Many or Mini Resolutions?

goals

It’s the time of year when many people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Like many, I have found myself unsuccessful more years than not when it comes to actually accomplishing what I set out to do. This past year was different for me– I actually completed, or came very close to fully completing, a number of things on my list.

I attribute part of the difference this year to making sure my goals were incremental and achievable.  In other words, instead of committing to too many resolutions, I tried to prioritize the list down to mini items.

I plan to post a little more about the actual items themselves a next week, but in the meantime I’m wondering if you’ve thought about this topic?  Give this a shot…

Imagine it’s December of 2015, the end of next year.  You’re looking backward at the year and although you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted, you do feel good about having accomplished one thing in particular— what is that one thing?

What ONE STEP can you take tomorrow to bring that “thing” closer to becoming reality? How will you measure that ONE STEP you take tomorrow?

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Words. That’s all.

If you’re reading this post on WordPress, you are most likely a blogger writing your own blog, right? And although we may be inspired by different things, we do have at least one thing in common– we’re actively writing content that we expect (or at least hope) that others will read.

If not, we’d all be writing in our journals or simply keeping a folder filled with Word documents on our laptops.

Additionally, the web is overflowing with thousands of ways to build a great web site, sell a product or build a following on a blog. Even here on WordPress there are so many workshops and classes that at times I wonder when people find the time to simply write words.

It is for these reasons that the letter (web page) below by Justin Jackson resonated so strongly with me when I read it a few days ago nursing by 2nd cup of java.  And, although I’m sure it’s been republished online many times, it’s so good I couldn’t help but post it again. For the sake of preserving the content, I’m not using block quotes. For the original article posted online click here.


This is a web page.

There’s not much here.

Just words.

And you’re reading them.

We’ve become obsessed with fancy designs, responsive layouts, and scripts that do magical things.

But the most powerful tool on the web is still words.

I wrote these words, and you’re reading them: that’s magical.

I’m in a little city in British Columbia; you’re probably somewhere else. I wrote this early in the morning, June 20th, 2013; you’re probably reading it at a different time. I wrote this on my laptop; you could be reading this on your phone, a tablet or a desktop.

You and I have been able to connect because I wrote this and you’re reading it.That’s the web. Despite our different locations, devices, and time-zones we can connect here, on a simple HTML page.

I wrote this in a text editor. It’s 6KB. I didn’t need a Content Management System, a graphic designer, or a software developer. There’s not much code on this page at all, just simple markup for paragraphs, hierarchy, and emphasis.

I remember teaching my daughter to code HTML when she was 8. The first thing she wrote was a story about a squirrel. She wasn’t “writing HTML”; she was sharing something with the world. She couldn’t believe that she could write a story on our home computer, and then publish it for the world to see. She didn’t really care about HTML, she cared about sharing her stories.

You are still reading.

Think about all the things you could communicate with a simple page like this. If you’re a businessperson, you could sell something. If you’re a teacher, you could teach something. If you’re an artist, you could show something you’ve made. And if your words are good, people will read them.

If you’re a web designer, or a client who is working with one, I’d like to challenge you to think about words first. Instead of starting with a style guide or a Photoshop mockup, start with words on a page.

What do you have to say? If you don’t know, there’s not much use in adding all that other cruft. Just start with one page, with a single focus. Write it and publish it, and then iterate on that. Every time you’re about to add something, ask yourself: does this help me communicate better? Will that additional styling, image, or hyperlink give my audience more understanding? If the answer’s “no”, don’t add it.

At its heart, web design should be about words. Words don’t come after the design is done. Words are the beginning, the core, the focus.

Start with words.

Cheers,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin
On Google+


Thank you Justin for allowing me to post this and for reminding us all of the power of pure, unadulterated…words.

Happy Sunday!

IMG_2657

Hello everyone, and a happy Sunday to you all! Here’s to hoping you have a great day. Go find something to be thankful for today if you can. I’m posting two of my reasons in the pic above. (Taken a couple of weeks ago during a family vacation to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.) Focus on the important things today!

Talk to you soon.

Warmest Regards,

DH

Sincerely? Just Write It Sincerely (Interview)

For this week’s interview, I’m publishing my notes from my conversation with Terri Webster-Schrandt from Perspectives on…Work, Life and Leisure.

I was anxious to talk to Terri for a few reasons.  Different from other interviews I’ve posted, it wasn’t necessarily the number of followers that drew me to Terri’s blog, but rather her way of writing.  Her posts come across in a very sincere and transparent way that make me feel as though she’s writing with her own voice, being true to herself versus writing with the intention of simply attracting followers, etc.  Personally, I value this in a writer as I find their work much more interesting.

Her journey includes making the decision to change the name of her blog as part of this effort to reflect the nature of her content. I love this willingness to evolve and grow in order to perfect; I hope to do the same.  Her life has been a colorful one thus far, and whether it be her past life teaching in northern California, wind surfing on the weekends or advocating for women’s interests, this same energy and transparency shine through.  Read on for my conversation notes! Continue reading

‘Twas the Night Before Monday

‘Twas the night before Monday, and my mind began to race,
What will this week hold? How will I fill this space?

Was it work I was thinking of, or could it be something more?
It was this blog and the posts I need, causing my brain to be so sore.

I pondered it, thought it through, an idea crept slowly in,
I should blog about this problem, this predicament I am in.

So I grabbed a large espresso and made straight for my chair,
The place where I brainstorm, the place I sit and stare.

As I sat there and sipped, my mind raced endlessly,
But all I could come up with, was this piece of poetry.

In conclusion I must say, this felt somewhat sad to write,
Merry Monday to all, and to all a good night.

Have a great week from Brews and Views!

DH-

Her Goal? 1,000 Followers in Month One. (Interview)

The story was riveting. The first paragraph had my eyes quickly scanning down to find the start of the next sentence. The last thing I expected was to read a post about tense, heated moments in the middle of a battlefield on a blog that was titled Beautiful Life with Cancer.

Since that first exposure to Caroline Hendry I’ve been seeking-out her posts ever since. I was so pleased she agreed to meet me for a virtual cup of coffee and an interview– now, as a reader I find that her blog posts mean even more.  Thank you for joining us; grab a cup and fill it up. Read on for the interview details and you’ll see what I mean.  Continue reading

Why Choose Crabiness?

Have you ever been around people who seem to work to find reasons to be unhappy? You know what I mean. When you make positive comments around them they’ll typically just scowl and refuse to respond? Or if they do respond it’s generally some sort of unintelligible grunt or painful-sounding moan accompanied by a pitiful look that’s designed to try to gin-up sympathy– a facial protest that says “But I WANT to be less-than-happy, I kinda’ like it!” Continue reading