As we begin the year 2018, many of us will be making resolutions for ourselves. We  want to exercise more, we want to read more, we want to be more successful. There are lots of ways to succeed in the resolutions we set for ourselves, but perhaps the most effective way is to share our resolutions…loudly.

One of the key principles of Working Out Loud is Purposeful Discovery, the idea that having a stated goal in mind will help orient our learning and activities. Another key principle is to extend our reach by making our work Visible. We want to amplify who we are and what we do, or what we are trying to do.

If we recognize every resolution we set for ourselves as a goal, we are engaging in the practice of purposeful discovery. We identify the goal, we plan out specific steps and strategies to achieve the goal, and suddenly the goal seems realistic, and reachable.

Once the plan has been made, we want to share our goals. We want to make our goals and our plans visible as we amplify who we are and what we do. We want to tell our family and friends. We want to write about our goals, and we want to share our goals on social media.

Now, our entire network knows about our goals, and hopefully, they become connected to our efforts. We can now benefit from their input and encouragement. We can share and celebrate our successes with a wider network, and get energy and support when we have setbacks.

It  is in this spirit of Working Out Loud that I will; share my goals for the new year with you. I want to be visible with what I hope to accomplish in the year to come, and I invite your feedback, encouragement and involvement.

These are not the things I will do. These are the things I hope to do.

Working Out Loud
2017 began with me introducing Working Out Loud Circles at my organization. We have engaged dozens of people in expanding their networks by pursuing goals utilizing 21st technologies to develop new skills and habits. In 2018, I hope to engage deeper in Working Out Loud in few ways.
1. Launch more Working Out Loud circles at my organization so staff can continue to learn important new skills while connecting with colleagues they may not have otherwise had a chance to get to know.
2. Develop ways to bring Working out Loud to the Reform Jewish Movement by working with our congregations and affiliate organizations to explore new ways to build community and skills.
3. Get more involved in the international Working Out Loud community, and learn by connecting with other professionals who lead Working Out Loud circles in different industries and countries.

Microsoft and Yammer
I manage a Yammer network that has over 10,000 members. Yammer is an enterprise collaboration platform that is part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite of tools, and I hope to learn more by doing more.
1. I am planning to schedule a series of Yammer “meet ups” in the Chicago area so other professionals who manage Yammer networks can learn from one another in a new network.
2. Through the work I have done and hope to do, I hope to become a Microsoft Yammer MVP (Most Valued Professional) in 2018. Achieving this professional certification will provide even more access to the information, expertise and community that will help me in my work.

The Tent and the URJ
Our external Yammer network is called The Tent, the communication and collaboration platform for leaders of the Reform Movement. We experienced a lot of growth and activity in 2017, but we hope to do more in 2018.
1. Use Yammer analytic data to help drive staff collaboration in our home Yammer network, and leadership in our Movement wide external Yammer network.
2. Utilize the same data to help our external Yammer network users find the information they are looking for and connect with other users so together they learn, teach and share.
3. Encourage more collaboration and transparency amongst our congregations and our leaders. Find new opportunities to help our congregations lead their sacred communities effectively, economically and creatively.

Health and Fitness
I am a runner, and 2017 was not a great year for me. I suffered a minor injury in the springtime, and was never able to reach a sustained, consistent level of activity. I hope to do better in 2018.
1. I want to successfully run 6 miles a day 5 days a week.
2. In 2017, I did 50 push ups a day, every day of the year, I would like to continue this practice for 2018.
3. I want to continue to eat healthy in 2018. Though I am not a vegetarian, I live in a vegetarian house. I already eat a pretty healthy diet, but I can always do better.
4. Today, on December 28th, I weigh 137.8 pounds. I hope to get to (and stay at) 135 pounds.

Personal Pursuits
Work does not mean much unless we fill our lives with activities that are important and meaningful to us.
1. I want to continue to take guitar lessons at the Old Town School of Folk music, and become a better guitar player. Particularly looking forward to my Electric Light Orchestra ensemble class starting in January!
2. I want to read more books that have nothing to do with work.
3. I want to be more involved in my synagogue in ways that do not relate to my work.

I will provide regular updates on how my goals are coming along. What are your goals? What ideas might you have on how I might reach my goals? How can we work together? Stay tuned…more to come!

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