Matt Thompson over at Savage Minds did a short post today summarizing his three very practical, admirable, personal/professional and “Anthropological” New Year’s Resolutions, which include (1) seeing projects through to the end (this includes reading books), (2) creating a new website for his MA thesis, and (3) attending the next American Anthropological Association meetings. I like to be self-reflective on a regular basis and not just resolve to do something more or less or better just because it’s a new calendar year, but it seems like a good moment to participate in the tradition anyway.
Here are a few of my own goals for what I want to do and not do with Anthropologizing in 2014:
(1) Continue my Anthropologists in Practice interview series with non-academic anthropology practitioners. I have done 14 so far with anthropologists of all stripes working in healthcare, non-profit management, business, design, and other non-traditional areas. I’ve really enjoyed the responses, which have all been inspirational to me personally, and they seem to have been popular among the larger online anthropology community. I’d also like to find ways to reach out to the general public with this information to obtain my goal of informing non-anthropologists about the breadth and importance of the application of our skills and competencies in the real world (suggestions for how to do this are more than welcome.)
(2) Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It was only when I first heard someone say this out loud that I realized how applicable it is to how I approach my life and work. Doing good work is important, yet I often equate “good” with “perfect” and try to make something perfect rather than just accept that it’s as good as it’s going to get. My blog posts are not immune to this – I will come up with an idea, write a few drafts with key points, and then ruminate over the tiny details so much that it takes me forever to finish what I started. My posts often turn into lengthier articles than is really needed. I want to create good, useful, thoughtful and interesting content and not say anything dumb or ill-conceived, but I really need to take a more practical and time-sensitive approach to writing and not let the idea of a perfect article take over just writing something decent and moving on, even if that means making a few mistakes along the way.
(3) Allow for more time in my schedule to follow through with ideas for new posts. Right now, I have 9 drafts just sitting there waiting to be finished. I don’t have as much time as I would like to create new content, but I should try to make some.
(4) Do more posts about the intersection of anthropology with everyday lived experiences, workplace processes, popular culture, and current events. I want to reflect more about the things that are going on around me using my anthropological perspective and share these thoughts with others to create a dialogue. The Narcissistic Anthropologist is a really inspiring blog that does a great job with this kind of content.
(5) Do more posts on things that (are hopefully) useful to others (e.g., anthropology students, job seekers, researchers, etc.) I really enjoy doing posts with practical and useful information based on my experiences, like this one about design research job interview questions, one of my more popular posts.
I’d love to hear your ideas for any new and different things I could do here on Anthropologizing. Drop me a line in the comments section with your thoughts!