NorthWest by NorthEast Blog

What’s in store for 2014?

Happy New Year! I hope that your year is off to a great start. What’s in store for 2014?

For me, I’m staying focused on a massive SharePoint migration project. It’s full of interesting challenges, and I’m lucky to be working with a great team to tackle them!
Although my work is mapped out for the near future, I still wanted to set out a plan for the year. I brainstormed words to focus on the top 3 for the year.
My words for the year
  • Balance
  • Energize
  • Strengthen
When I did this exercise before, I found it useful to expand on the words a little to add clarity.
  • Balance different types of work: writing, editing, project management, problem solving. Balance work and home. Find balance in my life … and focus on each thing in turn so that everything gets the spotlight of attention as needed.
  • Energize my work with creativity and fresh ideas. Energize my life with real food and outdoor pursuits.
  • Strengthen my skills with additional experience and learning. Strengthen my friendships and other relationships with time and care. Strengthen my voice with creative exploration.
In choosing these 3 words, I considered them as a set. Balance requires strength and energy. Being energized without balance could lead to a fractured life where I bounce between exciting ideas and projects. And strengthening without energizing or finding balance could lead me to get stuck instead of allowing me to still have all the fluidity that I need in my life.
I chose these 3 words because they work together to help define important, large areas of work and life. I see them as sides of a triangle. If I keep all 3 in mind, I can move forward with confidence into this fabulous new year.
I’m excited for 2014! I can’t wait to see how I can balance, energize, and strengthen parts of my life. :)
How do you start your year off? What helps you focus?



Welcome to 2013!

Happy New Year!


It's hard to believe that it is already well into January. For those of you who have visited this blog regularly in the past, please accept my apology for the break. I've been spending most of my time this year on billable hours to a long-term project. It's a good state of affairs, and an interesting project, but I didn't mean to neglect the blog entirely.


Will I get back to publishing every week? Possibly. But, for now, I'm going to focus on at least one new blog post a month... and more as time allows.


If you have any grammar or word questions that are bugging you, please share them in a comment. I'd love to create content that helps you!


3 words for 2012

Happy New Year!


Last year I chose 3 words to help guide my decisions and actions through the year. I'm doing some reflection outside of this blog to determine where I followed my plans and where I didn't. I've picked new words for 2012, and I'd like to share them with you.


My 3 words for 2012

  • Connect
  • Grow
  • Strengthen


Like last year, I find it useful to expand on the words a little to add clarity.


  • Connect with friends, family members, colleagues, and others near home and around the world. It’s easier than ever to reach out to someone, and the possibilities can be overwhelming. I want to get back to the core goal of connecting with people and ignore possibilities that don't serve that goal.
  • Grow as a person, business owner, editor, writer, and every other role I play in this complex life that I love. The world overflows with interesting things to learn, and I want to tap into more of them!
  • Strengthen everything that makes me who I am: my skills, friendships, creativity, beliefs, voice. I want to be more fully me in 2012.

Have you picked 3 words for 2012? Do they get you revved up for the new year? Please share!



Tanabata wishes

I’m taking time this week to think about my goals and wishes for the second half of 2011. I find it useful to revisit my goals from January to see how I’m doing and to determine if I need to make any changes: to the strategies or the goals themselves. This week, I’m also focusing on wishes.

Tomorrow, July 7, many parts of Japan will celebrate the Tanabata Festival. It celebrates the one time each year that two stars (Altair and Vega) – or, according to legend, two lovers (Orihime and Kikoboshi) -- get to meet. Children and adults write wishes on colorful pieces of paper and then tie the paper onto bamboo branches.
I have a wonderful gift from a junior high school in the mountains of Japan. When I was leaving after two years as their assistant English teacher, each student and teacher wrote a Tanabata wish and included a picture. I love looking at the wishes and remembering the amazing people who wrote them.
My main wishes this year are to:
  • Finish a second draft of my novel (working title: Gone Fishing)
  • Expand my life in ways that count: sharing my voice and experience, connecting with people who interest me, speaking authentically, and creating new things
  • Find new opportunities to grow
  • Connect with more writers and editors
What are your wishes for 2011?

Don't be afraid to step back

I've just posted a new article on Biznik. It is one of a series on business lessons that I've learned on the lacrosse field.


Here's the beginning:


Moving backward can help you move forward.


Our society tells us to keep pushing forward. When you hit an obstacle, you can go around, over, under, or through it. Sometimes these solutions work. But there’s another solution that sometimes works better. Moving backward can give you new perspective and sometimes pave the way for new opportunities.

To read the rest of the article, please go to the Don't be afraid to step back article on Biznik.


I look forward to reading your comments on Biznik or here!

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