New Year’s Resolutions for the Inert Introvert

Dear 2016,

Resolutions are about broken things.

I know, I know. You’ve really been put through the wringer lately. Worst-year-ever this. Stop-killing-famous-people that.

Let’s not go there. I’m just here for a little talk about my resolutions for the upcoming year. But since a resolution implies that something is broken and ought to be fixed, I’m writing to you instead of 2017. It’s a list for me. Not 9-5 me. Not weekend me. Just me.

Figure Out How To Introvert Better

I’m really intrigued by personality tests, and I think it’s healthy to examine oneself from the inside out with a critical eye. No matter how many times I take the tests, the results remain the same: INFP with around 90% introversion. Even with an “I” score so high, it’s not that I can’t carry on a conversation. It’s just that it takes a lot out of me. It empties out my tank. And when I’m low on energy, my exercise suffers because I’m tired. My work suffers because I dread environments that absorb energy from an already low tank. My health suffers because I eat out more when I don’t feel like cooking. I read an article recently called “12 New Years Resolutions for Introverts,” and it touched on a lot of salient points for me. A goal of mine for 2017 is to become more self aware and start following some of these rules from the article: say no to social events; get over my guilt for leaving the party early; have more meaningful conversations and less small talk; and spend my free time the way that I want.

Remember that time a good friend and I had a discussion about whether passion is a finite resource? When you’re out of that thing that drives you, are you out for good? Is there a way to refill your tank? You’ll remember that we never came up with an answer — I’m still not sure there IS one. But one of my resolutions is to keep pursuing this answer. I need it. Maybe it was the election drama flying around from all angles, or maybe I just didn’t “unplug” nearly enough, but you definitely came on too strong. If I can be more cognizant of my energy tank approaching “E,” 2017 should be a better year all around.

Goals: 1) Keep going to the gym in the morning before work. 2) Get more use out of the “Hide” button on Facebook. 3) Work on creative projects for myself on top of what I’m doing for work. 4) Get better at saying no.

Paint With A Different Colored Brush

I’ve got a black notebook of ideas, yet it’s still just that — ideas in a notebook. Black. I’ve been at the same place for almost eight years now, since I was 19. Five years filled with full-time school and part-time jobs, and now two-and-a-half years working. All for the green and gold. It’s a combination of colors I have a lot of love for, though the space between the green and gold is large enough for strokes of a different hue.

I struggle with inertia. I dream of places to travel, but I never go. I drum up ideas and only go so far as to write them down. My friends and I talk of road trips but never fill up a tank of gas. Time moves forward, and I stand still. My goal for 2017 is to pay better attention to my work-life balance and paint with vibrant new colors in the space between. It’s as good a time as it’ll ever be to prime the canvas and start painting.

Goals: 1) Bring at least one notebook idea to life during time away from work. 2) Make better use of vacation hours by taking time to explore at least one place I’ve never been. 3) Go on a road trip with my people.

Hit The Brain Gym

This goal remains from last year’s resolution list and, quite frankly, will probably be on my list always. Last year, I presented at the CASE IV conference and, in order to do so, learned about Millennials through researching how to use social media to connect with such a unique generation. I examined social media analytics and shared what I found with those attending the 2016 Higher Ed Experts conference. These were big steps for me — the kid who used to drop a course during the first week of classes after seeing oral presentations on the syllabus. I’m growing each year and continuing to learn, and I’m ready to dive in and try to master some new skills in 2017.

Goals: 1) Keep getting better at motion graphics. 2) Learn more about WordPress. 3) Make a basic iOS app using Swift. 4) Read the following books: Everybody Writes by Ann Handley; How To Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie; Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior by Jonah Berger; Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl; and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

– Chase