include writers who post about PR trends and subjects related to my upcoming projects. In addition, there are a number of webinars that I can take for free so I’m planning to take one each week.
7) SAY CHEESE AND SMILE MORE! When I get up each day, drive in rush-hour traffic, or just go to the grocery store, I am going to try to remember to smile. One my favorite musicals Annie, has a great song called “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile,” and I believe it’s true. There’s evidence that smiling is good for your health! Check out this article in Huff Post.
I enjoyed my holiday break to catch up with a few friends, finally watch the last Batman movie, add a couple of items to OneNote, and make a batch of homemade vegetable soup. I’m ready to jump into 2013. Life is good.