It’s that time of year where New Year’s Resolution posts are popping up all over the internet, and within my own personal and professional circle is no exception. I am very proud of and inspired by all of the goals and aspirations I have read, and I wish all of you success in your endeavors.
My friend Chris Lema recently posted his own take on resolutions which struck a particular chord with me as I read through it. In it, he recommends using the Three Word Mantra to create more of a “life direction” that informs all of your decisions. A particular phrase came to mind immediately: Keep Moving Forward, which was most recently made famous by the movie Meet The Robinsons. In that movie, a young inventor learns that failure is ok and can in fact lead to future success, as long as you learn from it and Keep Moving Forward.
For me, 2013 was a year of exploration and finding my voice. It was the year I traveled around the country, giving and listening to tons of talks at WordCamps and other conferences, spoke at and organized meetups and events, and grew my business to the point where I was getting referrals from lots of different people (and could almost feel comfortable making a living). It was a year of growing and changing relationships, and a new personal and professional network of friends and colleagues who have been incredibly helpful and supportive. I wouldn’t change a single minute of it, but 2014 is going to be a little different.
In 2014, Keep Moving Forward means starting to define and solidify that voice. It’s deciding what my true priorities are in business, in friendships/relationships, and in life, and it’s starting to make the choices that align with those priorities. In some ways, that will be a continuation of 2013, and in others it will be a major change in my approach. For example, I plan to drastically reshape my client management and project workflow to better align with my busy travel schedule, enabling me to continue to provide top quality work in an appropriate quantity to maintain my lifestyle (This is actually my Designers Roundtable goal for January-June).
Keep Moving Forward means learning from the past while continuing to look towards the future. I’ve made my fair share of both great and terrible decisions, and 2013 was a year of tons of highs and lows, both on the professional as well as personal front. I am a firm believer that everything in life teaches you something, and it’s my intention to learn the lessons from both the good and the bad situations and apply them to the year ahead.
Keep Moving Forward means not being paralyzed by fear or guilt in uncertain situations, or when things go wrong. I am a worrier by nature, and while a bit of worry can be healthy by keeping you aware of the situation, too much worry can lead you to “should” all over yourself (I love that phrase) and get caught up in what might have been. I recently saw a quote which stated that there is really no such thing as “should,” but only what is and what you do about it. I hope to keep this in mind in the coming months as I face new challenges and have to make even bigger decisions.
But most importantly, Keep Moving Forward retains a sense of wonder, of optimism, of excitement about the future and what is to come. I feel like this is an incredibly exciting time to be a designer, to be involved in WordPress, to be a young adult, to work with technology and the internet, and just to be living life in general. Here’s to a future of stronger relationships, successful business endeavors, entertaining stories, and time spent making memories rather than regrets.