One nice thing about having a site is you can look back with perspective on what you’ve written earlier. When I rang in the beginning of 2017, I was glad 2016 was over. I was not alone. In my 2017 post last January I wrote “One realization I had in 2016 is that I have been taking things for granted. I am lucky and blessed in many, many ways. But perhaps I have been too complacent in thinking that certain rights I have come to expect as “the norm” aren’t and could be taken away. And that so many people don’t have a voice or aren’t heard. So while 2016 left me with a certain unease about the future, it also instilled in me a drive to do better. What to do about it? Make 2017 matter and make it a better year.” Was 2017 better? Hardly….in fact someone summed it up succinctly with one word, “tumultuous”. But from the Women’s March to the #metoo movement, women have made 2017 a year that mattered. I feel hopeful going into 2018 that the momentum created by people becoming more proactive about what matters most to them will continue and positive results will begin to take shape. (Being proactive was my number one resolution last year.)
What am I keeping front and center for 2018?
- Meet more women. I have mentioned this recently, but the most gratifying experience of doing this site has been meeting new women and hearing and sharing their stories. So many of us create a comfort bubble of friends/colleagues; there is nothing wrong with that, but expanding your network and being open to new friendships has exponential benefits both personally and professionally.
- Give my time to others. My sister and I were talking the other day about how tired we are of the “I’m Too Busy” culture that predominates. Are you really that busy? Or are you bad at scheduling your time? This September I started tutoring kids at a local high-school (with a low graduation rate) every Monday afternoon. I love it and look forward to going and connecting with the kids. I was worried it would be impossible to go on a regular basis. Somehow when you treat a volunteer commitment like you would a business meeting, you find the time and then some. And your effort can have immeasurable results. I plan on finding more time this year in my schedule for others.
- Collaborate and iterate. I have these words taped to my computer because they are my “Go- To” words for my work going forward. Iterate because the same old should never be good enough when it comes to business. Our world moves too fast. I continue to try to reassess what works/what doesn’t, think out of the box in approaching problems and opportunities, and consider the future, both the immediate and long-term, with fresh ideas. Sometimes I get it right, other times I get it wrong. But I would never know if I didn’t try. And as for collaborate, it is the process that opens doors you wouldn’t have imagined on your own. I have a couple of collaborations percolating for 2018 that keep me awake at night thinking about the possibilities.
- Travel more. With my daughter going off to college, 2017 wasn’t a big travel year for our family. But I believe travel is one of the most fulfilling life experiences one can have. What’s on the agenda? Nothing yet, but I am determined to head off en famille somewhere exotic and unknown to us.
- Read more books. A Sunday afternoon with a couple of leisurely hours reading a book never happens in my life. Instead it’s usually 30 minutes before I go to bed, which means it takes ages to finish anything. I am not sure how I will logistically tackle this….I think it is about rethinking my schedule and down time. Someone suggested starting a TFI Book Club….would be fun.
- Make an effort. This is a perennial and a repost from last year. Whether it’s getting dressed in the morning (I easily fall into winter outfit ruts) or setting the table for family dinner, I’m going to make an effort to look my best and find and add beauty to the everyday aspects of my life. Sure beauty and adornment aren’t nearly as important as helping people in need, but even people in remote regions of the world who’ve never seen an iPhone or heard of Valentino deeply value and respect the idea of beauty and presentation. It’s human nature. It’s also a premise of TFI, to try to live life with flair.
Here’s to 2018! May it exceed your greatest expectations!