My Three Words for 2015

Last year rather than create New Years Resolutions I decided to jump on the Chris Brogan band wagon and come up with three words that would be touchstones for my actions throughout the year. As I chose to do something I would check in with those words and see how it fit. For more about this approach check out Chris Brogan’s post here that introduces his words for 2015.

Since I found this approach useful I thought I’d do it again this year. So here we go:

201:

My words last year were Healthy, Creative & Minimalist. I would give myself grades of A, B and C for each of these respectively. I have a good foundation in each of these but now want to build on that base. Apparently ‘201’ courses are what you would take after the 101 introductory courses. 201 therefore is a reminder for me that I need to be looking at ways to up my game in each of these areas. To reinforce the good habits that I created in 2014 and take the next step.

Explore:

By necessity from a lack of time, money and energy I have sharply focused my efforts in a few narrowly defined areas. It’s time to poke at some of the boundaries I’ve established and also take some leaps and try things totally new.

Fun:

If it’s not fun why are you doing it? Unfortunately I seem to have forgotten to schedule ‘fun’ on my calendar – we’ll be doing more celebrating of key milestones, events and just letting our hair down in 2015. Life’s too short not to.

How about you? New Years Resolutions? Goals? I’d love to hear how you’re set up for the year ahead.

Three Little Words to Guide Your Actions

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The way that I was brought up, this time of the year would be a time to have a handful of New Years Resolutions that would see you through the year. In time these were replaced by goals, and then SMART goals, essentially dressed up New Years Resolutions . Often times these were health related goals – if yours are check out the video below from Equinox

I agree with the sentiment here – goals shouldn’t be set at the beginning of the year and not looked at until the end but reviewed regularly and course corrections made as needed.

But what if there was another way, a way that took the whole goal thing out of the picture? One that gave you a system for living for the year that would allow you to focus on a few essential areas. I think that Chris Brogan’s idea for three words to be touchstones for your year ahead is a brilliant idea. I wasn’t thinking about New Years Resolutions or such like when I saw this mentioned in Chris’s weekly newsletter but I think it’s an interesting idea and one worth trying out. So here goes – my three words are:

Healthy: I’ve had some health issues over the last year, the product of a lifetime of thinking that being fit and exercising regularly doesn’t matter. Wrong! Perhaps it’s too late to reverse the damage but this is to remind me that I should be trying.

Creative: I feel at my best when I’m solving problems and making things. This is to remind me that filing emails isn’t being creative.

Minimalist: Clutter in all it’s forms is an enormous hindrance to creativity. This is to remind me that I need to reduce the clutter.

What are your three words? Feel free to share them below.

My 2012 To Do List

Happy New Year!

I’ve had an extended break from blogging in a vain attempt to catch-up with all of my other responsibilities and draws on my time. I’m not fully caught up but I’m back.

I know a lot of people look forward to the new year with a list of resolutions. I do something similar to that too, although my list is usually a combination of the pragmatic and the impossible. Things that I absolutely need to get done and things that only in my wildest dreams would come true. Usually there’s not a lot of stuff in the middle. In no particular order here are a few of the things from my list:

1. Publish a book of my photographs

It is becoming easier and easier to self-publish. The recent announcement of the Beta version of Lightroom 4 includes integration for Blurb. One can only imagine that a raft of self-published photobooks will ensue. Makes me think that if everyone’s going to be doing it then I’ve missed the boat but then I could say the same thing about photography too!

2. Complete the planning for a trip to Shikoku in early 2012

Shikoku sounds like an interesting place to visit. A little off the tourist path but there is a well known pilgrimage around the 88 temples here. There was an interesting article in the National Geographic Traveller about the island. Check it out here: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/shikoku-japan-traveler/

3. Learn Japanese in anticipation of my Japan trip

While languages are certainly not my forte Shikoku appears to be far enough off the regular visitor trail that some Japanese could come in handy. The Rosetta Stone language immersion program looks like it would be a good way for me to get started.

4. Complete preparation for the show at RMSP gallery

An exhibition of my photographs will be up at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography gallery for 3 months starting the first week in May. Very excited about that. Please stop by and say hello if you’re in Missoula the first Friday in May.

5. Live more sustainably

I’m not much of a tree hugger but when I see things such as the albatrosses that Chris Jordan shows with his work it makes me want to be more conscious of the things I buy and how I get rid of it. Quality over quantity has to be a good thing.

Still on the sustainable living theme – the image below is taken from Azby Brown’s book ‘Just Enough Japan’ which is a look at how the Japanese in the 1600’s facing a lot of the same problems that we face to day dealt with them. Very interesting reading.