I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. They don’t work for most people and are long forgotten even by the end of January. Over the past few years, I’ve seen people choose themes or words that will exemplify their year. I like this trend and am hopping on the bandwagon. Hat tip to Melanie Spring at Sisarina and to Chris Brogan. Thank you for consistently inspiring me to be and to do better.
So, up there are my three words for 2014. Foundation, discipline and expertise. I’m going to do something rather unconventional and start by giving you some background and by saying something that no one ever wants to hear and no one EVER wants to admit. So brace yourselves… I’ve had an interesting (read challenging) past few years. There. I’ve said it. But the public never wants to know that you are suffering or in need, not really. Ok well, maybe in order to gawk at you like a train wreck. So I will spare you most of the gory details. But suffice it to say that things like divorce and trying to open and operate your own business will bring significant challenges to anyone’s life.
As many of you know, I spent 2010 and 2011 having an amazing time and building Raelinn.com and began offering freelance work and culinary/wine tourism consulting. This ultimately had mixed results so I took a job out in San Francisco. What a wonderful opportunity to meet fantastic folks whom I knew only online and to explore a new region of the US, not to mention to continue to grow my expertise in the wine trade! That ended in spring of 2013 and I moved back to the east coast taking a position I thought would be an investment in my future but turned into… well… a disaster, both physically and mentally. I don’ t know what else to call it. I quit the job mid-August to recover. By Thanksgiving I was finally physically able to work again. I occupied myself for the holidays and had a complete blast in New York helping out the dear, dear, knowledgeable and talented folks at Chambers Street Wines. (You want to buy your wine there and they ship everywhere it is permitted!)
Now those challenges and the holidays are behind me, 2014 is in full swing and I am now rebuilding and in full-scale, long-term, job-hunting mode. This brings me at last to the words I’ve chosen for 2014. If someone is building anything at all, the first thing that comes to mind (or should at least) is building it on a firm foundation. And I am tending to mine. Everything I have done and everything that I have worked for up until this moment are supporting me. That is huge. And it is quite solid already. So I’m now going to focus on finding and filling in any cracks or gaps.
This is where discipline comes into play. I will always have fun wherever I go and whatever I do because that is my nature. Happiness and contentment are internal. I have that. But I intend to really get down to business this year and continue to up my game. That means cultivating disciplined habits that will take me to the next level. Keeping up on trends daily, reading articles that put me a step ahead of those trends, as well as simpler things like eating healthier foods and keeping up my exercise program on a daily basis are the kinds of disciplined habits that over time reap great rewards.
Another facet to this discipline is further developing my level of expertise in something that I’m already well on my way to achieving. So this year I’ve chosen the Spanish language and along with that, the wines of Spain (to add to the French and Italian language and wine studies that I have done and continue to do.) I imagine this will segue very nicely into the wines of South America as well, especially given my bucket list item of learning to tango in Argentina! I can see it now, tango, wine tasting, meat! Who’s coming with me!? Oh wait… discipline! DISCIPLINE! I never said it would be easy. In fact, I think it will be quite challenging. But that will make it all the more worthwhile. I’m looking very much forward to what 2014 has in store and to what working towards these goals will produce.
Do you make resolutions? I hope you might share them with me below. Do you choose words like this to shape your year? What are they? I’d love to hear how YOU are growing and moving forward this year!