One thing I always look forward to as a new year begins – the chance for me to begin again. Fresh! Free! New! Forget the past – that’s done, and you can’t do anything more about that. Think about what you want to do in the coming year, and take time now to set some goals. But not just business goals. Do it in a balanced way, with personal goals, avocation goals, and family goals. No more than one-two per area. (I am not a good example – I have 4-6 for each.)
Hard time writing them down? Think about creating a mural, a collage, a poem, a mindmap. Whatever speaks to you. Whatever is easiest for you. And don’t put it in a drawer, or up staring at you all the time either. Put it someplace so you can see it on a regular basis to remind you of what you set out to do.
To help formulate these, ask yourself:
– how will this move me forward?
– how is this helping me reach my long-term goals?
– what is new or different about this that will stretch me?
– is there an intermediate step or goal that will help me achieve this?
– who can I share this with or ask for help from?
The latter question is terribly important, because if the goals are not just check-offs but a true stretch, getting the help and support you need to achieve them is important. No one said you had to do it all by yourself!
Let me share a couple of mine. I’ve talked for a long time (to myself, to some others) about writing a book. So my goal for 2010 is to determine what the book will be about. Now I know that seems like a small goal. And yet for me, once I am clear and passionate about the topic, the writing will come. An intermediate goal is to continue to write for professional journals so that I can continue finding my voice.
Another goal is to make a recording with my band. I haven’t done that since high school. And yet I’ve had the pleasure of playing a festival in Germany the past two years with people asking about buying CDs. So now is the time. And again, the intermediate goal is to continue to rehearse, come up with the right arrangements so that when we go to record, we know what we want to play. I know I’ll need all the help I can with figuring out how to best do this.
Family-wise, I’d like to be sure to take at least one trip with each member of my family. That ensures that we have some time together as we both enjoy or explore new places. Those trips can be one-day, overnight, or longer-term. That gives me the flexibility I need to make this goal achievable, something we all need.
So take to the pen in 2010, and be sure to set goals that will help you grow!