Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 Resolutions

One of my favorite posts this week is from Shelly Alcorn on Association Subculture - Five Terms for 2012.  We each make New Year's resolutions, and joke before the clock strikes midnight about just how long they will last.  I love the idea of focusing on five terms, hanging them above your workspace, and allowing them to serve as guideposts for your efforts.  Following Shelly's lead, here are my 5 for 2012:

1. Give Half the Fridge to Failure - From finger painting masterpieces to report cards, the fridge always served as the wall of fame in our house growing up.  It was a place to show off a job well done - a reminder of success.  In 2012 I want half of what I (symbolically) hang to be reminders of where things did not turn out as planned.  I believe that, while not ideal, failure in itself is not bad - failing to learn from failure is the downfall.  Failure is often swept under the rug - and in the coming year, if I am going to learn more from the times I do not succeed, then I need those times to remain fresh in my memory.

2. Better Technology, NOT More - I am a sucker for new gizmos and gadgets.  I love to window shop at Best Buy (without the windows) and it is not unusual for me to have multiple tabs open at once with item upgrades and devices that are awesome, but I do not need.  For 2012 I am going to concentrate my dollars and cents on purchasing those items that I will really use and that will (hopefully) truly improve my quality of life, and not just be a shiny toy.

3. LISTEN to answers of "How are you" - Asking how someone is has become an unconscious part of just about every conversation I have, yet too often I find that the answer sails right by as I move on to the real reason that I am talking to the person.  I want to hit myself upside the head at this one - this is a rude, thoughtless and stupid thing to do.  If we really listen to how someone is, not only will we have greater insight into the experience they are bringing in that moment to the conversation, but we make tighter relationship bonds that go beyond the interaction.  In 2012, 'How are you' is going to become a point of personal investment, and not rote repetition.

4. Smile when Crafting - Emails, chats, blog posts, phone conversation - words can make an intellectual memory, but your tone can make an emotional one.  Whether I want it to or not, I know when I am smiling that my attitude takes a swing towards the positive.  Therefore, if I smile more when communicating I think I will be able to imbue those words with a greater happiness.  Maybe I will just look like silly with a grin on my face (note: get webcam to see if I stick to this one), but if I can get you to have one on yours too, mission accomplished.

5. Celebrate - Everything - There are so many things that beat us up and tear us down - we need to celebrate more.  Not just birthdays, holidays or the big accomplishments - those are the easy ones.  In 2012, I am going to acknowledge, be thankful for, and celebrate the smaller positives as well.   Lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a long time, safe travels, looking at my phone contact list and realizing that I have a whole bunch of people in my life who make me a better me - they may not come with all the bells and whistles, but without any of them my life was be radically different.  Times of sorry and pain can't be avoided - let's celebrate life and all the joy in it all we can in 2012. 

What's your five?


  1. I really love these! These are really great, concrete ideas to put sustained action behind...simplifying some areas and amplifying positive actions in others....well done....

  2. I love these! I have a degree in Writing and in college, one of the ways my professor would get us to learn from professionals was to submit writing pieces to different magazines or publishing houses. Every rejection letter was met with enthusiasm as an opportunity to learn and placed on a large board in the department hall. Going through those letters helped me to become a better writer. Don't be afraid of failure - embrace it and learn from it!

    I absolutely love how optimistic all of these are and how actionable. Great post, Lowell!

  3. Shelly - thank you! Really this came about from your post, which had a great 5 as well!

    Nikki - I love that exercise - both the practice of writing (which is still a struggle for me) and looking at each rejection as a success...

  4. I love this Lowell! I wish I had kept the email I received from ASAE when my proposal for annual was rejected. However, I do have the email I sent breaking the news to my prospective co-presenters. I'm going to print that out and post it on my corkboard in front of my desk.