Not resolutions. Words.
I’m not so into resolutions. Why set myself up for disappointment?
But this year I was inspired by Tara of Blonde Chicken (prettiest yarn in the world), and her own inspiration, the couple-of-days-ago-mentioned Chris Brogan, to think of words or themes for 2010 – words that could guide planning and decision-making at smArts & Culture World Headquarters.
2009 was crappy. So was 2008.
I want to put that behind me.
The words I came up with are: Energy. Emergence. Connection.
Sounds very New Age and kind of eww, right? Listen, I’m doing the best I can here. :-) I’m wondering if maybe this exercise could help you in your working life, too.
I’m not so happy with the word ‘connection.’ It sounds bland and obvious, especially in the arena of social media. So I’m thinking of it as [connection] until I come up with a better word or metaphor.
More so than its association with social media, I’m thinking about [connection] as it relates to my workflow and my business.
I’m an introvert, and I default to doing things myself. Even when I know people who could easily help me, I insist on reinventing the wheel.
This is just foolish.
Pretty much any business or project is going to benefit by including other people in your process, even if it’s just for accountability’s sake. I get excited about helping other people, when I can. Why do I think they don’t want to be bothered with me?
I’m also thinking of [connection] as networking. I don’t mean schmoozing with people in order to get new clients or a lucrative project. I’m thinking of networking in the sense that being around people, talking to people whose point of view resonates with you – it helps spark new ideas.
Partnerships spring up. Good things happen.
I’m thinking of a sense of interdependence, like an ecosystem, or a machine in which each of the parts is essential.
‘Energy’ is about physical energy and mental energy, but also the kind of energy that you get from working with people who are the right fit.
I’ve been frustrated for years with my low energy level. I’d love to be one of those people who just go, go, go, but I’m not.
Certain things help. Giving myself time to decompress after meetings. Drinking lots of water. Doing Dance of Shiva. I want to notice how things that I do, as well as external factors, affect my energy level.
‘Energy’ is also about being around the right people. We all know people who suck the life out of the room. We also know people who seem to energize us. I want to take responsibility for having more of the latter in 2010.
When the word ‘emergence’ came to me, it was one of those ‘yes!’ moments. I had this picture of coming up out of a dark little hole into a clear blue day and cool fresh air.
‘Emergence’ means growing my business, like a green shoot poking up from the earth in spring. But it’s also about coming out of hiding.
Last year at this time, after more than a year of difficult personal stuff, I found that going out to do even the things I loved, like seeing live music, was completely draining. And stuff I wasn’t so crazy about, like networking events? Forget it.
Instead of forcing this issue, I gave myself permission to stay close to home as much as I needed. It helped a lot. But it meant that I was away from the very things that normally fuel me, and the people I love to see and work with. Someone wrote to me on a gallery invitation, ‘do you only exist online any more?’
A month or so ago I started to feel like I could go out and do more again, so I’ve been happy to see people around town and elsewhere, and do stuff like hearing Thomas Hampson and eating at Pie Town. I feel myself emerging from a much-needed hibernation and feeling like I’m ready to breathe again. And eat pie. Mmmm. Pie.
Would it help you to do this kind of exercise as you think about goals for 2010, or maybe plan for your 2010/2011 season? Are there words or themes that can help you focus?