January 3

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2022 Resolution: Focus on Canadian Stories

By Tracey Arial

January 3, 2022

accountability, courage, gratitude, word of the year

In this very personal resolution post to begin the year, I’d like to reflect on what went well last year, what will be done differently in the coming year and who I hope to be in 2022.

This is the third year of posting these intentions, and it’s super interesting to use them as a way of seeing how I’m growing and changing as a creative entrepreneur, thanks to regularly setting intentions, practicing gratitude and taking measurable actions.

I always choose a “word of the year” to reflect the overall intentions for the year. It now apparent that these words reflect a natural progression of taking lessons from one year into the intentions for the following year. My efforts to create value for potential clients in 2019 led to the word “sharing” in the 2020 resolution. Becoming more accountable by tracking wordcounts, business sprints and fundraising in 2020 led me to choose the word “peace” in 2021. Trying to figure out how to better manage time while maintaining my very ambitious creativity goals in 2021 led me to choose the word “courage” for next year.

2022 Resolution Word of the Year: Courage

The word “courage” stems directly from a feeling that I’m at the edge of my capabilities as an entrepreneur. I will need to continue stretching beyond who I am now in the coming year.

Last year’s challenges included course development, fundraising and application development. I also hired many people, which in turn necessitated learning team leadership, task delegation and automating payroll. In addition, I spent time improving the craft of writing and maintaining good governance within three separate business entities.

All of those actions must continue and expand next year while leaving time for project distribution. As I get feedback on these projects, it will be important to maintain enthusiasm and continue growing. That takes courage!

What went well in 2021

Last year was an amazing year, with many positive and negative moments. Overall, I’m super grateful. In retrospect, I learned three important things: health counts more than ever; collaboration takes a lot of work but it’s worth the effort; and having a purpose makes it easy to get up every morning with enthusiasm.

Despite a massive health scare in May, and the chronic COVID19 pandemic fear all of us have been suffering for two years now, I am still a healthy 58-year-old woman. My health stems from eating lots of fruit and vegetables (including some I grow myself), regularly moving, and keeping gluten out of my diet, a necessity since I have celiac disease. Participating in the Food Revolution summit last February, raising funds as part of the Great Cycle Challenge in August, regularly tracking food and exercise with the My Fitness Pal and Strava apps, and purchasing food baskets from local farmers helped keep these habits top of mind. I will continue all those practices in the coming year.

Hiring and fundraising collaborations

The experience of hiring people to handle a variety of projects went very well in 2021. It’s nice to have the expertise and enthusiasm of others when you need it to make a project shine. There are definitely skills I need to develop. They include: team management, task delegation and automating paperwork. There are many talented people to work with, so I hope to keep hiring them in future years.

Three different fundraising projects took place in 2021, and all of them were challenging and fun at the same time. The need for quality creative, a compelling pitch and valuable give-aways is something that will always be important facets of fundraising, so they will continue going forward. I’m planning two fundraisers, but lots of launches next year. Those projects will launch each month in 2022.

Creativity resolution

I spent a lot of writing in 2021, and the experience made me feel good. With more than 100,000 draft words written as part of three different book projects, I need to make progress turning them into products for sale in 2022.

Creating courses in gardening, genealogy and business took up lots of time too. I’ll have to turn these into valuable products for sale this year.

Working on content for our application, MTL on mange will take more time this year. Our team will release that project for beta testing soon.

Interviewed several people for the podcast in 2021 and will need to release those episodes in 2022.

The theme for 2022 will definitely be “distribution.”

Things I’ll do differently next year

Hopefully, downtime in 2022 will be something other than an unplanned hospital stay where an absence of technology meant lots of time for assessing my legacy. That brief stay in May did clarify my commitment to nonfiction Canadian stories. Putting together a five-year strategic business plan with potential products linked to that brand took most of the year. That meant that creative efforts last year seemed disjointed from one another.

This year, I’ll experiment with multiple products to make that strategy come alive, although understanding that I’m always too ambitious in terms of projects at the beginning of the year. This year, all my creativity and time will go towards established products, most of which are already tied to a clear customer journey.

I didn’t set up enough time to keep regular book-keeping and administrative tasks on track. My calendar this year includes weekly times to accomplish those tasks. I’m determined to add even more time when necessary.

I didn’t set enough aside for personal projects, regular exercising and just lying around doing nothing in 2021. I struggled setting aside personal time because most of my leisure time usually includes trips, most of which were cancelled. This year will include more downtime for sure.

Focus on Canadian Stories

This year, I will concentrate on exploring our identity as Canadians. I plan to emphasize the many things we can be proud of while shining a light on people who are often left out of popular stories.

My podcast and social media channels will continue to share creative projects by many talented Canadians, the diverse ecology within this place we call home, questions that we need to ponder to improve and grow, and the ways that each of us contribute to our culture.

Thank you for supporting and encouraging me, as you always do. Let me know if there are people, projects and ecological treasures that you appreciate and want to know more about.

Tracey Arial

About the author

Tracey Arial helps Canadians create meaningful lives with true stories about ancestors, businesses, communities and ecology.

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