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2015 Achievements, 2016 Intentions

During the first half of January, I read more than one article about writing down accomplishments of 2015 before planning out intentions for The New Year.

So I grabbed a pencil and a post-it note, figuring that I wouldn’t need much writing space. 2015 wasn’t an eventful year, and I hadn’t made progress on any major goals in the past 12 months.

But the little yellow square quickly filled up with scribbled thoughts on both sides, as one memory led to another.

So, here’s my 2015 summary:

1. Started a Gardening Blog

• Vastly improved gardening knowledge by reading, experimenting and observing. Lots of learning by failing; but such fun planting and planning.

• And, likely to be of more practical value to me in days to come: I improved my HTML coding, writing, and photography skills.

2. Updated other tech skills by becoming familiar with current tools.

• Now comfortable working with Adobe Creative Cloud and the latest versions of design apps, both at the job and at home for side projects.

• Have gotten proficient at using project management tools such as Clarizen.

• Realized that I actually enjoy creating and editing Excel spreadsheets.

3. Got more involved in the Marketing side of the business at my day job.

• Did a lot of self-initiated reading and thinking about all aspects of Marketing.

• Took on additional responsibilities, such as planning media buys, without sacrificing time spent doing rewarding graphic design work.

4. Sorted through possessions and computer files, got rid of tons of clutter.

5. Started learning German.

• Duolingo is a decent free program. We also have Rosetta Stone software around somewhere but it’s not installed on the current home computer. Tenses and male/female/neuter variations are challenging: I enjoy knowing new words, but not the learning process so far.

6. Made visits to relatives that I’d been procrastinating about for years.

• My brother lives in Reno. We grew up in Nevada, but I escaped to the California Coast 20 years ago. I don’t look forward to going back there, even to visit, so I’ve usually convinced him to come see me instead. But this summer I had a good time meeting his cats, and checking out his favorite restaurants and fun places to shop. The mountains are still beautiful too.

• My father lives in California, and the drive isn’t difficult. However, attempting to have conversations when he has a vastly different approach to life, and we don’t share many interests, is quite difficult. I care about him, and want to stay in touch with more than written correspondence. So I’m proud of myself for managing a visit last year.

• • • •

My intentions for 2016 are not fully formed. Here’s a start, anyway:

1. Strengthen connections with people I value in the design/marketing world and my personal life.

2. Continue moving onward with my career, as stated in this blog so many times before, but still not sure about continuing at this day job, finding another, freelancing, etc.

3. Another persisting goal from years past: I want to not only start, but finish, art projects such as watercolor paintings.

4. I’ve started to break down my expanding gardening blog project into small tasks to complete each month. If this hobby turns into a true passion, I eventually want to find the best way to monetize it.

5. Become fluent in German. This may be more of a two or three-year project.

6. Improve my health and spend increased time away from the workplace and my home. The on-screen world is fascinating, but I need more exercise, and a variety of environments makes life more fulfilling. Looking forward to warmer days and the chance to sail, ride my bike or go hiking. Also hoping for at least one camping adventure or wine tasting trip.

So here’s to maintaining enthusiasm and forward motion, on these and other ventures.

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