colored pencils in a circle

Photo by Shwetangi Gupta via Unsplash.

Earlier this year, I talked about some of my reflections and goals for the new year. My friend Rene Siegel, CEO of Connext, had asked for a one-word goal for 2018, and I adopted “explore” as my word of the year. For me, explore is simple: it means that I should try something new.

I’m already making progress. I’ve implemented a development day — one day each week where I explore something relating to personal or professional development. Professionally, this frees some time to write blog posts, or read work-related books. But it also opens up some time to let my mind wander; I find that I come up with great ideas and solutions when I come at a problem obliquely. And with any luck, it will get me away from the computer.

As you can see “try something new” is a broad goal. So how am I implementing it?

Last week, I registered for a class at the local cultural arts center: drawing with colored pencils. Art isn’t a strength for me, even back in elementary school. By the time this class is over, I’d like to be able to create something more interesting than stick figures. I’m channeling my inner Bob Ross, who I loved watching on TV as a kid: “The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it.”

I’ve also registered for a pottery class that will begin in April. I’ve never worked with clay before, but I’m excited to try it. Friends and family: I’ll be adding misshapen vases to my crocheted gifts at Christmas. Consider yourself warned.

I’m also exploring movies this year. When I first started on my own 11-ish years ago, I planned to take one day a month for movie-watching. In all of that time I saw one movie, on a business trip, after a client canceled a meeting. But this year, I’ve already done it once! Let’s see how long I can keep this momentum going.

What are you doing to step away from the computer?

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