Looking Back and Forward

pastel-new-year-1435612-1-mI don’t know about you, but I find people’s personal New Year’s posts pretty interesting. Since I’ve enjoyed reading many of yours, I thought I’d share my own.

Looking Back

2013 was a challenging year for me. There were both professional and personal changes to deal with, some expected, some not. Though it wasn’t always easy, I have no regrets about where I am or where I’m heading. I’m enjoying my consulting work tremendously. I’ve learned from things I’ve done (and not done) in 2013. I tried new things which took me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to grow my skills. And I’ve made some personal connections that mean a lot to me.

Looking Forward

There are a number of areas I plan to focus on over the course of 2014.


After leaving IBM, I decided to pursue my own consulting business rather than look for an IBM-substitute. Consulting gives me the opportunity to see real change with clients, and it fits in with my life. But like any experienced entrepreneur will tell you, having your own business is not just about the work you think you’re doing (like internet marketing and communications). Having your own business meansĀ you are also your own salesperson, project manager, accountant and employee.

It will be up to me to add more structure to my business in 2014, and to actively pursue the kinds of jobs I want.


In 2013, I ran for the Board of Education in my town and lost. I’m very involved with my local Democratic Town Committee and believe in our vision for the town. Although my run was not successful in the sense that I didn’t win a seat, I learned a lot about public speaking, presenting and running a campaign.

In 2014, I plan to continue being actively involved with my Democratic Town Committee so that we’re contributing to the quality of life in our town now, and well positioned for local elections in 2015.


In 2011, I became a triathlete. I had never been an athlete of any kind before, and I pushed myself to master swimming, biking and running enough to complete 3 sprint triathlons, the swim leg of an olympic triathlon, and several 5Ks.

I’ve completely lost my motivation since then.

Any health or fitness progress I made has been lost. Though I have no plans to race again in 2014, I owe myself the same commitment to healthy eating and exercise that I made in 2011. I’ve been “too busy” to make time for regular exercise. I need to prioritize that again because I looked and felt much better when I did.


I both made and lost some important connections in 2013. These changes haven’t been all bad. Even the challenging elements of some of my personal relationships have benefits. I’ve grown as a person and learned some things about myself.

My goal in 2014 is to be deliberate in my relationship choices. If someone is important to me, I will make time for them (even when I’m stressed or busy). And when a relationship isn’t working for me, I will let it go gracefully.

Those are my thoughts and goals for the new year. I’d love to hear yours.

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Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

Your decision to enter freelancing instead of finding a job to replace IBM is something I continually hear from people -- and something I continually try to reverse. I've been self-employed for 4 years and I desperately need stable income from an employer that I'm not getting on my own, so I'm looking for that full-time gig. I'd love to talk with you at greater depth about this.

Laura Orban
Laura Orban

I would love to talk to you about your experience as well. I know you've been looking for FT work for some time and am curious about the challenges you've had running your own consulting business.