Breathing into the New Year

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Ring in the New Year! Did you make any resolutions — personal, professional, or organizational? I did.

I know some people think resolutions are silly, but I believe in going public with goals I want to be accountable for. My strategy is to set ambitious yet reachable goals to focus my energies on making 2019 a terrific year, while accepting that so much in life and in the world is completely out of my control.

Mindfulness is my mantra for 2019. Mindfulness is a challenging practice, especially for overachievers, like many of us in public media. But mindfulness is certainly a better modus operandi than the alternatives — mindlessness, reactivity or denial.

Besides the predictable pledge to be mindful of my health, I aim to be mindful of my time — at work, on social media, with loved ones and in my community. Time is limited and you can’t just buy more of it on Amazon. The present is all we have.

At the office, I intend to spend more time prioritizing people and planning. What can I do this year to elicit the best from everyone, to recognize their accomplishments in ways that boost morale and risk-taking, to encourage them to stretch and grow individually and as a team? How can I improve our planning and project management so that we work smarter instead of harder? How might Current apply mindfulness — a mix of knowledge, awareness, intentionality and peace to our work?

Work-life balance has also been a struggle. I haven’t smoked in 24 years, but when I was a nicotine addict, every day began and ended with a cigarette with about 10 more in between. Digital connections are my new jones. I check Slack, Facebook and email obsessively throughout my waking hours. I definitely need to use social media at work — although I’m sure some of you might want me to curb my persistent postings promoting Current’s Public Media Virtual Career Fairs, Local that Works project and Public Media Honor Roll.

But in truth, social media is a time-suck that can perpetuate the illusion (or self-delusion) of work ­— unless your job is to be a social media manager, of course.  In 2019, I aim to be more mindful about my engagement with social media. I don’t need to devote 24-7 to keeping my finger on the digital pulse of public media.

So, maybe you’ll see a little bit less of me online in 2019. Or maybe what you do see will be more mindfully written and shared. And, while I’m at it, I’ll try to remember to breathe now and then.

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