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Happy New Year, dear readers! It has been a while since we’ve updated Unveil Your Brilliance. The last few weeks were something of a break, but it’s back to business. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that your 2019 is off to a good start.

A new year often brings new resolutions and goals. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t take the time to set any goals for myself. As we get further into January, I find myself regretting the decision. Even if New Year’s resolutions are often broken, I still believe there is a benefit to writing them such as taking goals and desires out of your head and putting them onto paper. Fortunately, there’s no rule stating your goals for a new year has to be done on the first day of the year. So consider this list a New Year’s resolution of sorts.

  • One of my biggest goals is to make more time to write in general. Ideally, I want to write at least once a week for Damage Control, and not miss my turn to update for this blog. I’d also like to reach a point of comfort where I can consider taking on articles beyond DC and UYB.
  • This has been a goal for over a decade, but I want to finish more video games per year. I’ve never given myself a minimum goal in the past, but I will start this year with finishing a minimum of five games. Considering I knocked four games off my backlog after completing a new game in 2018, this goal is definitely within reach.
  • I need to make the best use of my remaining social media platforms. I recently deleted my Facebook account (I’ll get into that in another article), and my Google+ account is going away in April. That leaves me with Twitter and LinkedIn as dedicated social media platforms. While my Twitter account is updated every day, I need to brush the dust off of LinkedIn.
  • Keep a stricter schedule to manage my time each day outside of work by time blocking. This includes hectic weekends.

My goals for the New Year are quite modest, but if I work hard and stay focused, I know I will achieve most, if not all of them. What goals do you have planned for 2019?

Dallas NYE Fireworks by David Swinney of Flickr
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The holidays are fully upon us, and if I’m being honest, I’m not always fond of this time of year. Between the increased holiday hours at work, the flurry of year-end articles to write for Damage Control, increased traffic both on the streets and in stores, holiday parties, present buying and gift wrapping, and actual Christmas plans, everything can feel overwhelming. The sense of being overwhelmed and dropping my usual habits got to a point where I even stopped exercising. It wasn’t until I began to feel pain that I knew it was time to take a step back and pace myself.

When everything is said and done, aren’t the holidays something to be enjoyed rather than endured? Because I do enjoy Christmas and seeing my family. I do enjoy the time I spend at Christmas parties. And I do enjoy bringing home larger paychecks from work so I can buy family and friends gifts. After rethinking some of my priorities I came up with some helpful ways to maintain control of a schedule when time is tight.

  • Sleep: It’s always one aspect of modern day life that’s overlooked and undervalued. A goodnight’s rest can help you stave off sickness, maintain a healthy weight, and help with your mood.
  • Family: This is the time of year where most people spend time with their family. Whether they are blood relatives or a chosen family. Don’t forget to take some time to reach out and keep in touch with them.
  • Gratitude: When you’re on the grind, it can be easy to forget what you’re thankful for. However an attitude of gratitude can help keep you grounded and your eyes focused on the bigger picture.
  • The holidays are temporary: Eventually, the holiday season will end and your schedule will return to normal. A little patience and perspective can go a long way.

Even if you’re not a fan of the holidays or you don’t celebrate them, it’s still necessary to keep yourself well-paced during this time of the year because in many ways you are still impacted by the holiday season.

 

What are some of the ways you get through the holiday season?

 

The Mont Saint-Michel Candles by Samuel S of Flickr

Our warmest Thanksgiving wishes from Unveil Your Brilliance. We hope you are having a wonderful day. Life can be hectic during the holidays, so be sure to take care of yourself, take time for your family, and most of all, enjoy! I’m personally thankful for family, friends, and trying out new things this year.

What are you thankful for?

For everyone outside of the United States, have a great start to the holiday season and a great weekend!

Thanksgiving Cornucopia by Lawrence OP of Flickr

Thanksgiving Cornucopia by Lawrence OP of Flickr

 

Today is a follow up to my last post. Recently, I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone for Damage Control by doing video. For many years I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a Let’s Play of a video game. I always thought I couldn’t because I was lacking in terms of technology without owning a video capture card, an expensive microphone, or video editing software. Ironically, I had some of the software I needed all along. During my time with Karen she had me look into free broadcasting software. It was called OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). She didn’t end up using it for the project, but I held on to the software I had downloaded. When I left Epic Careering last summer, I made a series of training videos for my successor using the desktop capture feature and a USB headset I owned. I realized then that the plans to record a Let’s Play were at my fingertips.

The plan came to fruition when I wanted to carry out a Halloween series of videos for the blog. Using Steam, OBS, and my microphone, I was able to record myself playing a Halloween themed game called Costume Quest 2 while providing commentary. The videos aren’t the best quality and I could definitely use a better microphone, but I consider them to be a success. The process has given me even more respect to the talented people who record videos on a daily basis, or even make Let’s Plays their full-time job. It can be difficult to want to talk while trying to concentrate on a game, though it becomes easier as you go along. That said, I can’t see myself doing lots of Let’s Plays as writing is my bread and butter. Still, I wanted to give a project a shot and I’m glad I did.

 

When was the last time you moved out of your comfort zone?

Microphone by Pasco County Schools of Flickr

Microphone by Pasco County Schools of Flickr

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