Vanessa Van Edwards, who studies the science of goal setting, writes that goals should be measurable, actionable and competent. Competency is an interesting word she identifies with goal setting. Our goals should align with our legacy and be achievable. Our legacy focuses on what drives us, what gets us up in the morning. Before setting any specific goals, take time to think about your individual legacy: where you are, where you want to go and who you want to be. What do we want to be remembered for? This sets the stage for successful goal setting.
Gretchen Rubin, who wrote The Happiness Project and has a weekly podcast, suggests that each year we choose a theme: a one-word theme or short phrase that represents the new year ahead. One word or a short phrase can be a strong motivator and guide. This then gives us the opportunity to align specific goals around our word or phrase. Repurpose, transformation, build, professional development, self-care, lighten up, discipline, and organize are just a few ideas I’ve been considering.
What might be your word for 2017?
I’d like to take my own approach to the word GOALS and get you inspired to reflect on the year ahead.
G is for Gratitude. Look back on the year behind and consider what you’ve learned. We learn from both the ups and the downs so be grateful for the dips as well as the upswings. Also be grateful for the opportunities ahead. There is a blank tapestry ahead that only you can paint and bring to life.
O is for Ownership. We often compare ourselves to others and set goals that may not fall into our wheelhouse. One year, a friend of mine had a goal to climb a certain mountain. She suggested I do the same so I added that to my list of goals. Did I climb the mountain? Of course not! It wasn’t mine. I didn’t own it. It was just words on paper.
A is for Aspire. Aspire to reach your potential. Aspire to be positive. Aspire to approach your role with more intention. Alexander Woollcott said “There’s no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.”
L is for Learning. Continuous learning is essential to our success as administrative professionals. Get excited about learning new ways to do your job, learning a new software program or application. Attend a professional development conference or workshop.
S is for Simplify. This can be as simple as de-cluttering your workspace or doing a closet makeover. I have found that when I take time to simplify in one or two areas of my life, my mind is clearer and I am able to focus on what Stephen Covey calls the “important but non-urgent” quadrant of tasks.
2017. Bring it on.