It’s the third of February and time, I’ve decided, to check in on the state of my new year’s goals. According to a national survey, nearly nine in ten resolutions won’t make it to February. I just came from a Case District 1 Conference in Boston last week where I learned a lot from the various workshops and met many incredibly dedicated and smart relationship professionals. I’m walking away feeling inspired and excited to continue making progress on my professional and personal goals. I’m not going to let a national survey determine how successful I am at reaching my goals so I am plugging ahead with mindful determination.
I had the great pleasure of attending a leadership talk at this conference presented by Betsy Myers. In addition to being a professional speaker and author of the book, Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You, Betsy is the Founding Director of the Center for Women & Business at Bentley University and she is also served as the COO during the 2008 Obama for American Campaign.
My greatest takeaways from her speech are:
- If you don’t think you’re a leader, remember this: at the very least, you are leading you own life.
- 70% of American workers report not feeling engaged at work. People don’t leave organizations, they leave bosses.
- Bottom line — leaders bring out the productive feelings in themselves and their people.
- Think about a time when you were most excited about your work. Is that not a time when you felt valued, supported, appreciated?
- Check in on how you feel at your job. If we are in a job where we can be our authentic self, we should be “freaking out with joy!”
- A key aspect of leadership is honest self-reflection. You must know how your behavior impacts others.
- Be honest when you look in the mirror. What are you doing that prevents you from reaching success? How much time do you spend each day on things that aren’t about what success looks like?
- What’s your Iowa? What is you purpose and is it seen w clarity. In 2007, Obama’s was to win Iowa primary, and he did. We waste too much time on things that do not lead toward this success.
- People live 3-4 months on one compliment; It’s about time we start to put stars in other people’s buckets. We can make a difference!
- Write down your goals: those who write their goals down are more likely to achieve them.
Each one of these ten takeaways are deserving of their own blog posts. However, for the sake of sticking to my own goal for this post–and that is checking in on my goals–I am going to focus on this last one. I have found great truth in this: writing my own goals down means that I am more likely to achieve them. Similarly, writing about missing a step along the way of a goal can also serve a very powerful purpose of self-reflection.
I set ten goals for 2013 and I am finding the most success on the ones that I have been deliberately tracking:
- I have been engaging in a meditative and mindful practice for a minimum of 10 minutes several times a week. Admittedly, the goal is actually to do this 3 times a week, but I have not kept an exact count. Here is what I’ve done to keep on top of this goal. I work out at my gym 5-6 times a week. Half of these times I will treat myself to warm shower followed by ten minutes in the steam room. It is the ten minutes in the steam room that I spend in meditation. I goes something like this: I count to four over and over as I relax my jaw and my muscles. Thoughts and observations interrupt my count and clear mind. I don’t get frustrated and I don’t nag myself. I simply observe the thought and continue counting. When I leave the steam room I feel both relaxed and energized and at peace with myself and my surroundings.
- I have not taken a pottery class. BUT… I have checked the curriculum and schedule for the Fall calendar at the MFA School and I have already put the appointments in my calendar. My calendar is marked so I will be free and available.
- I have playing the guitar frequently–but not every day. I’m hoping to work on this goal more but I also did not realize how this goal would affect others in my living space. For now I am pleased with the frequency.
- In collaborating and communicating with others I will seek first to understand than to be understood. This is a tough one. I am striving to listen more empathically, but I still need to work on asking better questions to help me understand others better.
- I have not even addressed the mess desk situation. Every time I start I fall back into organizing or creating the same crazy piles that I’m trying to get away from. I think I will have to do a “clean sweep” of the desk and start from scratch. I also think that I’m going to have to come in on a weekend day to do this.
- Working 0ut HAS been fun and this is the goal that I feel most excited about. I have been taking the best classes and breaking the friend/food cycle by meeting up for activities (like hiking with Randi and Chuck) instead of meeting up for meals. When I’m not taking classes, I’ve allowed myself to watch my favorite movies or TV while on the stationary bike and this has actually increased my cardio from 30 minutes to a full hour (I have to stay on to see the end!).
- I have a bag ready to go to Goodwill because I have been putting two things in it for every one thing I bring in the house. The toughest was parting with a 9 year old pair of cowboy boots that I have shared many wonderful experiences with. But the time was right–the boot tips were worn to the point that even a cobbler could not fix them.
- Triathlon. That’s right. I almost forgot about this goal. I think my next step will have to be to go to the Danskin website and sign up. Once I’ve registered it will be more real and I’ll have to get better prepared. I must do more swimming. I love/hate swimming.
- I have begun to address the best dates with my cousins for planning a cousin lake trip. Two things I have discovered: 1) to create the nostalgia and fun we do not have to necessarily revisit the same lake and 2) this may have to take place in 2014…but nothing is stopping me from doing the planning now.
- Courting Wuggs–yes I am. We have enjoyed a few dates this month. And I am including in this our “Slow Sundays” tradition that I have started. Almost every Sunday this month I have prepared a healthy vegetarian dish in the slow cooker. For dinner, I set the table up with the fine china and serve sparkling water in wine glasses, light the candles and set the mood. Wuggs loves this and I love her for loving it. I’m looking forward to celebrating our next big date out on Valentine’s day.
I seriously am the #queenoflists!