Starting 2018 with a clean slate

[Full disclosure: I started this post three years ago and recently found it in my Medium drafts. I thought there was a decent idea here so I decided to finish it. Some of the specifics are… from December 2014.]

In a former life, I was the board liaison for a major performing arts nonprofit. I realized recently that one of things I miss most about that job is the feeling of closing out a year. Each summer, as the fiscal year came to an end, I’d wrap up every task related to that year and start the new fiscal year with a clean slate. In my current career as a content marketer, I’m unlikely to experience such a clear break between one year and the next. Projects, plans, and deals often span years, without the possibility of being able to tie everything up neatly at one time. At times, this has left me feeling burnt out and like there’s no end in sight.

As such, I started thinking about ways I could recreate the clean-slate feeling despite murkier circumstances. Here’s what I came up with: Continue reading “Starting 2018 with a clean slate”

Operationalizing creativity

I walked into my local bar the other night and took out my laptop. The bartender, a friend of mine, came over a few minutes later and asked, “What life art are you currently working on?”

I explained that I’d set up an Asana workspace for my creative projects – two podcasts, two books, this blog, my ongoing Year of New project, and a social media strategy to support all of the above – and was about to crack it open to figure out what to work on next. Continue reading “Operationalizing creativity”

New Year’s Resolutions 2018

I make New Year’s Resolutions every year. I don’t achieve all of them, but I feel the act of setting the intention holds value itself — and that falling short of certain goals often reveals why they weren’t high priority. (Here’s a post I wrote last year on how to keep Resolutions, and reframing “failed” Resolutions as progress.)

I wrote my Resolutions super early this year. 2017 has probably been the most rapid period of personal growth in my entire life, and I’m hoping that 2018 blows it out of the water in terms of my creative productivity, work toward understanding myself and being a better person, and overall happiness.

Here’s what’s on tap for 2018: Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions 2018”

On success, failure, and the intersection of the two

I woke up on the morning of April 9 with the thought, “I am never going to feel depressed again.”

I’d spent the first quarter of 2017 doing a lot of work on myself, much of it a survival mechanism forced by a professional situation I needed to get out of immediately. January was the fourth and final month of the most toxic job I’ve ever had, and to get through weeks of waiting to be fired, I needed to get a handle on what was going on with me internally. Continue reading “On success, failure, and the intersection of the two”

September

I spent a lot of time in August thinking about how fucked-up and traumatizing the past year of my life has been. August is always a rough month for me, as the two most difficult things I’ve lived through both happened the first week of August, in different years. But taking inventory of what I’ve dealt with over the past 12 months has been a different beast altogether.

In the past year I’ve gone through two job changes, four months of the most toxic professional experience of my life, and the person I loved breaking up with me basically out of nowhere. Beyond that, there’s trauma around the good things that have happened. Continue reading “September”

The aspirational version of myself

Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

  • Reads The Economist and the Sunday New York Times cover to cover each week
  • Reads Harvard Business Review every month instead of just paying for the digital edition and letting it sit unopened on her iPad
  • Always has a perfect manicure
  • Runs five days per week and goes to five yoga classes per week
  • Is using all six domains registered to her
  • Travels abroad at least once a quarter
  • Has been to Palm Springs
  • Is conversant in French
  • Writes every day
  • Always has champagne and sparkling water in the fridge
  • Never wears an outfit that isn’t exactly right
  • Subscribes to Women’s Wear Daily
  • Goes to plays more often (read: ever)
  • Always sends thank-you notes within a week
  • Hasn’t killed all the plants in her apartment
  • Lives every day like it’s a fucking Mary Oliver poem
  • Enjoys the music of Pitbull ~13% less (JK not happening)
  • Wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to meditate/goes to bed at 10 with no screentime after 9:30
  • Has an espresso machine and a cupboard full of Stumptown
  • Knows how to program her Roomba
  • Has unwavering faith that everything will work out just fine

How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution (and Why it’s OK to Fail)

My 2016 New Year’s Resolution was to do one new thing every day. Now that we’re at the end of the year, I can say with reasonable certainty that I’m going to succeed. Admittedly, many of these new things have been relatively low-stakes — listening to a new podcast, trying a new restaurant, cooking a new recipe — but I also did a few cool, bigger things like participating in the Coney Island Polar Bear Dip, sleeping outside to raise money for homeless youth, going to Kenya, and running a half marathon.

People love to talk about how New Year’s Resolutions don’t work, as if this is a reason to forgo them entirely. Having spent the past 366 days discovering that, sometimes, New Year’s Resolutions actually do work, I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me stick to my plans: Continue reading “How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution (and Why it’s OK to Fail)”