Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year, New Challenges

The last three years, I've posted my three words for the year.  I use these words to help guide me through the year and while I have new words for the year, I also decided to try a yearly photo challenge.  I've noticed this photo challenge trend the past couple years and thought it was time to try something new.  I did a quick Google search for photo challenges and found one on Capture Your 365 (CY365).  They provide a monthly list with a word or phrase to focus your photo on that day or you can opt to complete a weekly challenge instead.  You can also choose to share your photos through one of the social media venues set-up by CY365.  Finally, you can sign up for a daily prompt reminder and tip for the day.

Now I don't claim to be a photographer, but I do like photography and admire those with an eye for capturing the world through photos.  My goals are to complete each daily challenge, stretch my creativity, and improve my photography skills.  Here is the list for January...

January 2015
I have not shared my photos yet through any of the social media options, but I have looked at several that have been shared each day via Twitter.  I've been using the web tool Tagboard to search for the hashtag and view the posted images.  With Tagboard, I don't have to create a Twitter account, but can still glean information related to a specific hashtag.  I did start posting my photos to my Flickr account, but had to do some learning about Flickr, specifically about the privacy and profile settings.  I have also struggled a little with Flickr because you must create a Yahoo account in order to use this web tool.  I've never been a fan of Yahoo and as I've been working on this blog post my animosity continues to grow.  I had thought about using Picasa, the Google tool for storing and sharing photos, but I know several other educators who use Flickr and decided to give it a try.  This challenge will not only stretch my photography skills, but also my technology skills.

I am still working on the sharing aspect of this challenge and hope to set that up this evening.  My intent is to share my photos via Twitter and Facebook.  Hopefully, this will help me stay accountable to the challenge.  (Since starting this blog post yesterday, I did get my first few days of the photo challenge shared out to Twitter and Facebook.)

As for my new words for the year, I have chosen First, One and Challenge.

First - This one is personal to me, but I read a devotional this past year that addressed all the

things we do when trouble arises or we need help.  For example, worrying internally, talking to friends and asking for advice, but prayer and talking to God seem to be the last options we consider.  So, the word first is a reminder to myself to pray and talk to God first in all things.

One -  I'm using this word to remind myself of several things.
  • Focus on one task at a time
  • Move every hour - I need to work on this more at work, because I forget to move from my desk sometimes when I get focused on a project.
  • Read one chapter in a nonfiction book each day - While I enjoy reading, nonfiction is not my favorite.  I do read blog posts and articles daily, but reading an actual nonfiction book is a challenge for me.  I have purchased and been given several over the years and while they all sound intriguing, I just never make it all the way through the book.  I get the first couple chapters read and then put it aside.  This goal not only seems attainable to myself, but it should help me stay focused; where as reading one nonfiction book a month would be like high school, waiting until the last minute to read my book and stressing over.
  • One project at a time - If I'm excited about a project, I want to start it right away, but then I push another project to the side.  As a result, I can have multiple projects going at once and don't make the progress to completion like I desire.
Challenge - I actually just added this word as I started writing this blog post.  As I'm working
on the photo challenge this year, I feel this word is good for me as I progress through this new year.  I've noticed lately that I don't always push or challenge myself to try new things, take risks or venture in new areas of growth.  Hopefully, this word will help me break that mold and venture outside of my box.

What about you?  Do you set new year resolutions for yourself or words of the year?  Are you trying a new challenge this year?  I'd love to hear your goals and challenges for the new year.  Feel free to share them in the comments below.

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