2016 in Review Gail Marie Cole

Sure, people have ragged on 2016 as being a crappy year.

The U.S. presidential election didn't turn out as planned, much-loved celebrities passed away...

but I had a great year, and I'm happy to share some of my favorite moments with you.

See more photos of my animals and adventures (plus the occasional can of Miller Light) on Instagram: @gailmariecole

Biggest wins:

  • Helped plan and execute a large recognition event at my 9-to-5 job that went off very well
  • Found a focus for my blog and consistently wrote in it for much of the year
  • Convinced my company and federal management that I support to let me work my 9-to-5 job 100 percent remote

New skills:

  • Content management systems: Spent a lot of time in Adobe CQ5 and Wordpress
  • Graphics: Expanded by photography, photo editing, and graphic development skills by creating visual content for web and social outlets
  • Writing: Gained experience in speechwriting, blogging, social media copywriting
  • Marketing analysis: Developed my analytical skills by taking on the role of developing monthly reports to demonstrate our office’s efforts in meeting the goals of a significant customer

Notable events:

  • Got a promotion and two raises at my 9-to-5 job
  • Moved to Idaho! (check out this background photo I took while on a hike on a trail not far from my house)

Lessons learned:

  • “No” doesn’t necessarily mean “never” - ask for an opportunity to change someone’s mind
  • Wacky things going on in your personal life doesn’t mean that you get to ignore your finances and assume things will work out for the best (check out my tips on this topic here)
  • Don't be tempted to purchase an airline ticket from a major hub to an international destination and a separate ticket from your nearest airport to that domestic hub. If you miss that international flight, you're screwed. Not that this happened to me recently or anything. Ha.

Personal accomplishments:

  • Road tripped west with my mom and visited several national parks and sites along the way
  • Became a mom to fur babies: a dog named Max and a kitten named Archer
  • Started lifting weights and made some significant gains (built muscle and lost body fat) in just three months
Top left: Looking west on I-80 in the Chicago area. Middle left: The animals. Top right: me at the bottom of a very long set of stairs that lead to a fantastic view of the lower falls on the Yellowstone River. Bottom: My sweet car at the top of Shoshone Pass in Wyoming.

Goals for 2017

  • Hone my skills as a consultant, marketer and writer
  • Continue to learn and use new software
  • Do more freelance writing for local and online publications
  • Grow my blog readership
  • Make a big step in my 9-to-5 career through a promotion or a new opportunity
  • Consistently volunteer with at least one local organization/chapter of a larger organization
  • Wrap up and publish the large writing project currently in progress
  • Figure out how to best use the time that I'll be spending on planes/in airports when traveling to visit my family
  • Complete five pull-ups and sign up for and actually complete a half marathon

What about you? How did 2016 go for you?

Let me know! Let's connect.


Created with images by puppaluppa - "Texture" • albert22278 - "aircraft boeing sun" • toooooool - "TOSHIBA building" • ** RCB ** - "lessons" • olafpictures - "lithuania factory building"

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