2011: Year in Review
**Warning: this feels like an incredibly self-indulgent blog post – and it is. It’s being written if nothing for accountability, but I don’t expect anyone to find it interesting.**
I’ve always been an insanely meticulous pre-New Years goal setter. Every December since the 8th grade, I’ve typed out a “review” for my previous year, as well as goals for the upcoming year, and posted them on a bedroom wall. While this innate obsessive compulsiveness might seem a little ridiculous, quite honestly, I look forward to this brief period of reflection every single year.
One my favorite bloggers, Chris Guillebeau, does the same thing, and goes so far to share his review with all of his readers (I presume there’s no greater motivation to getting stuff done than having to answer to all of your fans.) So, in the spirit of sharing, I’ve decided to do my own Annual Review of 2011, broken down below:
TRAVEL. I explored Asia and London (this trip technically fell at the end of 2010/beginning of 2011), the South of France, Austin, Mexico (Tulum), Atlanta, New York (7 times), San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, San Diego, and my home-diggity-home of Wichita, Kansas. Next year, I have plans to visit Macchu Picchu, Miami (my old alma mater), Lake Tahoe (gotta love the slopes!), and Las Vegas. Fingers crossed for Yellowstone, Argentina, and Brazil. Bonus points if I make it to Europe, my stomping ground for inspiration and relaxation.
WORK. This year was particularly interesting. Last December, my goal for 2011 was to find a common theme in my work, as I frequently take on a lot of different gigs (hosting/acting/writing/producing/etc) and find it difficult to focus when things get really busy. This year I hosted a lot of live movie premieres, and worked as a correspondent/host on several television specials, pilots, and web-based shows, including The X-Factor Pre-Show. I re-launched my YouTube channel by releasing new monthly musical comedy videos, produced online content for several different sites (Break.com & Airbnb), and took on a fantastic role in a new scripted comedy series for MTV. The common theme? A strong foundation in the web space (i.e. audience interactivity, commentary, web culture emphasis, etc). It’s no secret that I’m inherently a big web geek, but it helps to know that it follows suit throughout my work – so it instantly became a lot easier to focus and prioritize my time around projects that follow this theme. As a result, I also ended up spending a lot of time researching online content metrics, ad sales, audiences, and video techniques, to learn more about the biz and hopefully integrate into my existing gigs.
PERSONAL. 2011 was the year of trying new things – stand up comedy and dialect classes, for instance – and that will probably continue in 2012 (I’ve already signed up for a vegan cooking class in February!) I moved into a new apartment because of noise issues in my old place, which reminded me that moving is one of the most stressful things on the planet. And, when I think about it, I spent a damn amount of time this year thinking. Literally, just thinking. Thinking more before doing, thinking before saying, thinking before thinking, thinking while thinking, and then thinking some more. I even subscribed to magazines about thinking (Scientific American Mind/Psychology Today). I’m not exactly why the obsession on thinking, but the results are (I think) that I am a more thoughtful person.
LOOKING AHEAD. I spent a good deal of time analyzing what left me feeling inspired and fulfilled, and on the flip side, what made me feel drained or apathetic.
Next year is all about putting these revelations into action by tying up loose ends on a few existing projects, and moving forward with a bigger plan for the future (more about this later!) I also am putting forward a new general mantra about my work. Unfortunately, the constant act of creating on a deadline (scripts, videos, blogs, presentations, etc) is exhausting. I realized that it’s all too easy for me to slip into a producer role and forget about the “inner artist.” So, this year I will make a concerted effort to be less concerned with the end result and focus more on the process. As corny as it sounds, I also want to spend more time teaching. I speak at colleges re: new media, and also spent six months leading a personal development class at an at-risk girls home, both activities that I enjoyed tremendously. The more I teach, the more I learn from others, and that’s one thing that always puts EVERYTHING else into healthy perspective.
So, there you have it! My year in review. But enough about me – I want to hear about you! Post your yearly review in your blog and send me a link via Twitter! This website is still under construction (another NY resolution!), so comments are currently disabled.
But seriously, go make this year f*cking AWESOME!!