At 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.