Keep your goals for 2017 short and tweet

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Emily Mongan
Emily Mongan

One hundred and forty characters is not a lot. If you've waded into the cesspool — I mean wonderful cultural advancement — that is Twitter, you know this.

For the uninitiated, the social media platform can be used for a lot of great things. You can follow the news (and McKnight's, if you aren't already), stay in touch with colleagues and professional organizations, and keep up with your favorite celebrities. But the social media tool isn't without its faults.

One of the biggest criticisms of Twitter (and there have been many in recent months, running the gamut from trolls to our tweet-happy President-elect) has been its 140-character limit. The short snippets of text have been Twitter's hallmark since the beginning, and while it might be modified eventually, it's still what the site is best known for. And despised by those with a lot to say, or news organizations trying to fit a link and a headline into one tiny blurb.

It was amusing then to see the Twitter limit surface during a recent Avalere webinar focusing on the top issues healthcare providers and companies will have to focus on in 2017. The moderator asked the panel to give, in 140 characters or less, their one takeaway for providers to succeed in 2017.

Avalere Senior Vice President Josh Seidman offered “VBP will continue regardless of ACA debates #trainalreadyleftstation.”

Elizabeth Carpenter, also a senior vice president with the company, came up with “Plan for 2017. Identify potential change, understand business impact, advocate to shape the final solution #beatthetablenotonthemenu.”

Is the Twitter takeaway idea amusing? Definitely. It had its humorous side, and was obviously effective at helping the speakers' big ideas stick with me since here I am, thinking about it days later.

But it also carries what I think is an important reminder in a day and age where so much gets said, but so little actually gets listened to.

You could write out a long list of personal or work-related goals for 2017 to cover all your bases, but you run the risk of getting overwhelmed or focusing on some goals over others. Instead, take the Twitter approach.

Write out what you want to focus on in the coming year, in 140 characters or less. If you're really feeling adventurous, throw a hashtag in there. I'll start: “Worry less, run more. Travel as much as possible. Declutter. Try new things, meet new people #make2017awesome.”

You'll be surprised at how inspiring this “less is more” approach can be, and how conquerable 2017 will seem when you sum up what you want to achieve in one short and sweet message.

Have an idea for your or your facility's 140-character resolution? Share it below, or send it to me on Twitter @emmongan. The one judged most clever by me and McKnight's colleagues will win a prize.


Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.