Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

Top Three Lessons Learned in 2017:

  1. You get what you put into it. I cannot expect things to simply fall in place because I’m willing it with my mind. Just like in data management, garbage in equals garbage out. If I don’t put in the effort required to achieve my goals, then I will not be successful. This means consistently pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and challenging myself to do the things that frighten me the most.
  2. Know thyself and stay in thy wheelhouse. At the intersection of “what I’m good at” and “what I enjoy doing” is where I need to be. Writing, editing, and making it all look pretty is my sweet spot.
  3. Fake it til you make it… within reason. Goes along well with point #2. Fake it til you make it is great, unless you know that you will never make it (whatever it may be). As much as I enjoy graphic design and art in general, I’m not a good graphic designer in a broader sense. Yes, I have some technical knowledge and enough background to be able to do graphic design, but it’s not within my wheelhouse. I defer most graphic design requests to my wickedly talented colleagues because it is within their wheelhouse, which frees up my time to do what I do best. There is nothing wrong in admitting that you’re not good at something; it does not mean you’re not good at anything, just that particular thing.

Top Three Goals for 2018:

  1. Publish at least one blog post per month. Developing content for my blog has consistently been a weak point and a missed opportunity to generate a stronger online presence. I lack the discipline to follow through on personal projects, simply because it’s time spent away from paid work.  However, I understand the importance of “behind the scenes” activities that help to position me for bigger and better projects down the road, and all freelancers need to carve out some non-billable hours to work on the things that will eventually generate the billable ones.
  2. Attend at least one networking event per month. Setting the expectation for one consistent networking event per month is an achievable goal. Calgary is full of networking events for freelancers. Although I find it terrifying in the hours leading up to an event, 99.9% of the time it’s been a great experience (it’s never 100% perfect, but such is life). Whether it’s practicing my elevator pitch, connecting with new people, or feeling pepped up from an inspiring talk, it’s never a bad thing to leave the comfort of my home office and breathe some fresh air once in a while.
  3. Make better use of co-working spaces for enhanced productivity. Don’t get me wrong, working from home is fantastic. But for all the comfort and the ability to work in my pajamas, my productivity level often crumbles. The dark side of working from home is that it can become too comfortable, and the line between home and office often gets so blurred that it’s difficult to distinguish the two. For better accountability and productivity, my goal is to find a suitable co-working space that I can use at least two times per week.

About the Author Cindy Cheung

Freelance technical writer, copyeditor & proofreader, and designer based in Calgary, Alberta.

5 comments

  1. When my friend started working in co-working spaces, she seemed a LOT more happier. She met available men (hahaha) and I think it was a nice breath of fresh air from the serious work she does. I like that all of your goals for 2018 are about putting yourself O U T T H E R E.

    Happy New Year Cindy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love reading people’s New Year’s posts; I love the hope and invigoration that come with them. Even now it’s almost the end of February, I still feel like 2018 is up for the taking, whether for good or ill. I especially liked your life lesson learned 3; Fake it till you make it….within reason. There’s a lot of things I enjoy, and a lot of things I’m passably good at. I used to want to pursue them all (I’m a multipotentialite – help!), but I’ve realized that putting more energy into what I am skilled at and also interested in has way better long term benefits, and it’s just as much fun.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Audra! On one hand, I’m feeling the rush of the year going by (already March next week, omg), but I like the way you think. I’m going to approach 2018 in less of a structured manner and just let things flow. I have to thank you for writing about being a multipotentialite because I am one, too! I spent hours at Puttytribe after listening to Emilie’s TEDtalk and then felt the emotions well up because I’m not broken after all, lol. I always thought I lacked ambition or commitment (I have five unfinished degrees… FIVE), but I just enjoy too many things. Multipods unite *fist bump*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *massive multipod fist bump* Yes!! Oh man, I felt the exact same way; just huge relief. Relief that I wasn’t broken or wrong, relief that I wasn’t a flake or just plain lazy….so much relief. I felt like I’d been given permission to live. It’s a great feeling!

        Liked by 1 person

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