|Image found here, and it reminds me a lot of my favorite fellow Sjoggie blogger and her motley muttly crew...;)|
This worked out quite well last year (which was the first time I ever seriously contemplated resolutions) so I'll give it another go. My resolutions - personal, professional, and otherwise - are rooted in things that have challenged me in the past year. This way, my focus is really on overcoming challenges, and that's what it should be about! And so, I humbly present...
Jenny's 2012 UII & Me Resolutions
1. Maintain blogging frequency.
Last year, I resolved to post more, at least 2-3 times per month. In the end, I had exceeded my goal, posting over 50 posts for an average rate of nearly 5 posts per month! For me, this is a big accomplishment because of other constraints on my time. For as much of a talker as I am, I don't take posting lightly and want each one to be a quality message with usable or at least interesting information which takes me some time to put together. I was very proud of my rate last year but that's not to say it wasn't challenging, so I believe it belongs on my list again. So, for 2012 I resolve to post 4-5 times per month on average, but not less than 3 times in any given month (such as especially busy months).
2. See certain projects through with AIM.
KPMG's AIM - Abilities in Motion network (formerly the Disability Network) has grown nationally and locally in Philadelphia in 2011. I have been both proud and honored to have a front row seat. But now we start transitioning into the next critical stage of maintaining momentum and continuing growth. To this end, I have some specific goals for our local chapter. The first will be the fruition of a new network idea for a caregiver's night out (most likely a bowling event) to get everyone out, networking, and relaxed without self-identifying. Second will be making sure solid gains to date (i.e., the Disability Mentoring Day) aren't blips on the radar. We received both immense praise and realistic suggestions for improving the first DMD, and we MUST follow through in making this a tradition. Third, I would like to see a measurable increase in participation - my target will be to double present numbers. Now, to be clear (because it can be very hard to measure this), I will count "participants" as people who participate in a special office event (such as the mentoring day, a learning project, etc) and/or who actively communicate with us throughout the year (such as replying to emails, giving ideas, etc even if they can't participate).
3. Grow UII's forces.
Over the past year, we had two or three people become more heavily involved with UII...not just turning to us, but working with us (such as presenting). Through this growth, as well as our expanding foray into IRL events and programs, it is obvious to me UII are ready for more people to use their voices. I hope to welcome a few more people into the UII family of representatives as speakers, maybe writers to help drum up publicity/media interest, etc. I know deep in my gut that this will be the key to making alliances with people and organizations who will help UII rise to the next level of creating awareness & providing support.
4. Take UII where it belongs.
UII is ready to be a 501(c)(3) organization (the IRS tax code regulation for a non-profit able to collect tax-deductible donations). I figured this out last year, and had a secret personal goal to make it happen but wasn't able to pull it together. Perhaps that's because I kept the goal secret. I was afraid if I announced it and didn't make it work, I'd be embarrassed and possibly lose support. However that probably backfired, so this time I'm saying it loud and proud: in 2012 I will try to get UII registered as a 501(c)(3) organization. I pray I don't embarrass myself.
5. Knock out the CPA exam.
I've passed one of the four parts of the CPA exam. Now, I'm in an 18 month window to complete the rest before losing & having to retake the first part. It's ambitious, especially since I'm not in a position to take a sabbatical or other extended absence to focus on studying - but that's not likely to work for me anyway. My preference will be to pass the other three parts this summer (according to a schedule to be finalized with some advice from my mentors), but in the interest of being realistic if I pass two more I'd have to say I wasn't a failure. If I don't get it done this year, I have only a few months early in 2013 to finish it within that window, and that'll be hell so let's pull for this summer. Prayers requested, appreciated, and very much needed, both for me to pass and my husband to survive me studying!
6. Reassert my control of my health.
I didn't do the best job last year on my health-related resolution "not to lose my health in my activism". As I discussed in my last post, I didn't fail really because I didn't have some dramatic relapse, but I certainly didn't make headway. So, this year I'll try the approach I used above again and get more specific. In 2012, I will work toward some specific health goals including: losing some - any - weight (I won't define a number, that will only set me up for failure) and keep it off. This is obviously something I would love for body image purposes, but has a serious health implication that is a more powerful driver anyway. My joints & tendons would do much better with less weight, and tendinitis has been a big problem for me this year. Also, I'm inching ever closer to starting a family (not too close, but it's going to take a long time to get my body set) and I want to be in the best shape I can to give us the best prospects! Besides weight, I want to find out what's causing my latest hair loss problems (an issue that has come and gone over the years for several reasons, but this latest bout has been on the worse side again) and tackle it. Lastly, I want to improve my stamina. I'm not so much talking about for exercise specifically, but for getting through the day. I feel fatigued after cooking, after sorting, heck even after planning these days. It may be a rough patch I'm going through at the moment, but I want to nip this bud before it takes root, and try to make my body more resistant to it.
7. Go on vacation and feel good at the end.
Shawn and I got an awesome deal for this really cool destination I've wanted to go to for a few years - the Southern Cross Ranch in Georgia. We were able to purchase a voucher at a discount, which we can use throughout 2012. Obviously there are several factors that will affect when exactly we go, but I want to plan & execute it in a way that leaves me feeling invigorated and satisfied at the end, not rushed, let down, or short changed. This means everything from allowing enough time at the front and back ends of the trip (for packing, unpacking, recovering, etc) to making use of the things that come with our package (all inclusive meals and horseback riding time). Silly as this sounds, to make this goal a reality will require me to make a plan and feel good when I stick to it. I'm a planner, but then often either stray from my plan or wish I had. It's hard for me to say "I did what I set out to do and it was great", but I'll do it this time!
8. Fix my relationship with my church.
We've had a little rough patch, my church & me. I had to terminate the youth ministry program I ran; due to shortages in certain roles I haven't gotten to lector in a while as I've needed to fill in more often to do Holy Communion (I love lectoring); and on the whole I've lost a lot of specific connections to the real life of the parish. It's the sort of thing that happens as we go through phases in our lives - I've needed to dedicate extra time to some things at KPMG and with UII and those are good reasons for re-prioritizing. But I love my parish, and value being a real member participating in life there. In 2012, I will somehow find a way to re-anchor myself a little more into this community, and also work on rediscovering some spiritual aspects that have slipped as well.
So, ladies and gents, I have again committed my goals to writing. Goals based on struggles I've had in the past year, with specific parameters when possible and generally measurable goals. Once again, I'm a little scared I'll fall dramatically short when we look back after a trip around the sun. But I'll be brave if you are!
Are you the goal-setting type? Do you find it helpful to make stated resolutions/goals, or do you do better with general concepts? Is there something you've tried that just does not work? Did you write up a post on this topic yourself? Share with me & UII! Bonne annee et bon sante, mes amis!