Blackbord with B-

2017 lessons learned

I was inspired to write this by Pat at Retirement Transition.  She so clearly articulates her 2017 accomplishments and I thought doing a year-end review would be useful to me as well.  Like me, she is a “corporate refugee” so what she says really resonates since I also suffer from some of the same issues.

I was (am) an enthusiastic early retiree.  But a very disorganized one who has been a bit helpless without the day-to-day bubble I used to live in.  At the beginning of last year, I finally figured out that I had to build some meaningful structure in my life to move forward.

What I said in early 2017

While 2017 wasn’t perfect, I still feel good about it overall.  I started out with these goals in mind.

  • Make decisions
  • Get organized
  • Limit screentime (i.e. stop wasting time)
  • Continue personal learning and development

My challenge words were “focus” and “just do it”.

How Did I Do?

I give myself a B-.  I did make progress and am on the right track but need stretch myself even further.

Did Well.   

  1. Making Decisions
    – I was stuck in no man’s land for a while, frozen by the amount of choice there was.  In 2017, I decided to just say “yes” to opportunities and put myself out there.  It was the right call.
  2. Structure and Income
    – Project Coordinator with Photographers Without Borders, a not-for-profit organization that finds small grassroots NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and matches them with professional photographers.  The resulting photography amplifies the story of the NGO.  I look for NGOs across the world and co-ordinate projects through to completion. This is a 12 month commitment which requires 10-20 hours per week.
    – Part time marketing and social media work for a local health clinic.
    – Online transcription normally M-F in the early evenings.
  3. Personal Learning and Development.
    – I completed my Social Media certificate.
    – I started to learn Spanish
    – Volunteered for a local marketing association and did their email blasts for 4 months.
    – Joined another Tai Chi club that teaches a more traditional and strenuous form than the one I was practicing before.
  4. Making Connections
    – At least one or two face-to-face social engagements per week.
    – Networked by joining several Meet-up groups and attending their events
    – Volunteered at cultural events including the Toronto Film Festival where I met a lot of fun people and honestly, had a great time.

do better

  1. Income. While I am officially retired, I feel a need to generate income (albeit on a part time basis).  I am well below the goal that I set for myself
  2. Blogging.  I gave up on it for 8 months.  But I came back.  I figure that I can still blog even while I figure out how to get where I want to go.
  3. Focus and organization.  Definitely a DO BETTER in 2018. These are not natural characteristics for me.
  4. Procrastination.  The flip side to procrastination is productivity.  I want (no, I need) to be more productive in 2018.
  5. Harness the negativity. I still feel guilty and compare myself to other people.

Organizing my thoughts for 2018 and building upon the progress that I made in 2017 are priorities. I’m not making any resolutions but I will define goals that are practical and achievable and laid out in a way that works for me.

I’m looking forward to it.

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10 thoughts on “2017 lessons learned

  1. Thank you Christine!! I really appreciate your comments. I often struggle with the subject matter of this blog thinking it’s just too personal and not important to anyone else but me. I am so happy I can help!

  2. Marian – OMG the ways in which I have a similar story to yours! I left my corporate job at the end of 2016, after taking 25 years to build that career, I walked away and called myself retired. Like you, I had a nice set of goals for 2017 and at the end of the year was not entirely satisfied with how the year went. Making money was an area I have fallen very short on, (non-existent, actually). But, I have a new plan for 2018, so we will see how it goes. I appreciate how vulnerable you were in writing this post and sharing specifics. It is such an encouragement!

  3. Thanks Deb! I used to dream about having free time. And I agree with you. There is no longer much sense of urgency and so procrastination can easily set in (for me). But you guys are helping keeping me on the straight and narrow. I’m going to participate in your Bloggers Pit Stop soon. Looks like fun!

  4. I’ll be watching for your next post Pat! I hope 2018 is a stellar year for you. Get healthy.

    You all have inspired me to think about my goals in 2018. I need to rework the format so that it works better for me but that is easy. I am thinking of word(s) of the year as well but am leaning toward Just Do It (thx Nike) same as 2017. Not sure if that’s against the rules 🙂

  5. Hi Cathy. Thanks for stopping by! I think it’s important to get out and just be with others whether it’s a tete-a-tete or in a larger setting. Makes you realize you are part of a real life community! I plan to do more this year as well.

  6. One of my areas of focus for 2018 is to get out from behind the computer and have more face to face interactions. After leaving my non-profit job, I was very content to stay home. I keep busy as a blogger, but notice my social/professional circle (in “real” life) is shrinking. So back out there putting myself out there again!

  7. Thanks so much for the shout out Marian! I’m glad I inspired you. And I can say, you’ve inspired me back. You’re doing a ton of really interesting things.

    I’m a huge victim of the Comparative Inferiority Complex myself. I had to not look at your amazing accomplishments and think – why am I not going X, Y, Z also?! Am I a slacker?

    Like Debbie, I’m doing a Word-of-the-Year for inspiration versus resolutions. I found it really helpful in 2016 where my word was JOY. Last year, not so much with LIVE. But I’m trying again in 2018 with SOAR. I’ve drafted a post (actually 2 with one on the process) on it so I won’t go too much into it here… but you might consider something like that as well as your clear goals and measures. I like your 2 face-to-face social engagements a week…. might have to steal and reapply!

    Happy New Year!

  8. Hi Marian, I enjoyed reading about your year and feel, as Donna said before, that you have achieved a lot! It’s funny that my word for this year is Focus, as I need to settle down to things without flipping every which way. It seems to be that since I retired I think I can swan around without really having a focus on things. I need to limit screen time too and read things properly without just skimming. I enjoyed your take on the word. I’m glad you’ve returned to blogging too all the best in 2018.

  9. Thank you Donna. You are so supportive, I really appreciate it! Happy New Year to you and your family.

  10. Hi, Marian – I’m so glad that you returned to blogging. I love your posts and your reflective style. It looks to me like you accomplished many of your goals this past year. Congratulations! I look forward to following your posts in 2018.

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