My 2019 Review

I roared into this year with a plan.

After a 2018 of mixed results, I intended 2019 to be different. In many ways it was. My company had a big Q1. I got personal time back. By the end of summer, though, a key hire that was a major part of my work strategy had their own major life change. My plans had to change. Work taxed me more than expected, and that had ripple effects in personal ways too.

Knowing what I was working toward, I was exhilarated for most of 2019. Yet I still ended the year tired and distracted by reestablishing plans I thought I already had set. This year I was reminded that leadership may start with setting a plan but it’s tested by reacting to inevitable changes to that plan. I did that. I’m at least a year wiser.

Below find both a recap of important milestones in my year, and, farther down, find a review of how I did on my 2019 Resolutions.

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My 2019 Resolutions

These are my priorities for the year for getting closer to being the person I want to be. As in years past, I want to share my resolutions.

Find past ones here.

I was proud of what I accomplished in 2018, which included a trip to Mexico City (and a visit to Paso de Cortes, as depicted above, where the Spanish conquistador entered the valley to attack the people sometimes called the Aztecs). I’m excited for 2019.

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My 2018 Review

In 2018, I found I wanted to go backward to go forward more than I expected.

At work and in my writing and my service, I differently assessed where I was last year to plan for this year. Where 2017 featured many public facing advances (I became CEO! a creative piece of mine was published somewhere! I), my 2018 featured far more internal or private advances.

I am proud of what I’ve done. There’s more to do.

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Here’s the reading list from my resolution to only read books from women and writers of color

One of my resolutions last year was to only read books by women and writers of color for a year. My goal was to both read more and to push myself outside of authors who look like me.

I fell out of the habit, so rather than clear a book a month, this lingered for 18 months, but the last 12 books I’ve read fulfilled the goal. This has resulted in a couple lasting points for me: a recognition of authors from underrepresented backgrounds and a new reading habit of more smartly using my library card (thanks for the process, SACMW!)

Below find my reading list.

Continue reading Here’s the reading list from my resolution to only read books from women and writers of color

Build the habit of making habits: resolutions of mine that stuck

A friend asked me what I thought is the best skill to develop. Build the habit of habits, I told her.

That’s how you get the most out of yourself and your place. It won’t always work but if you develop the rigor and constitution to choose to add a habit and then go and do just that, you’ll be gold. That is how you develop discipline.

My method for doing this is my near obsessive approach to annual resolutions. Each year, I put forward a dozen of them, many straightforward goals but often several tied to habits I want to add to who I am. I tie them to individual months but in truth I plan to do many of them throughout the year and beyond.

Recently I was considering how many personality traits of mine I believe started as resolutions. I think they’re a good example of building the habit of building habits. I wanted to share.

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My 2018 Resolutions

I’ve put a lot of time for many years in resolutions. They drive me forward, and I can continually retool what helps me most accomplish my goals.

After another important year for me, I’m looking to get to work in 2018. I’ll be looking to add good habits and drop bad ones. This year I took a focused look to make sure I was offering SMART resolutions. I also want to have fun. I’m mostly there.

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My 2017 Resolutions

My resolutions this year are taking a more personal tone.

  • January: Say No — Drop projects, protect my time.
  • February: Read WOC Monthly — I’ll pursue writers of color I don’t know well yet.
  • March: Recommit to Duolingo — I want to return to the Spanish language learning tool I’ve enjoyed.
  • April: Published Project — I have a pair of writing projects I want to push forward.
  • May: Max my investments — I need to get smart about how I invest, dropping stocks and options and go more traditional. I’m feeling the retirement planning bug, even if I’m 35 years from there.
  • June: Domestic trip — Keep the tradition alive.
  • July: Launch a Product — I want to learn about launching a prototype.
  • August: International trip — Where to this year?
  • September: Story Shuffle Podcast — I will do something with the storytelling event I’ve hosted for years.
  • October: Newsletter Growth — I’m playing with a personal newsletter, now I want to expand who is reading it.
  • November: Finish Basement Plan — Let’s do something with my big empty basement.
  • December: Host Family Christmas — Wouldn’t that be nice?

30×30: 30 things I’m proud I did before I turned 30

I like lists. I find them motivating and easy to understand. It’s a structure to limit and highlight, whether they be daily to-do lists or curated honors or resolutions — both personal and professional. I also like somewhat arbitrary milestones to serve as an opportunity to review my progress to the goals I have. It’s the same reason why I celebrated my 10,000th day alive.

Here’s another. I turn 30 this week and have used that as a reason to feel good about what I’ve done so far.

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