Blogmas Day 11: 2016 Recap – What Happened Last Year?

So far this Blogmas I’ve done Five Cool Things I Did in 2016, a 2016 Blog Review, and a 2016 Goal Recap. Today I’m going to do a more comprehensive look at 2016.

January

  • I got back into the swing of things post-holiday and began regularly working with a college.
  • Blogged regularly (6 posts).

February

  • I continued work with the college and began working with a new corporate client (who I continued working with throughout the year).
  • I didn’t blog as much in February (2 posts).
  • Presented for the Online Network of Independent Learning Professionals.

March

  • I continued working with the college and corporate client, and added a university client to my client list.
  • I began Screencast Monday as a feature on the site, which was consistent only some of the time.
  • I blogged excessively (12 posts).

April

  • Continued working with the corporate client and university client; work for the college client had completed.
  • Blogged regularly (6 posts).

May

  • Continued working with the university client and corporate client, and completed some work for a past client.
  • Traveled to Denver, CO, visited Breckenridge, CO and my friend Erin, and attended ATD ICE.
  • Blogged Excessively (12 posts).

June

  • Continued working with the corporate client and did some more work for the college client.
  • Traveled to Waterloo to attend CAUCE-CNIE.
  • Traveled to Toronto to visit some friends and present at the Articulate E-Learning Heroes Community Roadshow.
  • Published Mastering Articulate Storyline.
  • Blogged regularly (7 posts).
  • Announced Sprout E-Learning.

July

  • Continued working with the corporate client and the college client
  • Blogged regularly (9 posts).

August

  • Worked exclusively for the corporate client.
  • Blogged regularly (9 posts).

September

  • Worked exclusively for the corporate client.
  • Traveled to Iceland (AMAZING!).
  • Blogged less regularly (4 posts).

October

  • Continued work with the corporate client.
  • Continued work on Sprout E-Learning.
  • Presented for the Online Network of Independent Learning Professionals.
  • Blogged less regularly (5 posts).

November

  • Continued work with the corporate client.
  • Continued work on Sprout E-Learning.
  • Traveled to Las Vegas to attend DevLearn 2016, and presented my very first BYOL session.
  • Blogged regularly (10 posts).

December

  • Continued work with the corporate client, worked with 3 new clients on small projects, and lined up new contracts for 2017.
  • Continued work on Sprout E-Learning.
  • Blogged regularly (10 posts).

Overall, 2016 was pretty busy, but working with several clients consistently made it way less chaotic than 2015. In the previous year, I had worked with approximately 35 clients and was operating in complete and utter chaos. This year, I focused on longer term clients and increased my business profitability by about 60% from the previous year.

Amongst all of the items listed above, I continued working my regular full-time role at a local university, where I brought approximately 95-100 courses online as either new developments or redevelopments. It’s been busy!

Blogmas Day 10: 2017 Goals

2017 GOALS

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve, even if that meant just hanging out on the sofa or hitting bed early! For 2017, I’m going to keep some of the 2016 goals I didn’t hit and then add a few more to each category.

Personal goals:

  • Slow down and take more time to enjoy the present;
  • Maintain a consistent exercise schedule;
  • Register for run the Bluenose Half Marathon and a relay race; and
  • Travel to Calgary and Toronto with my husband and plan an anniversary vacation.

Business goals:

  • Maintain relationships with my long-term clients, and continue building a small network of clients.
  • Continuing networking with colleagues I respect;
  • Attend 2-3 conferences;
  • Speak at 1-2 e-learning events;
  • Get Sprout up and running;
  • Learn a new skill;
  • Participate regularly in the Articulate E-Learning Heroes Challenges; and
  • Blog regularly.

Blogmas Day 9: 2016 Goal Recap

According to last year’s post, Here were my 2016 goals and how I did with them:

Personal goals:

  • Slow down and take more time to enjoy the present;
  • Maintain a consistent exercise schedule;
  • Rehabilitate my jaw;
  • Spend more time with my husband and our family; and
  • Travel to Colorado and Iceland with my husband.

Business goals:

  • Slow down, take on fewer clients (than in 2015), and work on fostering long-term working relationships;
  • Continuing networking with colleagues I respect;
  • Speak at 1-2 e-learning events;
  • Publish my 2nd book;
  • Conduct more workshops and speaking engagements at the university, continuing to promote online learning;
  • Learn a new skill;
  • Participate regularly in the Articulate E-Learning Heroes Challenges; and
  • Blog regularly.

Alright – So I didn’t really slow down and take time to enjoy the present this year, but I feel like I slowed down a bit more than I have in previous years. I was also unable to maintain a regular exercise schedule because of my jaw, but my jaw is just about at 100% now, so 2017 will bring back regular exercise schedules!

On the business front, I hit most of my goals; the most impactful was taking on fewer clients. For the most part in 2016, I worked with two clients exclusively, and was able to foster strong long-term working relationships with them. I networked my butt off in social media, e-learning/instructional design communities, and at conferences this year, and managed to speak at both the Articulate E-Learning Heroes Community Roadshow in Toronto and at DevLearn 2016. Mastering Articulate Storyline was published in June, I conducted 3 new workshops and participated in (many) others at the university, and I crushed it blogging this year! I was however unable to participate regularly in E-Learning Heroes challenges (in part because of slowing down a bit and in part because of being insanely busy), and while I’ve learned many things this year, I would not classify any of them as having been a new skill.

What am I thinking for 2017 goals? You’ll have to check in tomorrow to find out. 

Blogmas Day 8: To EdD or Not to EdD?

Today definitely got away from me…blogging for twelve days straight is hard! I had a pretty low-key day of invoicing, getting my haircut, lunching with friends, and winding down – Hey! A lady has gotta relax when she’s on vacation!

It only seemed logical to continue my relaxation with some heavy decisions…

This past year, I was accepted to pursue my Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of Western Ontario, but I deferred for a year because 1) I’m somewhat indecisive, 2) I’d like to iron out my research interests a bit, and 3) 2016 was BUSY.

Why not a PhD?

No one outside of myself has asked this question yet, but here’s the reason – The main differentiating factor between a PhD and an EdD is that with a PhD, you’re conducting your own research. The EdD can be based on existing research. For the purpose of satisfying my research interests, I would prefer to base my research on existing research…because GIRL, I don’t have the time or wherewithal to conduct my own research and there are a ton of incredible folks out there conducting very relevant research that will help me with my own research. It sounds a little inception-esque, I know.

What are my research interests?

I won’t disclose of those until I dive deep into the program (if and when I do), just know that they’re drenched in concepts of online learning/instructional design/e-learning development.

So what’s the hold up?

  • It’s a pretty intense 3-year program, and I’m not sure if I want to commit to doing something so intense just yet.
  • There’s a cost associated, so that’s always a consideration.
  • I have some concerns over the time commitment – when I was completing my graduate degree, I was also working full-time and had zero social life. I’d like to still maintain some semblance of a social life/be able to vacation and attend conferences…I’m also working full-time at the university and almost full-time with my independent work. There are only 24 hours in each day!
  • A big concern I have is related to the post-concussion syndrome I’m now working through. My husband has assured me that I shouldn’t let that deter me, and ultimately I won’t, but I still haven’t figured out how to optimize my new brain for efficiency when it comes to information processing and memory.

Regardless of how many excuses I can make for myself, I need to make a decision between now and June 2017.