Michelle Balleck: Setting goal-driven intentions for Moffat County in 2018 | CraigDailyPress.com

Michelle Balleck: Setting goal-driven intentions for Moffat County in 2018

Michelle Balleck/For Craig Press

Michelle Balleck

The conclusion of a year and a bright beginning to a new one can send us into a reflective state. As I looked back on 2017 and set my personal intentions for 2018 this weekend, I also considered our economic developments goals for this year: broadband, business attraction, business growth, community pride and so on.

What if, as a collective population all driven to push our community forward, we could set intentions to lead our decision-making, investments and energy for the next 12 months? Regardless of your feelings about the value of resolutions and your likelihood to honor them, goal-driven intentions can reframe our thinking and prepare us to do work we can be proud of in a year. I'll take a stab at a few targets our community could embrace in 2018.

• Love ourselves: Moffat County is a pretty amazing place. We have chosen to call this corner of Colorado home. We tout wide-open spaces, incredible recreation opportunities, an abundant history and an atmosphere that's warm and welcoming.

As we enter 2018, I hope we can all take some time to reflect on what we love best about our home and exude that to our neighbors, colleagues and visitors.

• Broadcast our pride: I also believe that the community brand and pride campaign being developed through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade's "Brand Building for Communities" technical assistance opportunity will help us to embrace that mindset.

Stay tuned for the launch of the new brand developed with several local entities, OEDIT and the marketing firm Development Counselors International in the next few weeks. Then, join us in shouting from the rooftops how proud we are to call our community ours.]

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• Make ourselves even more attractive: While we may be setting personal goals to eat healthy foods, exercise more or find a new beauty regimen, we can also work to improve the business climate for growth and recruitment.

The broadband implementation efforts led by the city of Craig, Moffat County and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership will provide critical infrastructure businesses need and expect when looking at relocation and expansion. Couple that effort with incentives through the Colorado Rural-Jump-Start Program, of which Craig and Moffat County became a part in 2017, and we are on the right track to being an attractive place to operate a company.

I hope in 2018 that we can make progress on the broadband buildout, both locally and regionally, review and update policies to reflect the smart growth we want to see and continue beautification efforts to showcase our community's charm.

• Embrace collaboration: None of us can do this work alone. In 2018, let's appreciate one another's strengths and utilize them for the benefit of the community, as a whole. It matters not whose name is attributed to a success. We are all here to strengthen our community and make progress for a prosperous future.

• Take risks: To evolve, we need to take (calculated) risks to facilitate growth. In the words of T.S. Eliot, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go."

While we can learn from other communities' successes and lessons, we also need to set our own path. Moffat County has its own unique identity on which to capitalize. We need to take our strengths and build a distinct Moffat County personality to set us apart. I hope we can be brave in 2018.

What other resolutions would you set for Craig and Moffat County moving into this new year?

Michelle Balleck is the executive director of Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Marianna Raftopoulos Business Success Center. She can be reached at 970-620-4370 or director@cmedp.com.