Time for Year End Reflections and Goals

Cathy reflects on 2023 blog image

Hello, my friends! As the year winds down, I felt compelled to spend time reflecting on 2023 and setting goals for the upcoming year. It’s easy to feel distracted at the end of December with a running to-do list and waiting to see what will end up on the “circle back to in 2024 list.” To help me focus, I came across a mind map template from a former colleague and super smart content creator, Chuck Frey. His template had some interesting prompts that I used for this blog post.

2023 Professional Reflections

I’m quite pleased with the work-life balance that I have managed this past year. I have a variety of interesting work with great people through Appeal Marketing and a part-time job. Admittedly, Appeal Marketing is more of a side gig at this time, as I prioritize spending time with my middle-school-aged kids.

In my professional life, I continue to work with and meet new people and learn new skills. For example, I met two photographers who volunteered their time and expertise for a non-profit client. Kay Heeden Photography took a nice picture of me featured in this blog post. I especially enjoy contributing to the Greater Menomonee Falls Foundation’s (GMFF) annual recognition and fundraising event. The honorees have given freely of their time to help others, and it’s a joy to help promote such humble, kind people.

Greater Menomonee Falls Foundation's 2023 Outstanding leaders
Here’s the photo that I took of Dawn Mariscal, Robin Manke, Karl Hornung, Monica & Jim Goetter, 2023 GMFF honorees
Shannon and Cathy Olig at GMFF event Sept. 2023
It was great to see my Leadership Menomonee Falls classmate at the GMFF event.

I’m proud to help my clients look good and communicate regularly with their target audience through email, newsletters, annual reports, brochures, postcards, mailings, and social media. I work with several incredible graphic designers to make this happen. One of my designers worked on a time-sensitive project for Community Smiles Dental while she was in labor with her first child. She said it was a long labor, so she just worked on her laptop to pass the time.

2023 Personal Highlights

I had opportunities to travel with friends and family. A highlight included an international trip to Prague, Czech Republic, where I met my husband who was there on a business trip. We had a blast touring such an incredible, international city full of history! It felt great to prioritize time with friends and my husband outside of kids’ activities.

View of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle
View of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle
Clementinum Baroque Library
Adam and Cathy in front of St. Vitus Cathedral

In addition, volunteer work kept me busy. I planned our church’s annual corn roast, joined the board of Falls Cable Access, started my term as co-president for my children’s school PTSO (parent-teacher-student organization), and returned to coach my son’s basketball team for a third year. It’s fulfilling to be involved and help make a difference. And I love watching my basketball team learn the game and work together.

2024 Goals

My Theme

In 2024, I look forward to “intentional involvement” and a continued balance of work, family, and volunteering. This means thinking more carefully about my commitments before saying “yes” to ensure that I have enough capacity to fully show up to anything new. I am open to evaluating additional projects for Appeal Marketing, so please reach out if you would like me to review what you need.

My Professional Goals

Professionally, I want to learn more about marketing technology, test out AI, and keep connected through networking and meeting up in person. One AI tool that I used to check my grammar and receive ideas on how to make this post more engaging was Grammarly. I also used Pixlr Express AI photo editing for images in this post. Overall, I’ll keep leaning into my skills of working with groups of people, communicating, planning, and organizing campaigns, projects and / or events.

My Parenting & Coaching Goals

As a basketball coach and parent, I hope to give my kids tools to problem-solve their way through game situations, school work, and life in general. I’m trying to teach them how to play the game instead of directing every move. Here are a few action shots of me coaching and my son taking a free throw.

This seems to be the appropriate approach as my kids are growing more independent. I’ll always be their loudest fan and supporter. And I’m helping them learn how to become more self-sufficient to prepare them for life after high school.

I’d highly recommend two books: The Self Driven Child by Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson and Lisa Damour’s Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. They gave me a lot of insight and recommendations on how I can improve as a parent.

It’s pretty amazing to see your children discover who they are as they grow into tweens / teens. I’m so proud of my kids. And I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish in 2024.

Best wishes to you for a healthy, happy, and productive 2024!