#TheYearOfDoing

Last year I was paralyzed by ideas. This year I‘m putting a focus on the execution. No more waiting. It’s #TheYearOfDoing⚡️

Me in action, taking action

Say Whaaat ⌛️

In the past, the year 2018 seemed like a distant place where I’d graduate college and get a job. On December 31, 2017, I went out to a bar for New Year’s Eve with friends and despite ‘ringing in the new year’ all night, I hadn’t really thought about it. On January 1st, I woke up with a sudden understanding of what that meant; 2018 was no longer a far-off fantasy land, it was here.

In 17 days I’d be starting my last semester of college. In 5 months I’d be graduating. In 8 months I’d be moving out of my parents’ house and responsible for rent payments. I’d be applying to full-time positions.

Time had run out for letting ideas sit idly by.

“Plagued by ideas” 💡💀

In 2017, I got to know more about myself and my creative process. I realized that my favorite part of every project was that beautiful stage where you get to play out different ideas in your head and visualize how they would work. The exploration phase was no problem, I had a million ideas for every project. The problem arose at the end of projects when I wasn’t able to achieve all my big plans.

I really enjoy making lists. I like to plan. But I came to realize that after writing a giant list, I’d get really overwhelmed. These ideas were fantastic but could I actually execute them all? I had a case of the “Too Many Ideas Syndrome (TMIS).”

I often told friends and family that I was “plagued by ideas” or “paralyzed by ideas.” It was a terrible feeling knowing I had ideas but hadn’t acted on them yet.

“If you are a creative, you’re most likely the type that has so many ideas. Good ideas! So many ideas! While it may seem like a blessing, it often feels like a curse and that you aren’t actually moving or taking action. You feel scattered, confused and overwhelmed.” — Spruce Rd.
“The problem with ideas is that until they are acted upon, they are just ideas — and aren’t worth much more than the thought they were initially given.”
— Mike Vardy

Welcome to #TheYearOfDoing 💪

New Year’s is usually a big holiday for me where I write goals and brainstorm wonderful ideas about the upcoming year. But this year I hadn’t written any lists and I found this odd behavior for myself; so I took it symbolically. Instead of writing down ideas and never acting on them, this year I was going to do. I was going to see things through.

The hashtag #TheYearOfDoing came to life after I was messaging my cousin and creative ally, Beth. She asked me what my intention hashtag was for the year and at the time I didn’t have one. But then I was telling my sister, Ashley, how excited I was that I was finally writing my first blog on Medium. Alas, a hashtag was born.

The birth of a hashtag

Mini achievements so far!🎉

Keeping this hashtag in mind has actually helped me be more productive and act on ideas when I think of them. For example:

  • I’ve always wanted to do more yoga, this week I did it everyday.
  • I got more of my freelance work done. It’s #TheYearOfDoing after all.
  • My boyfriend and I were feeling sluggish last weekend so we told ourselves, “We’re doers! It’s #TheYearOfDoing!” We ended up having a great weekend doing the things we always talked about doing. We felt satisfied and fulfilled.
  • I’ve wanted to hang up artwork over my desk for a long time but never could decide on the perfect frames to buy, the layout of the frames, and what to actually put in them. I’m happy to say I’ve finally put up frames on the wall because I discovered the wonderful command velcro strips and don’t have to worry about damaging the walls. It’s all about the little things people.
  • When it comes to putting design work or Instagram posts out in the world, I’ve been better at just publishing and not waiting for it to be perfect. Done is better than perfect.

The Art of the Start 🙌

I am currently enrolled in a Business Plan Development course for my Entrepreneurship minor. The whole class is dedicated to creating a business plan by using a lean model approach by testing every assumption. We have to create an MVP of our product and get customer feedback early on so we can validate our assumptions. AKA, this class isn’t about thinking about an idea but rather making strides towards a real product.

Our required reading for the course is The Art of the Start by @Guykawasaki. It’s a whole book about starting where you are instead of waiting. Here are some quotes that have resonated with me from what I’ve read so far:

“Don’t worry about being embarrassed. Don’t wait to develop the perfect product or service. Good enough is good enough. There will be plenty of time for refinement later. It’s not how great you start — it’s how great you end up”
“No one ever achieved success by planning for gold.”
“Talk and bravado are cheap. Saying you’re willing to do something doesn’t mean that you will do it.”
“You could spend all your time learning and not doing. And doing, not learning to do, is the essence of entrepreneurship.”

Goodbye “talk,” Hello Action!