2023: More of this, less of that, please

Happy New Year! Feeling a bit of a spring in my step for a fresh year full of potential. I don’t typically make resolutions, but I did give some thought to what I’d like to see more and less of in 2023.

What I’d like to see more of:

  • Regular phone calls – Millennials aside, remember the days when you just picked up the phone and actually called someone?? And – get this: they answered!! No time-consuming texts or email exchanges for potential call dates, and then scheduling the online invite for the actual phone call itself? Just answer your phone already, it won’t kill you.
  • Authenticity – Can’t we just be ourselves? Not who we think people want us to be or what we think we should be for our age, sex, race, class, intellect, or education level? We owe it to ourselves and our children, to be honest, to uphold and demonstrate our values, and to own up to our mistakes, no matter what. Speak your own truth, not someone else’s. We’ve all become so afraid to be and show who we really are. Why is that? Look at 81-year-old Martha Stewart and her sexy thirst-trap photos – she’s not buying into the misguided thought that just because she’s a senior, she can’t be sexy. She is owning 81, and she looks great! Be you!
  • Compliments – Don’t be so greedy with your compliments, especially at work. Tell people when they do a good job. Complimenting a co-worker on a well-done project won’t jeopardize your own worth or minimize your achievements in the company. This is especially true for women – don’t be so competitive. Lift each other up.
  • Tolerance – And courtesy for those with whom we have conflicting views – politically, religiously, socially, etc. And, this should go without saying that I’m not referring to the constant trolls, malcontents, extremists, and racists who will lie and always try to bait you. I speak of the ordinary friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in your FB, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds. You don’t have to continuously voice your disagreement with them or school them if they’re wrong. Some battles just aren’t worth fighting. Be the bigger person. Let it go.
  • In-person brainstorming – When I worked at a big agency, brainstorming sessions were not only fruitful; they were fun. Maybe it’s due to the pandemic, but I don’t see them occurring as often now. I don’t believe Zoom should count as a “brainstorming” vehicle. I think bringing people together physically offers the opportunity to better gel as a team and come up with great ideas. Plus, the snacks!
  • Dog photos – Need I say more?

What I’d like to see less of:

  • Zoom meetings – As I mentioned before, you can still accomplish things and manage projects even if they can’t see you in your real office or Disney castle backdrop. I’ve had one particular client since 2008 – in Illinois – and I haven’t actually seen him in person or via video since 2019. And, we are both okay with that.
  • Not taking no for an answer – I’m not sure if it’s a BOT thing or if it’s generational, but it seems to me that both work sales calls and personal sales calls (SPECTRUM, are you listening) don’t want to take no for an answer. And a lot of it is just for things that I’m so clearly not the target audience for. I get it, people have to earn a living, but if I said I said I didn’t need a payroll management tool because I’m the only employee, I don’t.
  • Unrealistic photo filters – The almost clownish Kardashian-like filtering of our bodies and faces in photos. Just look at Madonna’s Instagram feed and you’ll see what I mean. I’m fine with the subtle filters that may enhance existing features or lightly smooth a blemish or a few wrinkles. But let’s move away from the creepy ones that completely alter a person’s appearance – the ones giving us 23-inch waists, a rickets-inspired thigh gap, Tripe D breasts, and a whole lotta lips. There is truth in beauty – Keats had it right.
  • Bad behavior – Is it me or have people lost their minds? It’s not just the endless supply of “Karen” videos. I’m seeing more bad behavior everywhere, especially in person. Sorry, you had to wait an extra 3 entire minutes for your ice cream float masquerading as some sort of coffee drink, or that I took too long to clean up my dog’s poop off your tree lawn (true story). We’ve reached a new level of road rage too. Chill, people.
  • Self-doubt – Stop creating more and more reasons to doubt yourself. That means stop comparing yourself to others – at all levels. Avoid tying in your self-worth to measurements like the number of likes and followers, or by not making it in a best-of list, or the fact that your colleague got a promotion and you didn’t. Stop counting these things as if any of them truly reflect who you are as a human being. Channel your inner Stuart Smalley.

Here’s to a great 2023 – let me know if I’ve left anything out!

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