top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Noteworthy Conversation

There's nothing quite like a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning. We get to experience them with each new calendar year or birthday, or on the first of each new month, or week, or day. We are constantly given the opportunity to start again in whatever way we feel necessary.

How are our resolutions from the first of January holding up? Have we accomplished all that we wanted to by the time we blow out the candles on our next birthday? Did we hit our professional goals for this quarter? There are so many milestones to reach and so many ways for us to reach them, that sometimes a fresh start is exactly what we need in order to do so.


Fresh Perspective

A fresh start also offers the chance for a fresh perspective. When we are consistently working with our nose to the grindstone, we can sometimes forget to look up and look around us. A pause for reflection can allow us to appreciate how much we've already achieved. Before we take a breath and refocus on where we're going, we can benefit from looking at how far we've come.

This is the ideal time to reevaluate and consider what we're working toward and why. Are these goals we've set for ourselves just as important to us now as they were when we first decided to pursue them? Are there better, more efficient, or more enjoyable ways to achieve what we want? The opportunity to implement new, improved strategies is exactly what a fresh start can provide.


Fresh Motivation

A fresh start also offers the chance for fresh motivation. Perhaps we're not where we want to be with our goals, either personally or professionally. However, when we tell ourselves that this is Day One, and any perceived past failures are behind us, suddenly, the slate is wiped clean and we give ourselves permission to try again.

When we rededicate ourselves with a fresh start, we can tap into a new energy source. We're at the starting line, excited and raring to go, rather than winded and losing momentum halfway through. How can we not feel motivated by all the possibilities that lie ahead of us, just waiting for us to reach them?

At Noteworthy Communications, we are constantly looking for ways to incorporate fresh starts into our work, while honoring the standards that we've established for our practices. A fresh start can be as simple as changing up the graphics used to promote this very blog since the launch of The Noteworthy Conversation two years ago, which we did! The change reflects how our style here at Noteworthy has progressed and showcases a new era in our work.

A fresh start could also mean starting a blog, updating website content, rebranding on social media, or creating new partnerships. There are an infinite number of ways to begin again, and if you're looking for a fresh start in how you work, Noteworthy is here to assist. A fresh start, no matter when that may be or what it may look like, is an opportunity for change, for growth, for commitment, and for improvement. We should all be refreshing as often we feel compelled.

  • Writer's pictureThe Noteworthy Conversation

Some people look forward to the new year purely for this designated time to consider how they want to be better in the future, the new habits they plan to form, and the accomplishments they want to work toward. Some people don’t bother, understanding that a new year does not necessarily mean a new you.

No matter how you may feel about setting new year’s resolutions, there is value in thinking critically about what you want to achieve and why. Setting goals, of course, does not have to fall at a specific point on the calendar, but there is something to be said for the metaphorically clean slate presented to us as one year ends and another begins.


Think Big

So, how do we go about planning for the year ahead? One way to begin is to think even beyond the next 365 days. Where do we want to be in two years? Five? Ten? Where do we want to be at the end of our lives, whenever that may be? Before we take our first step to start our journey, it would be helpful to know where we want to be at the conclusion of it.

The beautiful part of this process is that there are absolutely no limits. There is nothing we lose by thinking big, by dreaming uncontrollably. We have the opportunity to be honest with ourselves about what we want, how we would like to live, and what we are willing to do to ensure we reach it. Then, all that’s left is the hard work to make it our reality.


Plan Small

Once we have those big dreams in our heads and in our hearts, we can work backwards and break down what we need to do in order to get there. What concrete steps do we need to take? What possible obstacles or setbacks should we anticipate? We write the lists, set the deadlines, create the vision boards, and prepare to chip away at the work required of us.

Unlike with brainstorming our goals, there are limits to what we can physically, mentally, or emotionally accomplish in a set period of time. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of overplanning. We’re motivated and we strategize and then we have to face the possibility that our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. Over time, and through repeated trial and error, we discover that setting realistic goals and milestones is half the battle.

Noteworthy Communications is all about digging for goals. We love taking stock of the previous year, or quarter, or month, and planning how we can approach the next one with renewed energy, strategic planning, and bigger benchmarks. This is how we move forward, rather than remain stagnant. We set goals. We make a plan. We take action. There is never not something we are working toward.

Whether you work in quarterly goals, monthly goals, or a daily to-do list, drawing out these maps can increase productivity while breaking our ambitions down into manageable bite-size pieces. As a full year stretches ahead of us, full of possibility, it might be easy to become overwhelmed, and if you think formal goal setting is not for you, consider starting small, even if your dreams are big.

  • Writer's pictureThe Noteworthy Conversation

November is known by many wordsmithing masochists as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo sets forth the following challenge: Write 50,000 words of a new writing project, specifically a novel, in the thirty days that make up the month of November. For more than two decades, writers from all across the globe have taken up this mantel, put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboards, and have dedicated themselves to this creative endeavor.

National Novel Writing Month is far from the only time-oriented challenge out there. There’s Inktober, which challenges artists to create a new drawing every day in the month of October. Young adult author Marissa Meyer developed her own challenge, The 30 Days of Creativity. For even longer challenges, there’s The100DayProject or 365 Project. All of these challenges have communities behind them, where creatives can connect with others who are attempting to expand their own limitations and tackle something new.

There are no prizes for those who win these various challenges. This isn’t school and we aren’t being graded or paid or even necessarily published, so what exactly is the point? Why, in the midst of a busy fourth quarter for our business, and being right smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, would anyone put themselves through the stress of something like writing a novel from scratch in thirty days? As it turns out, the benefits are numerous, even if the stressors are, too.


The Creativity Behind the Challenge

So often, creative endeavors fall to the wayside in favor of the day-to-day responsibilities of adulthood. We have careers that require long hours, family and friends who require attention, errands to run, and when we do have a spare moment, sometimes all we can muster the energy for is zoning out in front of the television. Our hobbies can seem less and less important to nurture as time goes by.

Committing ourselves to a challenge, with guidelines to follow and deadlines to meet, makes us focus, no matter how briefly, on our creative pursuits. These challenges give us permission to prioritize something we want, rather than something that’s required of us, just for the act of creating in and of itself. By the end, even if we don’t win, we still have something tangible that we created, something that would not have existed if not for us challenging ourselves.


The Discipline Behind the Challenge

Timed challenges do not necessarily have to focus on an artistic pursuit. There are also challenges that target entrepreneurs in various industries and with all kinds of goals in mind, or physical challenges for those looking to prioritize their health. That’s because the discipline required to participate, and especially to win, challenges like this is transferable to any type of goal.

By participating in a set challenge, we get to evaluate, up close and very personal, where our strengths and weaknesses are in whatever arena we’re competing. Are we capable of setting realistic goals and an actionable plan, and really following through? All of our other commitments don’t magically disappear when we undertake something new, so now we have to finesse our time management skills. What about our ability to perform under pressure? If we weren’t sure before, the challenge will make all of this perfectly clear to us as we work hard to meet it.

Every month of the year, we try to challenge ourselves in some way at Noteworthy Communications. By challenging our norms, habits, and expectations, we are forced to stretch ourselves and our limits. We see what we are actually capable of achieving when we are focused and determined to win. Even when we don't win, we go outside of our comfort zones and can at least recognize that particular system might not work for us.

Taking action every day, even just for five minutes, means that, at the very least, we’re continuously making progress. The march may be long and tedious, but if every day we take one step forward, or maybe two if we’re feeling inspired, we can look back on how far we’ve travelled in astonishment. We’ve risen to meet the challenge head on, even when we didn’t have to.

bottom of page