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Melding Words With Passion + Hopeful Determination in 2016

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I feel words.

Sometimes, a thought will bubble up and linger, lightly.

Other times, it smacks me in the face, like icy wind on a bitter-cold winter day.

The palpability of language is both soothing and overwhelming.

It calms frayed nerves, spurs to action, drowns in despair, soothes, encourages, accompanies through grief and empowers.
Each year for the past several, I have participated in a “three words” exercise sparked by Chris Brogan.  He suggests choosing three words that can be “packed with depth.” Several of my friends engage, for a convivial experience. I always anticipate what they will publish.

In 2015, after just one month, two of my three words, for lack of cultivation, withered. While I regained momentum on all three words late last fall and will continue to implement them in the new year, I was not as fully entwined with my words as in prior years. This year, I’m determined to meld words with passion and hopeful determination to ensure they blossom.

Unveiling, I present my 3 words for 2016:

Health. Without it, listlessness and unmotivated behavior bog down. With it, energy and verve enable. Today, and tomorrow, are founded on physical strength and vitality combined with a soulfully, intellectually and spiritually developed mind.

In 2016, I recommit to whole health.

Trust. As in, trust oneself. Confidence propels forward to complete writing and other professional and personal tasks and projects with vigor and expediency. Eradicate–through daily action–emotional shackles that impair momentum by wholly believing in personal capabilities. Don blinders and earmuffs from the collateral noise, and forge joyfully ahead. I think I can; I know I can. Ignore the rest.

In 2016, I plan to discipline my actions that reinforce habits of self-trust.

Intimate. Be gracious and committed to intimacy with trustworthy others. Unfurl the sails and navigate away from negativity and those who purvey it; not everyone is likable, a good personality fit or feels a reciprocal kinship. That is okay.

In 2016, I will endow intimate energy selectively, and with gusto.
As mentioned above, two of my three words from 2015 withered. However, I was able to maintain the bloom on one word, “poetry.” In the thick of challenges – sometimes rife with pure joy or stress or moments of dolefulness – I often turned to poetry to express those feelings. My latest rhyme, penned just days ago, aligns with new year goals around empowering through action. As such, if I were allowed a fourth word in this exercise, that word would be, “behavior.”

My Poem
Saddle up,

The new year beckons,
Tick tock, counting down the seconds.
You may not control your neighbor,
You may not control the weather,
But whither you arise, from wherever
You start your day,
You control your own behavior,
You can plot your own fairway.

What three words will buoy you in 2016? Please share with me in the comments.

This post originally was published on LinkedIn.

I am one of only 50 master resume writers and have crafted more than 1,500 career stories that drive game-changing results. My bachelor’s degree in writing/journalism allows me to apply a journalist’s eye to your career.

What Do You Want?

123newyear (flickr)

By Robert P. Poindexter

Why is such an easy question so often hard to answer? Is it because we fear an obligation to ourselves and others by admitting it out loud?  Or, could it be that we simply don’t feel that we deserve what we want? Even more sinister is the possible negative reaction we may impose upon ourselves by those around us who scoff at the very idea of what we want.

Even Charles Dickens in his classic, A Christmas Carol, warned us to fear “want.” He did, however, warn us to fear “ignorance” even more, but that’s a subject we’ll save for another time.

As children, we were free to want as much as our hearts desired. After all, most of our needs were being met, and we had all the time in the world to focus on our wants. We had no obligation to a thinner waistline, so we were free to want that extra helping of cake. We had no obligation to pay the mortgage, so we were free to want that shiny new toy. We had no obligation to our own education, so we were free to want to be astronauts and presidents and professional athletes.

As adults, our wants tend to get pushed aside in favor of survival.

The problem then becomes one of regret versus fulfillment. Regret for not doing the things we know we should in order to get what we want. Regret for the decisions we’ve made that have forced us to put our wants on the back burner. Regret for wanting (and sometimes getting) things that bring us more misery than joy.

Wanting, in and of itself, is in no way evil. It can be, after all, the catalyst for great success. The problem is “wanting” what is bad for us instead of what is good for us. For example, “wanting” to lie around all morning instead of “wanting” to workout. Certainly, lying around fulfills a desire. However, working out will fulfill a much more worthy desire: the desire to be better then you are now, versus the desire to be lazy. But it’s difficult to want something you know will bring you discomfort in the short run instead of comfort right now.

I’m not telling anyone, including myself, anything new or shocking here. It is simply meant to be a gentle reminder that when we want the best for ourselves, we must be willing to walk through the fire from time to time.

At midnight tonight, the calendar will once again give us the opportunity to reset our lives. We have an opportunity to clarify our wants and work toward them with a renewed spirit and fervor.

Your wants are waiting for you. Will 2013 be your year? Only you have the power to decide that, and it’s all based on what you truly want!

Happy New Year!



Creating Striations: Defining 2013

Kara Lynn Bird (Flickr)

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Pensive, yet excited.

Intellectually wrung, yet physically and emotionally rested.

Lingering, deliberating, strategizing, planning, poised for renewed momentum.

The days between Christmas and New Year’s are gently stretched and pulled with the weight of contemplation, and hope. Renewed resolve to complete the incomplete and start the unstarted provide momentum and hope.

The days leading into 2013 are robust. Weighing heavily on my mind are vows to:

1. Perpetuate My 2012 Resolution to Get Fit. My husband, Captain Rob and I hit the ground running in January 2012 to shed weight and strengthen our bodies. We succeeded! As of today (Dec. 30), I’ve lost 30 pesky pounds while also focusing on toning and sculpting.

After (Dec. 2012)

The before picture (on the bottom) shows me in the midst of transformation (about four months in), while the after photo (on the top) illustrates where I’m at today (taken the week before Christmas).

While delighted for the changes accomplished in the past 12 months, I’m not yet done. However, monitoring the scale is no longer my number-one priority (though, I aspire to shed another 10 lbs.); as importantly, my goal in 2013 is to heighten strength training. This includes increasing the weights I lift and changing up my routines throughout the year.

A significant aspect of my escalated strength training initiative is my goal to create striations in my shoulders and greater muscle definition overall.

Moreover, I realize that health and fitness objectives are never completed. While celebrating milestones is important, the organic nature of the human body requires continual effort and change. My vow is to continue this fitness journey throughout my life.

Before (Apr. 2012)

2. Revive Mine – and Rob’s – Personal Voice in the CareerTrend Blog. This past year was satisfyingly expansive as the CareerTrend brand was transported via Glassdoor to US News, and beyond as we were represented in a variety of high-profile news media including Business Insider, AOL and FOX Business.  However, along the way, we slowed a bit in creating our own personally-imbued content.  My goal is that 2013 will ensure a minimum of three posts per month on the CareerTrend blog from either Rob or me.

3. Deepen Communications With My CareerTrend Clientele through regular reach-out via social media, email and quality-focused newsletter content.

4. Serve My Clients’ Needs, With Vigor. While the intellectual and emotional investment often is daunting, and I am satisfied that my clients are reaping value beyond their financial investment, I know I can do even better. I strive to strengthen my resolve and continue to improve on my value to my clients.

5. Show (don’t just tell) My Family and Friends I Value Them, more readily and frequently than I did in 2012.

6. Visit Kansas City, Missouri, and in particular, spend time with my parents and sisters/their families, and friends, who may be available.

7. Increase My LinkedIn Investment. This business, marketing and relationship propelling network is often underutilized. My job is to remain abreast of latest trends and techniques that will lift my clients’ careers; as well, I personally need to continue to expand my value and offer meaningful contributions through daily updates and reading, commenting on and sharing my networks’ content.

8. Create a Zen Office. While focusing in on my writing often consumes my imagination and transports my mind, I still desire (and need) a more encouraging, stimulating and motivating environment in which to conduct my day-to-day business and design career and blogging stories.

9. Rein in My Run-Rampant Email In-box. This speaks for itself. I plan to work on this through the month of January. Clearing the clutter of the accumulated emails will augment the ‘zen’ mentioned above.

10. Support Fellow Business, Marketing and Careers Bloggers Better. Encourage, promote and comment. This will mean better organizing my time and centering efforts on those folks (friends, colleagues) whose intellectually and emotionally replete blogs I most admire.

11. Be a Better Wife and Partner. I am excited about the goals and dreams Rob and I have articulated with one another for the rest of our lives, and in particular for the next 12 months. I vow to be fully present, energized and communicative as we move through the day-to-day. It’s often the little things that shape and bolster the foundation of a marriage. 

12. Read More. I must prove to myself, and to Rob, that the Barnes & Noble ‘Nook’ was a wise investment. I must read more in 2013.

13. Improve My Relationship With God. I will continue reading my C.S. Lewis book; download the Bible to my Nook; and talk to God more frequently.

Have You Committed to Your 13 Vows for 2013?

What projects, goals and/or commitments would you like to address, reinforce, start or re-start? If you haven’t taken time to do so, what is stopping you? I’ve read many naysayer posts indicating that ‘resolutions’ are out, but I must object. We can resolve to achieve (most) anything we want. It’s about taking a stand to commit to what’s important, then adapting your sails throughout the year to adjust for the unexpected while maintaining an eye on the destination.

What better time to cut your losses for the prior year and start with a fresh slate than now, as 2012 comes to a close? New years are considered ‘markers’ for a reason! They are chronologically defining!

And, don’t forget to Think BIG! While day-to-day action steps may range from quite small to very large, make sure that your end goals are LARGER than your current reality. Create milestones and markers, and celebrate along the way!







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