As another year begins, it’s time once again to look forward and set out the three words that I will look to shape and define my 2016. This is a practice I started in 2011, inspired by Chris Brogan, and it’s really helped me to think about the actions I need to take to make a difference in my life.
However, before I reveal my three words for 2016 it’s customary to firstly review my three words for 2015 and reflect on how these have influenced my life:
Finding meaning in the work I do is something I’ve become increasingly conscious of and is something I proactively sought in 2015.
In the summer I made a big decision to leave my job as a corporate digital marketer for a role within an agency. I made this change primarily because I wanted to ensure that I continued to develop my wider digital marketing skills but also so I could add real value to a range of clients across different sectors and industries.
Reflecting on the work we do can often get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Changing jobs certainly made me evaluate my work and what I’ve achieved not just in my last role but those from subsequent years, too. That process encouraged me to keep an ‘accomplishments’ journal, something where I can jot down my achievements, whether big or small, to help me reflect on my efforts, the progress I’m making and where further improvements can be made.
I’m not alone in finding change daunting and I experienced a lot of change in 2015!
Starting a family, moving into a new home and starting a completely new job, all in the space of a few months, was certainly testing. But whilst these experiences have been stressful at times, they’ve nevertheless been brilliantly positive life changes. As a result, I’ve definitely had to transform my mindset, outlook and routines but I believe that these will all help me grow, both personally and professionally.
As with all my previous years’ words, I will continue to look back and live by these. I never see any of my ‘three words’ for one year only. However, to focus on what’s important for the year ahead my three words for 2016 are:
I’ve noticed that with so much change in both my personal and professional lives there’s a much bigger need to select the right things to work on. I used to have weekends and evenings to myself (most of which I most likely wasted watching television or sleeping!). However, although that time seems like a luxury I would love to have available to me now, the reality is that this isn’t the case and that this is actually a blessing in disguise.
Much like the way in which Twitter’s 140 character limit forces writers to be clearer and more precise, the reduction in the time I have means I have to be more selective in what I work on and prioritise what’s most important.
Despite the squeeze in time I now have available, I am nevertheless determined to continue learning.
The digital marketing landscape I’m involved in is continually changing and therefore to remain competitive I want to be aware of the trends as they happen.
I also want to ensure that I keep educating myself on topics outside of my immediate sphere of influence and expertise. For example, what’s happening in the world of economics, politics, science and the arts? I’m therefore going to focus my learning around micro (areas closely related to my work) and macro (areas that are not closely related to my work but have a wider influence) topics so I have a well-rounded view of the world.
In some ways this word is related to the previous two and the life changes I’m experiencing. Things aren’t all they used to be and I therefore have to be patient as I navigate the journey ahead.
I believe patience is also key is respect to investing in myself. I know the learning and career choices I make won’t always have an immediate payoff so I have to be patient and confident that I’ll be rewarded in the long-run if I continue to make decisions for the right reasons.