Golin CEO Fred Cook’s Career Advice: Improvise More, Worry Less

By: Allison Zullo

B3z0B-rIYAAjy4u.jpg-largeScripps PRSSA gathered on Monday, Dec. 1 for its usual weekly meeting. However, this week’s meeting was anything but usual. Why? Because Fred Cook, CEO of Golin, one of the top public relations firms in the world, was visiting Ohio University to speak to PRSSA and other Ohio University students about his unlikely journey to becoming a CEO of a major global PR firm.

Cook’s speech was all about improvising, which he defined as taking your skills, resources, and experiences and turning them into something exciting and special. He stressed that improvising is a survival skill, particularly in the professional world.

Cook explained that he lived a relatively normal life until his freshman year of high school, when he was kicked off the tennis team after participating in a weekend tournament with older men that was not sanctioned by his school. At this point, he said, he began his education in life experiences, rather than school experiences. Cook believes that these life experiences are often more important than what you learn in school, and help you tremendously in the real, professional world. The more life experiences you have, the more ideas you will have, and the more ideas, the better.

Cook stressed many unorthodox points about how to prepare yourself for the professional world someday: travel the world, experience different things, ask questions (especially of those in leadership positions at your internships), don’t be afraid to run with your crazy idea(s), customer service is important in ANY line of work, and much, much more. With each piece of advice Cook gave, he included an always-hilarious life experience he had that taught him these lessons. From traveling the world on a ship and being arrested for drunk driving for a company that offered rides to people too intoxicated to drive, to improvising during his job as a California tour guide, Cook’s entertaining stories never failed to make the standing-room-only audience laugh, while learning invaluable career advice.

B3zxBOlCQAEEqeO.jpg-largeCook ended his speech by stressing one thing: worry less, and be braver! He understands that it takes a lot of courage to be brave, but Cook stressed that courage is built by experience, and there is no way you can fail if you have countless experiences on which you can fall back. He left us with a single quote: “In your career and your life, it’s about the experiences you have, not about the promotions and salaries you earn.”

Cook stayed after his speech to sign copies of his book, “Improvise: Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO,” and talked to those who approached him with questions or a desire to chat. His speech was based upon what he wrote in this book, and even more of his crazy stories and life experiences are detailed in it, so if you are interested in learning more about Cook, pick up a copy of his book and start reading (and stop worrying)!

‘Chopped’ and PR: where the TV show and the PR industry collide

By Devon Pine

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Chopped is everything that is right about TV nowadays. It’s a show that has all the right elements: a witty host, high stakes, cutthroat competition and (most importantly) food. One day, I hope to win it (my best shot is probably the amateur series).

As much as this show teaches me about cooking, it also has given some insights into the world of communications and public relations.

Let’s welcome our chefs (que intro montage). Professionals have a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences; some people have fives years of agency work under their belts, some have only a start-up catering company. The one thing we do have in common is everyone has a story. They probably won’t let you compete on Chopped unless you’ve experienced some heartbreak in life. Some are a tad more legitimate than others, and it is important that we have the ability to sift through these stories and deem what is newsworthy. Chances are, I’ll be more inclined to root for you if you beat cancer and you want to give the $10,000 prize to charity than if you want to take your family to Disney World for the seventh time. The same concept applies to pitching; your story is more likely to get picked up if it hits close to home and people can invest themselves in it.

Chefs, open your baskets. There’s always a mystery basket. Sometimes there might be a curve ball, or an entire octopus, lurking in the client’s agenda. “I want this video to go viral.” Gah. Like beef tongue in the appetizer round. Sometimes, especially with start-ups, clients don’t always realize what is a realistic PR expectation. Morphing the client’s hard-to-deal-with ideas into a manageable, easily digestible pitch can be a challenge worse than a malfunctioning food processor. However, going into the round with ideas of how to attack the basket, and an idea of how to manage the client’s needs and expectations, can get you to the entrée round.

tumblr_lypjvsCQWG1qzbmytMeet our (ever-changing panel) of judges. It might be Alex Guarnaschelli here to tell you she thinks your veal is undercooked, or it might be Mr. “Sit-on-my-phone-during-the-entire-pitch” sitting across the table tasting your media relations strategy. It is important to not only research your clients needs, but also to whom you’re specifically presenting. Geoffrey Zakarian may love your gummy bear gastrique, but your client may not love your plating (and presentation is worth more than 15 points in the PR world). Make the pitch personal, because that addition of flavor could help you move on to the dessert round.

chopped pictureChefs, you have 30 seconds left on the clock. No surprise here, PR pros are on a deadline too. If you can’t get the ideas organized and on the plate before the deadline, then you will be chopped. Although typically we do have more than a half hour to plan, some, such as SEO strategies, can take three to six months to see results. Regardless, if the project is due in a few weeks, or if your boss pops by and makes a “have it to me by the end of the day” request, it is crucial to step away from the plate and press send when time runs out.

Yes it is true, more often than not I like to come home and watched Chopped at the end of the day. It’s also true that there are more takeaways than just what pairs well with finger limes. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

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Devon is a senior majoring in strategic communication and minoring in marketing. She will be graduating this December, and hopes to move to Charlotte where she can eat some good BBQ and work in corporate PR. Give her a follow on Twitter at @LuckyNumbrDevon!

9 Things About the PR World You Don’t Believe Until You’ve Lived It

By Ashleigh Mavros, Ohio University graduate

mavrosI’m an odd one; I did the whole graduation thing a bit differently. I got a job, received my diploma and will return next week to walk at commencement. Usually, it’s the other way around. Nonetheless, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to dive into the PR industry at Fahlgren Mortine.

I toyed with the idea of writing a reflection about my time at OU, but it didn’t feel right (and it would just be rubbing more salt in the wound), so instead I wanted to pass along my experiences thus far as a Yo-PRo (young professional).

Professors, speakers and older friends always give us advice for the “real world” – I’m here to tell you LISTEN UP because they’re definitely on to something. Here’s what you need to trust me on:

Analytics are everything. Remember rolling your eyes and dozing off as soon as a professor mentioned ROI? BAD CHOICE. Analytics are at the core of all social, and if you can’t prove to a client what results you’re driving, then you’re not really doing much. I work on elaborate 20-page social reports on a monthly basis – you’ll be thankful you paid attention in class. 

Find your balance of Diet Coke Breaks and personal time. One of the hardest things you’ll come across in the first few months is the struggle between your type-A personality wanting to take on every project, working 10-hour days vs. longing to actually enjoy post-grad life and not get burnt out. There’s no right answer to this, but you’ll have to continuously work on striking the right balance.

Brevity, brevity, brevity. You’ll hear this a million times, but it rings true. The best writers are the ones who get a message across in a short, concise manner. I produce weekly reports for a foreign automaker that get distributed to a handful of non-English speakers. My writing has to be straight, to the point, and digestible. This holds true for any audience you’re targeting. You’ll be a hot commodity if you nail this down by the time you begin your first job.

Don’t take your first job offer & never stop learning. These go hand in hand – if you’re not coming into the office every day and being challenged and inspired by those around you, you’re in the wrong place. Don’t ever be the smartest person in the room, but make sure your opinion is appreciated. Don’t take a job just because it’s a job – you’re Scripps Kids and are deserving of a career you love.

Everything happens for a reason. This has become my life mantra – sleepless nights, dozens of tears and mini-breakdowns throughout the past couple years seem silly now. I wish I could pound this into your heads – you will end up at the right place at the right time.

Life doesn’t end after graduation, I promise! Do I miss Ohio University? More than I could ever put in words. But I know in less than two weeks all of my friends that made Athens such a special place will also be moving on. My lifestyle has definitely changed; happy hours have become my old Liquor Pitchers. My 2 a.m. bedtime is now midnight. It’s a big change, but I’ve loved every minute of it. Hard to believe, but things do get better. Onward and upward.

A Beginner’s Guide to Live Tweeting

By Allison Zullo

For virtually all PR pros, live tweeting is almost second nature. But for many others, whether you are a PR rookie, a non-PR professional, or new to Twitter, live tweeting may be a bizarre annoyance that pops up on your Twitter feed every so often. Although live tweeting a sporting event, awards show, or new television show can be intimidating and confusing, it’s also very simple. Here are a few tips that will make live tweeting easier for everyone:

  1.      Make sure your account is public. If your Twitter account is private, other users will not be able to see your tweets and connect with you through this event. Therefore, in order to maximize your live tweeting experience, make sure your tweets are public and retweetable.
  2.      Use the hashtag. Most events have started to put a hashtag somewhere on the television screen, which helps all those watching and tweeting about the event follow along. If you tweet anything about that event, be sure to include the hashtag in your tweet. These hashtags are usually very simple, such as #Oscars2014, and, if they receive a lot of Twitter traffic, can even “trend” and therefore show up much more frequently on Twitter worldwide.
  3.      Don’t be afraid to connect. Connecting with others who are interested in similar events is the main reason why live tweeting can be so much fun and beneficial. Whether you are bonding over your mutual hatred for Juan Pablo on The Bachelor, or networking for future internships or job opportunities through Twitter chats, live tweeting is a great way to make friends and gain more followers.
  4.      Be responsible. Since your Twitter account is public, it is crucial that you do not say anything inappropriate about the event on social media. Sure, you can be snide, funny, and scathing, but be careful that you do not cross that line. Plus, future employers could look up your Twitter or other social media accounts while considering you for a job, and you don’t want to give them the wrong impression of you. Use this rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t say it in person, do not tweet it.

All in all, the benefits of live tweeting far outweigh the consequences. Sure, you might lose a few followers because of your obsession with The Walking Dead, but you might also gain a whole lot more because of that same infatuation. And if you want to see a prime example of live tweeting in action, just follow the hashtag #ScrippsPRSSA on Monday nights starting at 6 p.m, as members live tweet their weekly chapter meetings.

Benefits of being bilingual in the PR profession

By Lindsey Zimmerman

ImageI first decided that I wanted to learn Spanish when I was about 10 years old. At that point in my life, I had my heart set on being a journalist when I grew up, and somehow I’d figured out that learning another language would come in handy for my dream job somewhere down the road.

Flash forward several years to today. I no longer want to be a journalist – I changed my major to PR at the beginning of this school year – but I am fluent in Spanish, which would probably make my 10-year-old self proud. Even more importantly, though, I’m confident that this ability will help me tremendously as I transition from college student to full-time PRo.

The first time Spanish came in handy for me (in a professional sense) was my freshman year of college. I was still a journalism major at that point, as well as the state news editor of The New Political. I was working on a story about immigration and had set up an interview with a man from Mexico (the father of a classmate) who had gone through all the necessary paperwork and immigrated to the U.S. with his family. His English was very limited, so I conducted the interview in Spanish. I was so nervous that I was shaking during the entire duration of our phone call (it was my first time having a long conversation with a native speaker, and I was terrified of messing up), but the interview went well overall. I translated his responses to English, and I’m proud of the article – both the final product itself and the process that it took to get there.

The benefits of knowing Spanish – or any second language – are abundant in PR and journalism because at the core of each of these professions is the concept of communication. In today’s increasingly global society, the ability to communicate effectively with people all over the world is valued more than ever. Spanish in particular is helpful at home as well as abroad: according to Pew Research, there are more than 37 million Spanish-speaking individuals in the United States alone.

Beyond just communication, another amazing benefit of knowing a foreign language – and one of the main reasons why I think everyone could benefit from learning one – is the fact that it forces you to open your mind and broaden your horizons. This is absolutely an important factor in PR and strategic communication in general, from creating campaigns that target different consumer groups to creating content that causes existing consumers to see things in a new light. A great example of this is Coca-Cola’s multilingual America the Beautiful Super Bowl spot. While this ad was not without its share of controversy, Coke used a variety of different languages to present a familiar patriotic song in a way that most people had never heard it before. And whether people liked the ad or not, it generated a lot of buzz for Coke and got people talking about the brand.

To turn the previous point on its head, being in a situation where you don’t speak the common language can open your mind as well. While studying abroad in Germany this past summer, I found myself struggling through simple tasks such as ordering a smoothie or mailing a package back home to my family. I constantly had to think on my feet and ended up using a lot of pointing and gesturing to get my point across when someone shook their head no in response to my “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” I picked up on several basic everyday German words and phrases while I was there, but this humbling and vulnerable experience gave me a much better understanding of how non-English speakers in the U.S. might feel.

My experiences with language have caused me to fall in love with it. I now have a crazy aspiration to learn as many languages as I can during my lifetime. And I can’t wait to see where this ability takes me professionally – I think it’s safe to say that there’s nowhere to go but up.

How to always hit the gym, even when you’re on a tight schedule

By Mira Kuhar

Exercise is something that people should integrate into their lives. It’s a great stress reliever, provides life-long health benefits and Imagepromotes a positive self-image and high self-esteem. Many people don’t make frequent trips to the gym simply because they don’t believe they have time. However, you don’t have to spend hours on end at the gym to have an effective workout. For those with tight schedules, the following fitness tips may help the gym become a place you visit more frequently:

Plan your day and plan a workout. Having a hectic schedule can be stressful. By taking a second and looking at everything you need to complete for the day as a whole, you can spot places you have a break or some down time that could be spent at the gym. After you determine when you have free time, plan out exactly what you’re going to do at the gym. By pre-planning your workout, you wont find yourself wasting time sitting around trying to think of something to do. Coming to the gym with a plan is great way to get in and out in the shortest amount of time possible.

Know your gym. It’s important to know your way around your gym when exercising on a time crunch. Having prior knowledge of the location of your preferred equipment will make for a more convenient work out. It may also be beneficial to know when peak hours are at your facility. You may have to wait longer for weights or equipment if you go at the busiest point in the day.

Exercise early. Working out early actually yields both time and health benefits. By beginning your day with a trip to the gym, you’re less likely to lose motivation to work out. As the day drags on, we think about all of the things we still have yet to accomplish. Working out becomes less of a priority when you have a lot to do, so getting to the gym first thing in the morning essentially tricks your mind before you know what you’re doing that day. You also get an added health bonus by doing this. When you hit the gym in the morning, your metabolism begins to speed up and continues to burn calories for the remainder of the day. If that isn’t an incentive to go to the gym in the morning, I don’t know what is.

Cardio: utilize interval training. Interval training is a great way to burn a significant amount of calories in a small amount of time. An example of this kind of work out would be completing a cycle of walking, jogging and sprinting, then repeating it three or four times. Instead of doing 40 minutes of cardio, you can still burn the same amount of calories in half the time. Pinterest has some great examples of interval workouts you can try!

Muscle Building: circuit training and compound movements. There are a few different ways you can build muscle without sacrificing a large portion of your day. Circuit training is a short, full-body workout that works great when integrated into tight schedules. It involves moving from exercise to exercise immediately after one another and using moderate weight and numerous repetitions. Bodybuilding.com has a great variety of articles that talk about circuit training and various exercises you can complete. Using compound movements in your workouts allows many muscles to be worked at once as opposed to isolating and working one muscle at a time. Many of the weight machines found at the gym will isolate just one muscle or muscle group. By utilizing barbells and dumbbells, you can work a variety of muscles at once, which in return burns more calories and saves you time.

Snack on the go. After you complete your workout, bring some high-protein snacks with you to refuel and rebuild muscle. Peanut butter, hummus and protein shakes are all great things to eat post-workout. By packing some simple snacks with you to eat after the gym, it eliminates time (and money) you may spend stopping elsewhere to grab a bite to eat.

10 websites that’ll make you a better blogger

By Morgan Borer

Before the age of the Pinterest – a bottomless pit of fashion, food, craft, wedding, home décor and career inspiration — where did college girls spend hours upon hours in hot pursuit of the perfect chevron canvas? Where did fashionistas go to find the ideal fur vest and plaid button-down combo? Who did bakers turn to for the perfect roasted garlic mac n’ cheese recipe? Maybe they dug up their grandmother’s cookbook, yellowed and stained from years past.

Before Instagram, who would have seen our (not so) professional photos of pink and purple macaroons? Would we have drooled over a photo of the glossy New York skyline, posted by some young celebrity in NYC? Probably not. Without Tumblr, where would we find articles such as “The Do’s and Don’t of Time Travel?” Where would we find a Marilyn Monroe quote for our Twitter bios?

Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are three of the most popular sites for inspiration-seekers everywhere. Bloggers turn to these sites for color, design, photography and writing inspiration. They allow bloggers to share content ideas and promote visual graphics, as well as interact with other bloggers across the globe. They are helpful to manage and maintain a blog in order for it to grow and become successful. While Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are instrumental for blogging success, there are several other websites bloggers should use to better their blog. While the list might seem never ending, here are ten helpful online programs for bloggers:

1.     Google AnalyticsFocus on your readers: who they are, where they come from, how they find your content. Analyze their characteristics and behavior. Also learn about your site traffic and strategies to keep visitors interested and engaged in your blog.
 
2.     Thesaurus.com This online dictionary and reference source is one of my personal favorites. I find myself on this website every time I write an article, blog post or research paper. Boring adjectives are so 2013.
 
3.    Bloglovin’Create an account or get the mobile app to find and follow your favorite blogs. This tool enables you to “like” and recommend blogs as well as connect with Facebook and Twitter to post your activity and connect with new friends.

4.    MashableWith 34 million monthly visitors and 14 million followers on social media, Mashable is the largest independent online news site that covers everything from entertainment to world news. It provides 24/7 updates to keep you in the groove, especially with social media and technology. 

5.    DaFont  – Save the boring Times New Roman font for research papers. Here, find and download creative, quirky fonts that you probably wont see in an everyday blog. Font themes range from “Fancy” to “Techno” and many in-between. This site even also allows you to create an account and submit your own fonts. Cool! 

6.    KloutLearn how influential your blog is across social media platforms. Klout measures multiple pieces of data to give you a “score,” a number between 1-10 that represents your influence online. It can also help you grow your influence to reach a bigger audience and improve interactions with followers. 

7.    Pixlr – Since I don’t have Photoshop on my Mac, I use Pixlr whenever I want to edit an image. This online photo editor allows you crop, re-size, and fix any photo. This is the perfect alternative to Photoshop, I guarantee it. 

8.    EHowInstead of thinking “Oh, I’ll Google it,” whenever you have a question, visit ehow.com to overcome challenges you face online. For example, the “Internet” category provides advice about Internet safety, and web design and development. An example article is “How to Keep the Header in Place on Tumblr,” which is complete with step-by-step instructions. This. Is. Awesome. 

9.    Style.com ­– As a fashion blogger and certified style addict, style.com is a must-read for me. Look no further for story ideas and inspiration – this site provides Fashion week images, in-depth reviews of shows, and front-row photos of celebrities, designers and socialites. It keeps you up-to-date on the hottest fashion and beauty trends.

10.  Problogger Basically, this website is a blogging bible. Everything you ever wanted to know about blogging content, infographics, layout design, how to make money blogging, search engine optimization – it’s all here. There are even blogging workbooks available for purchase on the site. Viola! 

Do you have any more sites to add to this list? Comment below! 

Mike Santoro from Walker Sands visits Scripps PRSSA, Feb. 4 RECAPPED

By Sarah Rachul

Yesterday, every student at Ohio University let out a collective cheer when they checked their phones and saw a text saying campus was closed until 5 p.m.

Every student, that is, except the members of Scripps PRSSA who had already experienced previous meeting cancellations due to snow. We watched our phones all day, hoping the school would hold out until 6 p.m. They did!

Sadly, last night’s meeting was the first to be held outside our beloved Scripps 111 — hopefully no one got lost on their way to Alden 319! To begin the meeting, we had several announcements for the Scripps Bateman team, Regional Conference at OSU (more details to come, expect an email), Building Brand You (an event today at Schoonover, 7 p.m.), the SIC promotional team (@SIC_OHIOU – EVERYONE FOLLOW) and PR Career Week (Feb. 24-27, 2014 — check out the Facebook page). These are all great events and groups that all fellow PRSSA members should support.

Lindsey Zimmerman was the member spotlight last night because she’s done an amazing job in PRSSA this year (tweet at her: @Lindseyzim716).

Next, we had “Snaps with Ben” (if you don’t know what a snap cup is then you should watch this video. (No, we don’t sing the song at PRSSA, but I think we should.)

Snaps with Ben:

  • Melaina Lewis got some serious snap cup love last night because of her fabulous red dress and economics skills.
  • The Bateman Team and the SIC Team also got major love for the great work they’ve been doing… I’m glad you’ve all noticed (:
  • ImPRessions will be having an internship workshop on Feb. 12th (This was more on an announcement than a snap, but we’ll take it anyway.)

Mike Santoro, the President of Walker Sands, was our PRSSA guest of honor last night. We learned so much from Mike, but what stood out the most originated from a survey run by OK Cupid. That fact was: iPhone users are having twice as much sex as Android users. So there you have it, Android users: the final push you needed to join Team Apple.I know this fact might seem silly but Mike used it to accentuate his point that sometimes you have to be creative when marketing your client. Don’t just give the media facts about your client but rather present them in an interesting and attention-grabbing way. Because Walker Sands specializes in tech and Business to Business (B2B) marketing, there was a lot of talk about math and data last night. I’ll give you a moment to recover from seeing the word “math” in a PR blog… everyone ok? Great, let’s continue. Another of Mike’s biggest tips was to keep in mind three things when working with and creating data for clients: make use of surveys, internal data and third party sources. If you can’t tell, the theme of the night was data, data, data.

If you walk to learn more you should check out all the information on the Walker Sands website and you should probably sign up for a statistics class. We also learned about Walker Sands internships (’tis the season). The “Sandlot” (classic reference, I love them already) offers three positions: classic PR internship, social media internship and a writing internship. All three of those would be great positions for any PRSSA member. They are looking for strong writers, team players, passionate go-getters and social media-holics (so basically everyone in PRSSA). If you wish to apply send your resume and cover letter to sandlot@walkersands.com (make sure to reference what internship you want in the subject line). Oh, and just in case you weren’t sold already, Walker Sands is located in Chicago. This means a summer filled with amazing pizza, exciting nightlife and many trips to the American Girl store. That’s right, I said the American Girl store — go ahead and judge me!

Well that about sums it up for last night’s meeting. We’ve had some laughs (I hope) but now it’s time to say goodbye. Until next time, PRSSA!

IT’S HUNTING SEASON!! for internships, that is.

By Jess Carnprobst

interns wantedThe greatest, most stressful time of the year is here: internship hunting season. We are all desperate to find the perfect internship, along with all of the perfect materials when applying. I’ve done my fair share of stressing over finding the right internship and attempting to make myself look flawless on applications, so I decided to share some of the tips and pointers I have received.

1. Keep your options open

Most of us have a dream internship that our sights are set on, but it is important to look for a plan B as well. Sometimes things don’t work out with your first choice, and although it may be tough, everything happens for a reason. Brush your shoulder off and move on to your variety of backup options. One of your other choices will undoubtedly provide you with an unforgettable summer full of memories and lessons. Choosing an internship in a field of public relations that you didn’t expect to be interested in can teach you a lot more about what you want in your future than if you choose an internship with an environment you expected and hoped for.

2. Blindly searching isn’t a bad thing

I blindly searched for internships during my freshman year, applied to two, and accepted an internship in Pittsburgh. I had no idea what to expect out of the summer, but it was undoubtedly one of my best. Even though I felt like I had no idea what I was doing during the searching process, I was finding interesting internships along the way. Trust your instincts and listen to the many great mentors around you. Randomly stumbling across a website may be all you need to connect and find the perfect internship.

3. It’s never too early to start

Of course, it’s a good idea to get started early in the year, but I’m not just talking about timing. For all of you underclassmen out there, don’t be afraid to start applying now. The worst that can happen is they say no. You’ll never know unless you try. If you do land an internship while you’re an underclassman, you will have greater chances at more competitive internships in your later years. Employers love seeing driven students who didn’t waste time before striving to apply their knowledge in the real world.

4. Use your available resources

With all of the social media and easy access employer’s websites, there is no excuse for not finding plenty of options. There are Twitter accounts dedicated to tweeting about potential internships. Find a few and start following them. These accounts will help keep your options open and add variety to your searches. PRSSA’s lovely VP of External Relations emails all dues-paying members with internship openings, and Marisa Dockum will even search for internships in a specific location if you ask. It can’t get any easier than that! You can also try Google; some pretty good results come up and will lead you to even more options.

Internship hunting is only as intimidating as you make it, so get out there and have some fun! When you’re putting yourself out there, showing interest in a company and letting your unique personality shine through, you will undoubtedly find an amazing internship with unforgettable experiences. Keep your options open and stay determined!

Start the New Year right with these Resolutions for 2014

By Kelsey Miller

ImageIt’s that time of the year once again. “New year, new you.” How do you plan to spend 2014? Of course there’s the typical, “save more money” and, the most daunting, to “eat better and/or lose weight.” But, what about the thrifty people who don’t want to change their eating habits or exercise routines? Or the people who want to change that and more? What about the people who want to think outside the box for 2014? Well, here’s a collect of a few resolutions for those people:

Break a record. You can go all out Guinness style, or even set a personal record for yourself. This can go for any aspect of your life. Eat the biggest meal of your life, break your personal record for bench press or a 5K time, or have the laziest day ever. Your choice!

Get your photo in five interesting places. You can go to five places around the world or stay local and add an artsy spin to it.  As long as you find it interesting, it doesn’t matter where you go!

Try a new food each week. Are you a foodie? Are you a picky eater? Expand your horizons and try something new. There is no reason why you can’t eat something you have always wanted to try. You can even get creative and invent a new dish.

Compliment one stranger each day. Think about how many people you see on a daily basis. If you really pay attention to them, you will notice that you like something they’re wearing, their style, personality, or a combination of it all. Of course you’ll feel creepy at first, but how good do you feel when a stranger compliments you? The worst-case scenario is that they do think that you’re weird. So what? In the end, you make someone feel better about themselves and brighten their day as well as your own, even if it’s just for a couple seconds.

Make a new friend every month. Making friends isn’t always easy, but putting yourself out there and making yourself more approachable is a great way to make connections and become a better-rounded person. Maybe one of the strangers that you compliment would make a good friend. By December, you will have made 12 new friends. Throw a dinner party for your new posse.

Pamper yourself for a day. Do something by yourself. Spend a day by yourself doing what you love to do. Save up your money to treat yourself to a spa day or a weekend getaway. Pull an Eat, Pray, Love stunt and learn about yourself.

Pamper others once a month. Buy someone you love a gift for no reason. Make a stranger smile by buying their lunch or their gas. Even sending a dessert to a family’s table at a restaurant.

A lot of those resolutions may be about others but you will still benefit the most. Simple compliments or spending a little bit of time and money on others can go a long way and will make your 2014 an unforgettable year.

Source: www.realbuzz/articles/10-unusual-new-year-s-resolutions/#pagination-top