It is almost time for a new calendar, which is one of my favorite times of the year! I am a big planner and I love taking time to reflect and think about where I want to be at this time next year. Several years ago I started a practice of using worksheets created by Ink & Volt (they are free!) to prepare for the new year. They start with a reflection on the past year, thinking about what went well, what could have gone better, and the lessons learned. The second step is reflecting on relationships and the third is setting a yearly theme. Setting a theme is the most difficult and yet most rewarding part of this process. The theme should be short and should speak to all areas of your life. My 2019 theme was “nurture” and I used it to guide my goals, which is the final (and most fun) part of the process. After years of doing it wrong, I now try to plan for a balance of work and life, so I set achievable goals for both. I also like to keep my theme in a prominent place so I can remember it and use it to guide smaller decisions.
This year I tried something new and worked through a modified version of the worksheets with Youth Services programmers, using only the pieces that made the most sense for our work. It was a valuable process that helped us focus our energy where it was most needed. Our theme was “Make It Fun!” and while that was difficult at times (there was a flood inside the building!), it was a good reminder for us to try to add a little fun where we could. Talking about what worked for the year and what could be better helped us to set some goals and achieve them.
This year we are looking forward to a new strategic plan in January, so we will use that as well as some of these guiding questions to help set a theme and work plan for 2020. Happy New Year!