Friday, June 3, 2016

What I'm Focusing On in the Second Half of 2016


Yo, it's June. June. I'm rarely one of those people to be like, "Can you believe how quickly time passes?" but this is one of those times when I do feel like, "No, really, can you believe how quickly time passes?" Life is good, & all is well - 2016 has been good to me - but there is, of course, always room for improvement. Inspired by Amber's recent post "3 Areas of Intention I'm Focusing On," I put together a little list of my own to drive my efforts for the second half of the year.

1. Being a better friend.

I suck at keeping in touch. One of the blessings & curses of being active on social media & this blog is that people feel like they're up to date on my life, & usually they're right; I'm an open book. The problem? I have no idea what they're up to! I'm terrified of talking on the phone, & I usually choose books over Skype dates, but I miss my damn friends, & I want to keep in touch with them much, much better.

Maybe this means writing more emails or snail mail letters, just to check in. Maybe it means sending birthday gifts or "thinking of you" texts. Maybe it's calls & Skype dates. Maybe it's a happy hour with in-town friends or a weekend visit to see out-of-town friends. Whatever it is, I'm going to try to do it better.

2. Making an effort to network.

I've been in Cleveland for nearly a year now (!), & I've made approximately three professional contacts. It's way too easy to say, "Well, I like my job & am not looking for anything new, so why network?" but even if that's true, networking can only bring positives into my life - & you don't have to be down & out in the middle of a job hunt to benefit from it. Networking connects you to a larger, well, network of people - people with ideas & connections & resources.

My anxiety is so bad that I'd much rather opt out of talking to people I don't know in any sort of "official" capacity, meaning I'll chat up a storm with the barista but clam up at a networking event. As a bona fide adult, though it's high time that I work on conquering this fear. In the next six months, I want to send a few emails, make a few connections, & expand my Cleveland horizons. Who knows what it'll bring my way!

3. Writing more.

Don't get me wrong, I've been writing a lot. This year, more than any year before, I'm killing it in the writing department, by my personal standards. I've  been published in Seventeen, Cosmpolitan, Redbook, Women's Day, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, Elle... & yet, it doesn't feel like enough. I want to do more writing. I want to do better writing. I want to write until there is nothing else left to say (which will never, ever happen). I want to be able to call myself a writer & not feel like a fraud when I say it.

This year, very quietly & with my boyfriend's encouragement, I started writing a book. I don't know if it will go anywhere or be anything, but I want to finish it. Maybe that's too much to ask of myself in the next six months, but it's certainly not too much to ask that I try.

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So there you have it. I can think of half a dozen other areas I'd like to improve upon (um, financial literacy, anyone?), but for now, these three top the list. Tell me: What are your goals for the rest of this year? Got any tips for working on mine?

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