#Reverb10 Day 13: Action.

Note: This is the thirteenth in a month-long exercise called Reverb10, where bloggers reflect on the year before and think towards the year ahead. The idea is to post daily, based on the day’s prompts; let’s see how well I do.

Prompt: Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

Some days, I feel my life is all about action. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a doer – especially when someone dares to tell me I can’t do something, for whatever reason.

That said, I’ve also found that, like many creatives, I have more ideas than I have time to take action on them. So my challenge the last few years has been prioritizing, and in finding the ideas that have solid potential and fleshing them out.

Currently, my priorities are:

  • A new business venture I’m launching (which will be launched officially after the new year);
  • Getting ready to go back to school in January;
  • Finding a full time (or freelance) job that will give me the balance, creative freedom and intellectual challenge I need to not go crazy;
  • Taking care of my current clients (and possibly, going after new clients, depending on how long this job search takes).

It’s all a lot to balance, but I have Action Steps plotted out, my calendar marked up so I can fit everything in, and there’s two weeks left to the year. I call that a victory.

Next step: launching the new business venture, and getting my books for school. Then, following up with job leads, and switching a client’s Drupal site to a new hosting company. Fun times.

#Reverb10 Day 10: Wisdom

Note: This is the tenth in a month-long exercise called Reverb10, where bloggers reflect on the year before and think towards the year ahead. The idea is to post daily, based on the day’s prompts; let’s see how well I do.

Prompt: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Part of me wants to say that getting married was the best decision I made this year, but technically, I made that decision in 2009. I will say, though, that it was a profoundly good decision.

That said, if I had to pick one wisest decision this year, it was the steps I started taking this year around my career. Part of it was deciding that it was time to shift into different areas of design; although I love print and web (and do both well!), lately I’ve been more interested in the possibilities that design has to solve business and social problems beyond stakeholder communication. In particular, I’ve been interested in using design thinking to create social innovation – which blends two long-standing passions of mine.

The second part of this shift, and probably the most important, was the decision to return to school. While I’ve thought quite a bit about returning over the last several years, running a business made it hard to find the time to go back, and it was hard for me to find a program that actually matched what I wanted to learn. That’s one of the main reasons I was so excited when I discovered Lesley’s adult learning programs. Not only do they have classes really close to my home, but they offer the flexibility to design my own degree, and take classes both at Lesley and at Art Institute of Boston.

While making the shift has been challenging, I’m feeling more confident and clear on the direction my life is headed every single day, and I’m grateful for that.

Reverb10 Day 1: One Word

Note: This is the first in a month-long exercise called Reverb10, where bloggers reflect on the year before and think towards the year ahead. The idea is to post daily, based on the day’s prompts; let’s see how well I do.

Prompt: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

If I had to choose one word to encapsulate 2010, it would be change. I got married this year, to the man I’ve loved for over 5 years. I also came to the incredibly difficult realization that the business I’ve had for over 5 years no longer reflects the work I really want to be doing, and I’ve spent the last half of this year figuring out what that means, and making steps towards finding the work I *do* want.

All of this has felt, to be honest, a bit insane. What started as a desire to find a business partner to allow me to take a more strategic role has turned into a complete change of direction in my career. I’m moving more towards design strategy and user experience, and further away from branding and design implementation – which has been scary, but great in its own way.

Given all of this, the word for 2011 will be: landing. All of this change has left me feeling ungrounded, moving quickly towards the next thing. I’m ready to land, and to adjust into whatever the next step is. The first step is done; I was accepted into the program I wanted at Lesley University, and I’ll be working on a degree in Design and Business. The next step is finding a position that lets me take the knowledge I learn in class and apply it to real-world client situations. Keep an eye out for me, won’t you?