I’m not usually the type to make resolutions. After all, as Bono said, nothing changes on New Year’s Day. But I also do enjoy a fresh set of downs and so set out to make 2016 a year I did a few things differently. So here, in no particular order, are a few things I’m working on over the next 12 months:
Fill Knowledge Gaps: There are areas I’m soft in, both personally and professionally. So I’ve been working on identifying the things I feel I should know more about – woodworking, email marketing and more – and figuring out what I need to do to fill in those gaps. The good thing about 2016 is much of this knowledge is just a few minutes away online. I don’t intend to become a master in these areas, but knowing more can only help me service my clients and my family better, so there’s definitely motivation.
Don’t Get Behind: Everyone strives for Inbox Zero, which is great. But I also want to end each day at Pocket Zero, with all the stories and posts I’ve saved to my Pocket folder cleared out in some way or another. So if I’m saving a story for PNConnect Weekly Reading, it should be in there before the end of the day. If it’s something I’m going to write a blog post about, I should at least get the post started. It needs to be out of there so it’s not a hanging To Do that I’m still turning over in my mind.
Expand My Writing Skills: Sure, I can turn out a post about Twitter’s latest news in about an hour. And some of the posts on my personal blog are pretty standard at this point. Both of those are like a runner who’s really good at marathons over flat ground. But it’s been a long time since I tried my hand at fiction. And I’ve never really written anything personal. So in order to stretch new muscles I’m working on both of those and other areas this year. They’re helping me find different voices and styles to write in, which I’m hoping will improve my skills overall.
Use Up Notebooks: This is a bit of a personal one and I’ll admit I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to notebooks and notepads. I’m always in search of the “perfect” one and have stacks of old ones that haven’t quite made the cut and are sitting barely used. While I am trying to do more in Wunderlist, Evernote and other productivity apps and software there are a lot of times when I just need to write stuff down. So I’m forcing myself to use what I have before I buy anything else.
Read More: I forget where I first heard this, but versions of it circulate around Twitter every now and again: If you want to be a great writer, you first have to be a great reader. And I’m not talking about more blogs or other RSS feeds, though I have added several new sources to Digg Reader to expand my worldview. No, I mean reading actual books, something I haven’t had a ton of time to do in the last few years. I’m dedicated to at least two books a month in 2016, though, and again feel this is something that will not only expand my perceptions but also expose me to new and interesting writing voices.
Be More Professional on Twitter: Look, we both know that’s not happening. But hey, we all have to have goals, right?