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Be It Resolved

Posted By Administration, Saturday, January 12, 2019
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2019

It’s that time of year again.  The time when we make resolutions to lose weight, take charge of our finances, manage our time more effectively, etc., etc., and etc.  We all make resolutions to improve something in our lives at the beginning of each year.  In some cases, we maintain these resolutions throughout the year.  But more often than not, they will fall “by the wayside” fairly quickly.  Our intentions are good, but our ability to “stick to the knitting” often falls short.

According to historians making a new year’s resolution is a tradition that may date back nearly 4,000 years to Babylonian times.  It is reported the Babylonians believed that whatever a person did on the first day of the year would have an effect on their lives that lasted throughout the year. 

This tradition continued with the Romans when, in 153 B. C., Julius Ceasar set January 1st as the date for making new year’s resolutions to honor the Roman god Janus, a two faced god.  It was believed Janus could look backwards to the past while simultaneously looking forward to the future.  Janus is the god of beginnings, transitions, doorways, gates, and endings.  The month of January, viewed as the beginning of one year and the ending of the prior year, is named after Janus.  This was seen as a symbolic time to make resolutions for the upcoming year. 

Why do we continue to make resolutions?  Even though the success rate for New Year’s resolutions is reported to be less than 20%, nearly half of all Americans do make at least one New Year’s resolution.  Reasons cited for making resolutions include the appeal of a fresh start; the idea of improving yourself; or just because it’s a tradition.  Most resolutions are somewhat vague. We promise to quit smoking, to stop eating junk food, or to lose weight.  Or we resolve to start an exercise program, volunteer in our community, save (or earn) more money, or just to enjoy life. 

The one common denominator in each of the goals listed above is they often do not include any way to measure their effectiveness.  In order to achieve any goal it must be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.  Those individuals who really think through what they want to achieve and set clearly defined parameters that allow them to measure their progress, enjoy a much higher success rate.

Alternatively, there are those among us who just refuse to make New Year’s resolutions.  The main reason cited for not making even one resolution is that we are doomed to fail.  Certainly we can all understand their reasoning.  Why set a goal when you cannot imagine yourself succeeding?

So at the beginning of this New Year 2019 we can choose to do nothing.  We don’t have to set any goals or make any resolutions.  But for those among us who wish to restart the clock and set about reaching our full potential, we can and should consider making a New Year’s resolution.   For me making resolutions in the New Year is the triumph of hope over experience. Best wishes for a happy, prosperous, and successful new year!

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” - Abraham Lincoln.

"New Year's Day. Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." – Mark Twain

Please share your thoughts on New Year’s resolutions in the comment box below.  Did you make any for this year?  Why or why not?



Marsha Witherspoon, CDFA is the Business Manager for Cole & Denny Architects in Alexandria, VA.

She currently serves as the 2018-2019 SDA National Treasurer.





Tags:  Goal Setting  Resolutions  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Welcome to Our Newest SDA Members!

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 7, 2019
Updated: Monday, January 7, 2019

Please join us in welcoming our newest SDA members:

First Name Last Name Firm Chapter
Victoria Chay Fentress Architects Denver
Jill Childers domusstudio architecture San Diego
Elizabeth Foster Cuningham Group Architecture Minneapolis/St. Paul
Lynell Higashi Lumos & Associates, Inc. Member-at-Large - Reno, NV
Dawn House Page Southerland Page, Inc. Houston
Brittany Miron Cooper Carry Atlanta
Linda Kay Norris PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. Portland
Kelly Potter Cavignac & Associates San Diego
Jeana Rodriguez CMG Landscape Architecture Northern California
Karen Stacy RVK Architects San Antonio

Be sure to connect with our newest members on SocialLink and encourage them to join in our many discussions!


Tags:  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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SDA National President's Message - December 2018

Posted By Administration, Monday, December 17, 2018
Updated: Monday, December 17, 2018

SDA National President, Susan Lankey, CDFA is back with her December President's Message. Be sure to check it out to learn the latest happenings at SDA National and share your comments in the box below.

Tags:  President's Message  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Holiday Party Smart Talk

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

 As Toastmasters, we are taught that all speaking is public speaking.  Whether we are doing a prepared speech, practicing impromptu speaking through Table Topics or counting “ahs” and “ums”, we recognize that all conversations can benefit from a little practice and preparation. 

I recently came across an article about how to “Talk Smart at the Holiday Office Party”. Here are a few of the conversation faux pas that the author suggests we watch out for to keep our careers on track during the holiday party season as well as year-round:

Making inappropriate comments, even in jest. Remember that an office party is a business situation and business etiquette rules apply. Using sexual innuendo or telling off-color jokes at the holiday work party is a sure-fire way to attract the wrong kind of attention.

Not shaking hands when the opportunity presents itself. When introducing yourself or greeting people you know, do you hesitate to extend your hand when you meet a member of the opposite sex?  Not offering to shake hands with them will peg a man as a sexist and a woman as unsure of herself. Therefore, at office celebrations and everywhere else for that matter (except for religious, cultural or physical reasons) both men and women should take the initiative to shake hands with everyone they meet. And make sure the handshake is a good strong one that exudes confidence.

Talking only with your officemates. Chatting with your work buddies for a few minutes is part of the fun but staying with your closed circle too long could cast you as cliquish, not interested and not open to outsiders. Staying on one place too long may give the impression that you are shy, self-conscious or lack confidence. Instead, chat with your friends for a few minutes then move on to work the room and introduce yourself to others you want to get to know better.

Complaining or gossiping about colleagues or clients. It’s tempting and may even be well-deserved, but never get involved in a gripe session while attending the holiday office party. It’s obvious, but people seem to do it all the time, especially after a few drinks.  Even if you aren’t doing the complaining, being part of the group could cost you a great price. Try to politely excuse yourself from the conversation as quickly as possible, or at least take the initiative to bring up something that changes the conversation to a more positive topic.

The holiday office party is a great place to make small talk and build better relationships with coworkers, clients and other acquaintances.  Focus on topics that lead to sharing comment interests, goals and experiences and you’ll have plenty to talk about. For more conversation faux pas to avoid, read the entire article “Talk Smart at the Holiday Office Party” by Don Gabor in the December 2009 issue of Toastmaster Magazine using the link here.

Do you have any holiday party conversation tips? Share them in the comment box below.



Stephanie Kirschner, CDFA is the SDA National Executive Director.



Tags:  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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SDA National President's Message - November 2018

Posted By Administration, Thursday, November 8, 2018
Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2018


SDA National President, Susan Lankey, CDFA has prepared her November President's Message to share the latest happenings at SDA National. Be sure to check it out and share your comments in the box below.

Tags:  President's Message  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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