Well, I made another lap around this life and tacked on another year to this life, grateful and blessed I made this far. So on my birthday before I start another lap, I stop (full stop, no distractions) and think. What went well, what didn’t, where did I want to go and didn’t get to, and where am I heading based on the trajectory I’m on right now.
I write my goals on something the size of a business card and tuck inside my wallet, and revisit it when I’ve got downtime – actually airports coupled with a good pair of ear buds are good for this exercise. I work in a world where 5-year plans are popular but there’s too much that can happen in 5-years, but I get the idea of putting things in place for a 5-year goal. My target is just one year, not five.
I set about putting a few reminders around my home and work to remind me about these goals I’ve chosen to apply. Now most of us have some type of performance plan our jobs ask us to incorporate but that’s not the type of goals I’m talking about. Here’s a short list of a few candidates I consider each year: good listener, enthusiastic, passionate, visionary, role model, integrity, organized, knowledgeable, credible, empowering, patient, understanding.
You can incorporate many of these into other things you do day-to-day, and they can add that extra challenge to those things you’re working on to hone yourself through the next year. And out of that list, pick no more than four or five. You’ve got to take these goals and apply them in small portions, think baby-steps.
Just be aware of what you want to enhance about yourself and tweak yourself as needed, or when you see one of them slip. Those are the moments you need to catch yourself and say, “hey, I’m working on that… why didn’t I handle that opportunity better?” Don’t shame yourself, just coach yourself, make a mental note and move on. Don’t get hung up on it, move on. It’s ok, we’re still learning about ourselves, well, I can’t speak for all of the readers of this blog but I certainly am always looking for room to improve.
Happy New Year!