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New Year’s Resolutions 2013: Clarity of Purpose

When I look back at 2012, I realize, with some wistfulness that I haven’t really been very successful in fully meeting the resolutions I set one year ago. Frankly, this was due to the fact that this was one of the busiest years of my life.

2012 was a very full year: from taking over the directorship of the McMaster-Syracuse Master of Communications Management program (MCM), co-founding and securing university approvals for the McMaster-Mohawk Honours Bachelor of Professional Communication, to founding new research partnerships and passing my Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) exams to become “Accredited in Public Relations (APR)” to working on three book manuscripts (which should be completed this year), to securing a solid financial and institutional footing for Journal of Professional Communication and the grad students’ McMaster Journal of Communication, to trying to be an effective board member of various not-for-profits, sitting on the National Education Council of the Canadian Public Relations Society, and being professional development chair for the Hamilton Chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society, to supervising several graduate student capstone and major research projects, to chairing the communications team for the successful re-election of Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Farming and Rural Affairs, Mr. Ted McMeekin and helping out with the Ontario Liberal leadership bid of Mr. Gerard Kennedy, to offering expert media comment over 50 times, to the over 25 public speaking engagements I did. I am sure I have forgotten several things, but those were the highlights.

Let’s just say that this year was so busy professionally, that I kind of put my personal resolutions aside in the interest of honouring commitments and advancing causes that I believe in. This year, however, is a little different. The programs are in place, I have become more accustomed to the pace and rhythms of managerial life, and quite frankly, 2013 will be the last year of my thirties. All of this has led me to have a very clear focus on the several things that I need to do such that I am well-positioned for my upcoming fourth decade.

So, here are my more modest and reasonable resolutions for this year:

1. Get fit, stay healthy. I have become a little humbler with with this one. I would be happy to just be able to say at this time next year, that I ate well and cleanly, swam a lot and lifted weights regularly. It might be good to shed a few pounds, as well. My target, will be, as always, to be a muscular 154 lbs, but we shall see… I don’t promise that number.

2. Prayer and Meditation. These were just not a big enough part of my life this year and I felt their absence acutely. I would like to bring religious practice back into my life for the beauty, challenge and comfort that it brings.

3. Writing. I am going to write an academic book about social and mobile media strategy and management. I have two textbooks to complete: the third edition of Understanding Human Communication and the groundbreaking Understanding Public Relations in Canada. Also, although I certainly do not think of myself as any sort of artist, I would like to work on the various fictional stories floating in the lagoons of my imagination. I would also like to get JPC humming, with more regular appearance of issues.

4. Caring Personal Relationships. I would like to spend more thinking about and being with the people I care about. I can be very hard to catch up to sometimes, a little breathless, even, as I pursue my various goals. I have felt acutely this year – both through the loss of friends and other who have had serious health scares – that I must pay more caring attention to family and friends and not take anyone for granted.

5. Consulting and Public Speaking. I am resolved to ramp up my consulting and public speaking practice. I have found that I both enjoy and excel at executive education and professional development. So, if you want strategic counsel on a digital communications, social media or mobile computing integrated marketing  communications  or public relations strategy for your business, not-for-profit, governmental or political campaign, give me a call – I am open for business. I am also available for public speaking engagements and workshops!

6. Fencing. I would like to get back into competitive fencing in the future, when I pass the age threshold to the “Master’s” league in a few years. To that end, I would like to start training again, gently. So I guess I will try to attend a fencing practice regularly, whatever that ends up meaning (hopefully at least twice a month).

7. Piano. This was woefully neglected this year, but I do plan to pick it up again in 2013. I’d like to be able to play a few tunes on my 40th birthday in January 2014.

Well, there you have it. Let’s see if 2013 proves to be the year that I make my resolutions count.

Finally, I wish you strength and discipline in your efforts to keep your resolutions for the coming year.

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