Whaaaattup 2018. New year, mostly same me, but a few new plans. I’ve never been big into resolutions (you either love them or hate them, right?), but I’d like to be more on top of having goals. Besides, writing them down means I’ll feel at least a little bad if I don’t even attempt them. Nothing like public accountability, right?
Hopefully I’ll check off a few more things from my 101 in 1001 list (pretttty sure I’m going to finish “Go to 50 new Chicago restaurants” with few issues 😂 ), but I’ve also thought about other ways I want to develop myself personally & professionally in the next 365 days. Here are my 2018 goals:
- Master my inbox. I’ve been pretty good about my email inbox at work, but my personal account REGULARLY spirals out of control. I think I’ve got, oh, 400 unread emails from J.Crew at this moment? 2018 is the year of unsubscribing, replying within a day, and color-coded Gmail folders.
- Read at least six books focused around professional development. First up, Extreme You.
- Wake up (and get out of bed!) at a realistic time, every day. I’m KA-WEEN of the snooze button. I set myself a ridiculously early alarm because “what if I wake up really early tomorrow and get a bunch of stuff done?” Ummm, like what, Emily? That early alarm leads to a big NOPE from me 19.5 times out of 20 and I end up in & out of sleep hitting snooze for at least an hour. It will be much better for my life if I just accept that I’ll probably never be a true early bird and pick a reasonable wake up call that I can stick to.
- Go to at least one industry or networking event every month. Look, I know I’m guilty of being the girl who shows up to stuff once every two years when she needs at job. In 2018, I’m going to try really hard to not be that girl. Chicago is where I see myself being in the longterm, and this year I’m going to make an effort to be part of the larger tech & marketing community.
- Spend less time on screens. As someone who works in social media and is also trying to make this *gestures broadly* happen, I spend a lot of time looking at a screen. It’s totally become my default. Wake up: scroll through Instagram & Facebook. Come home: find something to watch on Netflix or Hulu while simultaneously scrolling mindlessly through the Internet. I’ve always loved TV and I won’t stop watching all my favorite shows, but I don’t want to scroll through an endless queue for the sake of finding something, anything, to watch. This year I hope I can focus my energy on more reading, making, and doing.
- Go to a new country. I traveled a decent amount last year, but it was mostly visiting friends and couch surfing to some degree. I’m SO glad I was able to do that, but this year I’d like to branch out a little more. My passport expires next year — I’ve only used it once! — and I feel like it deserves a little more fun before I need a new one. I’m thinking maybe Reykjavik or Ireland — the flights are around 6-7 hours from Chicago, so that seems doable as a longer-ish weekend rather than a major trek through Europe. Any recs?
- Do what I want? Enjoy the ride? Don’t stress? Pivot? This isn’t exactly a hard “goal” as much as a reminder to not have any regrets, wish I would have done things differently, or ignore what the universe may be telling me.
I spent basically a year looking for a new job. Once I lost mine at the beginning of 2017 I figured I would just keep looking and find something fairly quickly. Things didn’t go as planned and weeks turned into months, but I just tried to focus on what I thought I was supposed to be doing — finding a new job in Chicago. You probably won’t be outrageously surprised that that plan just led to a lot of discouragement and frustration on my part.
Maybe — ok, definitely — because of the show Bug Juice (anyone else remember that one?) I always wanted to go to a long-term summer camp. When that never happened, I thought about being a camp counselor in college — but I never did it because I wanted to have internships on my resume. About halfway through last summer I realized, “Oh. I should have done that this year.”
That seems kind of a silly example, but I guess I just don’t want to ever be so focused on what I think I should be doing that I don’t realize what I could be doing until it’s too late. Nobody can see into the future, but if I could have maybe I would have gone to camp or gotten lost in Europe (not for real, calm down mom) or volunteered or written down the sitcom that’s in my head or all of the above at some point during 2017. I have a new job now; I got where I was going. I just wish I knew what else could have happened on the way there.
Photo: Alexandra Lee Photography