As the year begins to wind down, take the opportunity to plan for your personal 2016.
What things held you back this year?
If there was a tool, a technology, a skill that would have helped you advance more this past year, what was it?
For me, the tool and gap that would have helped most would have been more skill with the statistical program R. It's a difficult program to get started with, but its powers and capabilities make it difficult to ignore or bypass.
For me, learning R better in 2016 is one of my priorities in order to advance, in order to reach that next level. There's so much innovation happening with it and machine learning that if I don't get up to speed, I will miss the boat entirely.
Perhaps you face a deficit of a different kind, a different resource. Was there someone that, had you known them or had a stronger/better relationship, might have helped you reach your goals?
Was there a resource like time that you didn't allocate well?
Before you think about resolutions for the new year, carefully consider what factors derailed or limited your current year.
What things helped you move forward?
Consider what advanced your year. What aspects or resources helped you grow beyond expectations?
For me, the ability to quickly adapt new technologies was a key to success for this year. I was able to pick up and make significant progress with tools like IBM Watson Analytics, Tableau, and Linux to be far more effective than I have been in past years. I still have a very long way to go and so much to learn, but even those first few skills helped me advance.
For the year ahead, in addition to mitigating my knowledge gaps in R, I have to double down on what worked this year. I have to learn how to use Vagrant and Docker containers to virtualize key software and services. I have to learn how to tie APIs together even faster so that as the marketing technology landscape continues to evolve, I don't fall behind or miss a key trend.
Before you consider resolutions for the new year, decide what you're going to keep doing or do more of.
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