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It’s Spring – let’s put a little pep in your step.

In our last issue I shared with you my personal mantra for this year: "Small steps lead to big journeys." I'll be honest; some days those small steps have been really difficult. Deadlines have had me chained to my desk, meetings that could have been emails have kept me away from my computer, and my to-do list is ever-growing as the spring cleaning urge has started. And don't get me started on the lack of motivation provided by Mother Nature's constant rain the past few weeks. But, even those small steps that I've forced myself to make are already leading to big journeys.

So what's holding you back from taking one more small step towards your big journey? Here are a few powerful strategies to help put a little pep in your step this spring.

  1. Use the Rule of 5

The Rule of 5 dictates that every day you should take action on five specific things that will move you closer to achieving your goal. It doesn’t matter how small these things are. As long as they are action steps that will move you closer to your goal, they are moving you in the right direction.

If you want to get ahead at work, do five things each day that will make that more likely.

  • Devote an hour of your time to learning a new skill (hyperlink this to HQ webinars)
  • Sign up for training (hyperlink this to INDD training sign up)
  • Write a list of questions you'd like to ask an industry professional (link to healthcare panel sign up)
  • Get involved – volunteer to serve on a board, committee, or even for just one event   (link to committee descriptions online)
  • Take a fellow SMPS member out for lunch and ask them for tips (hyperlink to members only area of SMPS)
  1. Link New Habits and Behaviors to Existing Actions

My second tip for you is to look for simple ways you can link positive new habits and behaviors to the things you are already doing.

For example, if you want to get more involved in the AEC industry but feel limited on time, volunteer for a one-time task (hyperlink to info@smpsnashville.org) like sending a new member a welcome email, helping greet at an SMPS event, or even just commit to attending one more SMPS event than usual.

One of my new habits is trying to avoid the elevator and walk up one flight of stairs or down two flights of stairs. This means I'm still doing the same action but I'm adding in a new habit to help me keep on stepping.

  1. Track Your Progress

Thanks to the digital age it's easier than ever to track our progress — thanks to devices like FitBit and Apple Watch we can literally track our steps. But tracking the small steps of life can be a bit more tricky — and in the digital age of instant gratification we have been conditioned for the need to see our success. When your journey involves taking a series of tiny steps over time, it might be easy to overlook the fact of what you’ve actually accomplished.

For me, I try to take time each week to mentally review everything I have achieved — not just the check marks on my to-do list, or the number of emails I've cleared out of my inbox, but I also think about the conversations I've had, the connections I've made, and the seemingly nominal tasks that weren't significant enough to make the to-do list. It's in those smaller steps that I find the most gratification because it's in those smaller steps that I discover just how far I've come – and am even more motivated to continue the journey.

For the past two years, I've watched fellow SMPS members take small steps too — steps that are already leading them to big journeys full of growth, leadership, and friendship.

Small steps can often be easy to brush off or postpone since you may feel like they are insignificant. But, one small step you shouldn't postpone is getting involved in SMPS. We will soon be releasing the SMPS Nashville Call for Nominations. This year we will have more opportunities that ever to get involved on the Board of Director or on a committee. We have revamped our communications committee to provide leadership opportunities in specific areas such as website, email, graphics, and social media. We are also looking to provide short-term opportunities to get everyone involved. Being part of these planning committees provides both a leadership opportunity and exposure for you and your firm to some of the key decision makers and influencers across Middle Tennessee.

Whatever your goal may be, taking steps toward reaching it each and every day will eventually yield major progress, and often in much less time than you’d expect. To help you be successful, we have some exciting events prepared for spring and summer including the return of two of our most popular events - the Healthcare Panel (April) and InDesign Workshops (June). You will not want to miss these small steps that are sure to put a pep in your step this spring.

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Letter From The President

The end of the year always comes with an abundance of wrap-up and holiday to-do lists (am I right?), but it’s important to take time and think back on all that has happened and what you are hoping to accomplish in the New Year.

There is nothing magical about January 1st — it’s just an opportunity to renew and refresh before heading into a year of new opportunities and challenges. This year, in addition to your typical resolutions, I challenge you to create a personal mantra. For myself, I have chosen something that inspires me.
“Small steps lead to big journeys.”

These words seem almost too simple, but they can mean so much. To me, those words resonate in my life. “Small steps” when I am overwhelmed, “small steps” when I don’t know where or how to start, “small steps” every day — because when all of those small steps add up, it becomes a big journey to something new. As a chapter, I hope that we continue to take small steps on our big journey in 2019.

The coming year brings about some big journeys for SMPS Nashville. We will celebrate our 30th Anniversary as a Chapter, we will finalize the launch of our new branding, and we will implement new opportunities for professional growth.

We are kicking off January with a New Member Coffee — an awesome opportunity to learn how to get more engaged with SMPS and meet some new faces. Many of our Chapter members will start a new journey together towards their Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) certification with the launch of our new CPSM study group. We’ll also see the return of our Developer Panel Program where SMPS members and guests will be able to hear from local developers Highwoods Properties and Tony Giarratana as they highlight commercial development progress and upcoming projects for Nashville. March is our annual SMPS Southeastern Regional Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, that will focus on diverse topics from “The Five Principles of Influence,” to “From Painful Feedback to Intention & Purpose,” to “The Marriage of Marketing and Technology to Grow Your Business.” This power-packed conference is sure to help you and your firm “Reshape the Landscape.”

But, before we start filling up our brand new 2019 Day-Timers (yes — this girl is still a little old school), I invite you to take a look back at how the small steps of the past year have led you on your journey and to look forward in anticipation of the small steps you will take on your next big journey. We are honored and excited to be with you as we journey together.

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Flourish Your SMPS Experience

SMPS Nashville is looking for volunteers to join our Chapter Committees. Joining a committee is a great way to connect with the Nashville A/E/C community, meet new people and gain exposure to marketing and new business efforts. Below you will find descriptions for each committee and the contact information for the respective Director(s). If you are interested in committee involvement, please contact me at kgunter@ssr-inc.com!

Communications 
The Communications Committee assists all of the other committees in marketing communication and promotion including, event announcements on monthly activities and events, e-mail blasts to all members and friends, website maintenance, social media strategy and the newsletter. The group develops creative content, key messaging, and graphics for the programs and events throughout the calendar year. 

Membership 
The Membership Committee encourages chapter enrollment through organizing the membership drive, supporting SMPS recruiting efforts, welcoming new members and aiding with member retention. This committee is responsible for providing information to new and potential members, organizing New Member events, and engaging new members with the Chapter. Committee members might find themselves working registration, greeting guests at events, or even organizing events that connect our members (new, old, and even those contemplating membership). The committee provides opportunities for members to build relationships with peers and potential teaming partners through networking events. The overall goal is to engage and encourage potential and existing members and reinforce cohesiveness of the Chapter. 

Programs 
SMPS strives to connect members to trends and hot topics that will help them in their firms marketing, research, and planning. This committee is responsible for planning programs that benefit the A/E/C industry. This includes developing a topic, finding a speaker(s), and leading all other arrangements to ensure the program runs smoothly from start to finish. 

Sponsorship
The SMPS Nashville Sponsorship Committee members are responsible for obtaining sponsorship for annual sponsorship, monthly programs, and education events. The committee works with other committees to facilitate financial support for programs from monthly luncheons to special events. They are in charge of conveying the benefits of annual and program sponsorship opportunities to current and potential sponsors from all facets of the A/E/C industry.

Education
The Education Committee strives to provide educational, professional and personal development opportunities through a variety of events and formats. These can include half day workshops, skills training, lunch time webinars, and CPSM certification study groups. Education topics and learning/implementation tools are defined by the Six Domains of Practice: Marketing Research, Marketing Plan, Client/Business Development, SOQs/Proposals, Promotional Activity, and Information, Resource and Organizational Management. 

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