What intentions are you setting for 2017?

Have you ever heard or read any of Jack Handey’s “Deep Thoughts”?

If not, you’re missing out on some of the funniest one-liners. And even if you’ve enjoyed some of them in the past, it’s always nice to catch up on a few:

“Children need encouragement. If a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way, he develops a good, lucky feeling.” — Jack Handey

Or how about this one …

“It’s funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating.” — Jack Handey

Last one — I promise …

“I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they chose a king, they don’t just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas.” — Jack Handey

See what I mean? They always make me chuckle when I try to take myself too seriously.

No, I don’t plan to kick Avenue Talent Partners to the curb in 2017 for a career as a professional humorist. That said, similar to Mr. Handey, I’ve been doing some deepthinking, too…

Because of this, I’ve taken a good hard look at what I did during 2016, what I’m currently doing and what I can do in the future — the result?

A few “Deep Thoughts” of my own.

I hate to break it to you — if you’re looking for more humor, you’re not going to get it with this post. That said, while reading, I invite you to think critically about how you plan to improve as a professional come January, as well.

Enough with the chit-chat, though — let’s dig in:

1) ‘I’m going to keep expectations in check.’

You’ve heard of setting “SMART” goals, haven’t you?

S — Specific

M — Measurable

A — Achievable

R — Realistic

T — Timely

I’m not a perfect goal-setter or anything, but it’s setting “realistic” goals for myself and those around me coupled with wanting to “do it all yesterday” that usually does me in. This upcoming year, I’m going to set goals that push ATP, but are also reasonablyresults-oriented.

Asking for help, delegating and embracing technology (hello Zapier) are at the top of my list when it comes to maximizing the hours in the work day.

I am the quintessential “Type-A” personality that suffers from wanting to be perfect 100% of the time. While there are good things that come from this, it can also work against said goals. There’s only one of me and a laundry list of things to do that could take me all of 2017 to complete. It’s okay if it’s not all done on 1/1/17 and the world won’t end — burning myself and the rest of team ATP out in the process won’t do anybody any good.

2) ‘I’m going to savor the wins.’

It doesn’t matter if it’s a victory for Avenue-TP, Debbie Showalter or myself — a win is a win. Though I saw my fair share of success in 2016, I often felt like I didn’t enjoy it enough and was quick to focus on the next milestone or goal…

Needless to say, in 2017, when our hard work pays off, I certainly won’t sit back and relax, but will take time to enjoy the fruits of our labors a bit more to celebrate in the moment and reflect to appreciate the win while using it as an opportunity to continue to learn and grow.

Besides, the next one may not be right around the corner — you never know…

3) ‘Time to take better care of moi.’

The proverbial candle of which all entrepreneurs speak so frequently? Yeah, you better believe that I spent the better part of 2016 burning it at both ends — not cool.

I became an entrepreneur because I love connecting startups with incredible sales talent. That said, there was a second reason, too — to enjoy life more fully…

On the first front, I’m killing it and working 16+ hour days most weeks. The second one, though? Eh, not so much — just ask my husband.

While I don’t plan on slowing down, one of my goals for 2017 is to give more time and attention to myself without guilt. I want to learn the art of stepping away from my phone, meditate, be in nature, travel, eat healthier, exercise regularly and see more of the family and friends that hold a special place in my heart who have been so unbelievably supportive as I’ve built this business.

This business might be my passion and is certainly one of the things that gets me up in the morning, but it’s not my life — it’s time I let how I live reflect this fact.

4) ‘Paying it forward.’

Don’t get me wrong — I love making money just as much as the next guy or gal.

However, the older I become (don’t ask), the more I realize that my happiness is directly linked to the amount of time I’m able to look outward, as opposed to inward.

Simply put, helping others makes me happy.

In 2017, I’ll dedicate more of my time to doing just that. If there are any groups you’ve been involved in and are incredibly rewarded by it, I’d love your suggestion (especially when it comes to our planet, furry friends or the elderly).

5) ‘Patience, ‘nuff said.’

If you’ve spent any real time with me in a working environment, you know firsthand that patience is one of those virtues I stand to work on…

Admitting it is the first step, right?

Anyway, whether personal or professional, I plan to make hasty judgements and impulse decisions things of the past. Before taking any kind of action, I’ll first take the time to consider circumstances and gather details. The world isn’t going to end if I sleep on it…

Patience is a virtue as they say and I need to embrace more of it.

6) ‘I’m going to feed my curiosity in a more meaningful way.’

I’m a naturally curious person by nature. Reading up on “things” is a priority that I embrace daily, but there’s so much more I could be doing to feed my curiosity beast. The more I read up on the entrepreneurs I look up to, the more I realize they’ve made learning a lifelong pursuit. I have, as well, but there’s still so much more to be done…

Business books, podcasts, TED Talks, SaaStr, networking groups, Tony Robbins, classes that feed my personal interests — in 2017, I want to see more of each of them. That way, I’m able to grow in every aspect of life.

Knowledge is power — I wouldn’t have it any other way.

7) ‘Negativity is getting the door slammed on it.’

Forgive the idiom, but it’s true — when one door closes, another one opens.

I’ve heard this before, but up until recently, it was one of those things I’d never fully embraced.

Though I’ve already gotten a bit of a head start with this one, next year, I want to practice more optimism, seeing obstacles as opportunities to grow — not steps in the wrong direction.

Whether from myself or outside forces, I’m backing away from all forms of negativity.

8) ‘Sayonara haters.’

I’m hip enough to use the term “haters,” right?

Tuning out those that tear you down is another one of those things that’s easier said than done. In the past, I’ve given naysayers way too much of my time…

The good news? I’m proving them wrong.

The bad news? Until I’m completely willing to distance myself from them, my professional and personal growth will be hindered. Not everyone needs to be in my circle of trust — or needs to be, for that matter.

Conclusion

Jack’s done his deep thinking, and I’ve done mine, too — what about you?

In the comments section below, share a few of your professional (and personal) goals for 2017. That way, as a community of hard-working professionals, we’re able to more effectively keep each other accountable.

Or, if you’d simply rather toss in a Jack Handey quote, that will suffice, as well.

Until next year, wishing you and yours the very happiest of holidays!

Note: These words of wisdom were originally featured on Linkedin



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