12 Days of Christmas – Past, Present and Future

toffeeAt this time of year it is natural to look back, enjoy the present run up to Christmas and start thinking about what lies ahead in the new year. When I started blogging in September 2006, I wrote more frequently with posts several times a month, often a few times a week, or sometimes even daily. As social media has changed over the past seven years, I have stuck with blogging as my preferred means of online communications, but less frequently. I feel this means I am missing some of the benefits of more frequent posting and so as an experiment, I’m going to write a dozen short pieces in the run up to Christmas.

The theme of 12 December is past, present and future. My inspiration is that today is an estimated first birthday for my puppy, Toffee. As a rescue, this is a guess but I like the idea of him entering the world on 12.12.12. Looking back over 2013, he is a highlight and an incentive to enjoy the present and look forward (to when he won’t be quite such a maniac). But also I know that for him to be with us meant that I lost my lovely Barley dog. I also have an 18 year old dog – who for each of the last five or so years, we have thought wouldn’t make it to the next Christmas. And he’s still here.

Applying this to PR, there are people who likewise are no longer in our lives. Like my friend and mentor, Gethin Bradley, or perhaps ex-colleagues and others we have lost touch with. But at the same time, we will all have added to our contact books this year. I have welcomed some great new talented people into motor industry PR through MIPAA, and I’ve met well over 100 new students this year – and shared their struggles and successes. I’ve had new work opportunities as well as other things that I’ve given up doing for various reasons.

It is useful to take stock of where you are, where you’ve come from, what you’ve achieved and what lies ahead. We should celebrate our achievements and be grateful for what is new and positive in our lives. We should also consider what holds us back, what hasn’t worked out so well, and take time to remember what we may have lost. Then, look ahead, set some new big hairy audacious goals, alongside some small steps we can take that reflect the continuous improvement spirit of kaizen. Think about what you want to change, where you can help others and be kinder to yourself. What barriers you can overcome and where you’d like to reach to look back from next year.

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

2 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas – Past, Present and Future”

  1. Heather a great post you have inspired for me to do one on my own personal blog. I too have been blogging since when the not so cool kids were doing it in PR. Its now seen as a way to secure SEO rankings but I never did it for that. I did it because I liked it and although its changed names over the years from Dead Dinosaur back to my original name http://chrisnorton.biz/ I still blog about the same kinds of things.

    I know what you mean about years ago though, we seemed to have more to write about as our world of comms was changing so fast. These days it tends to be once a week or twice if the mood catches me. I have added you to my feedly so I will be popping up on here more often as I get back into the swing of things. I am going to do an end of year post next week now thanks for the inspiration.

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