I have a great appreciation for traditions and an insatiable curiosity that too often has my brain chasing off after the latest, shiny idea that has captured its attention. These two concepts might seem to be at odds, but increasingly I see how they play nicely together. There is certainly great value to looking back and learning from experiences and repeating things that have meaning and value to us like my annual tradition of making black-eyed peas each January 1st.
I wrote about this last year and you can see how awesome they came out. But celebrating traditions doesn't mean that we can't update them (by adding a little this or that to the pot) or mix things in new ways. Today, for instance, the black-eyed peas are completely vegetarian whereas last year they had turkey sausage in them. Yesterday I tried out my new slow cooker by making bbq pulled pork so today I cooked sans meat. The core of the tradition is the same, but the execution is slightly different. I also made cornbread using a new silicone muffin pan that Santa brought me like this one.
Another, newer tradition for me, that I have adopted from Chris Brogan, is the selection of three words for this new year. He has been doing this a lot longer than I have and I encourage you to go check out how he explains the concept and also what he's up to throughout the year. I did pretty well with the words I selected last year, but I'm hoping to kick it up a notch this year. So here goes, my three words for 2017 are Gamify, Simplify, and Monetify. Yeah, that last one is a word, trust me. It only has to make sense to me anyway, and I liked the consistency of verbification. Yep, that's a word too.
I've had a number of projects that have gone through various levels of completion and follow-up and such over the past couple of years. But as the old adage goes: "Fish where the fish are." I have tried to serve too many masters and chase after to many ideas (all of which were interesting and wonderful) rather than focus on the fish. Well the people I am trying to help. While some have been interested in my various projects, time and time again, the conversation keeps coming back to gamification.
It may seem like it is everywhere these days, but in reality, there are many sectors and niches where it is still just peeking its head out. There is great interest in aspects of it in the adult educational space where I spend most of my time. I take a different approach than many of the others who are similarly working with gamifying learning so I think with the proper focus this year, I can really help a lot of people making their learning better for their learners.
Sadly, after attempting to clear out space physically and mentally and time-wise last year, this is an area that I still struggle with. I still have unpacked boxes from my move into my husband's house. I still find it hard to carve out the time to focus on my passion projects after a full day of office work and commuting. But I'm getting there. Partially because I am taking a more systematic approach to as many things as possible. Just as I help people get the technology out of the way for learners in courses so they can focus on learning the content and skills, I am finding ways to simplify and streamline my routines. I'm scheduling time for mundane things but then they get done and get out of my way. It's a work in progress, but I already see results.
Ultimately my passion work will remain closer to a hobby as long as it isn't generating enough income to allow me to treat it as my number one job and not just something I'm trying to get started so I can leave my office cube and have more flexibility to care for my family and explore more meaningful challenges and opportunities. I have been guilty in the past of letting people pick my brain, or doing favors that others would have charged for and such. This year I need to treat my business interests as well as I treat others'.
Well, that's my starting point. I have a direction and a map and now it's time to shift things into high gear. What are your driving ideas, goals, challenges for this new year? How can we work together to achieve all of our goals?
(Banner image based on image by Brigtte Tohm)