If you are like most nonprofit leaders, you hit the ground running this January.
It feels like we don't get to choose!
If you aren't careful, you'll default to spending this year chasing whatever falls onto your lap, your inbox or shows up at your door. But you can design your life this year rather than wait to see how it unfolds.
The problem is that too many women leaders in the nonprofit sector live in default mode. Whatever gets thrown at us, we take on. We are so mired in the tasks and meetings right in front of us we don't even see that we have a choice.
But you do have a choice
You can design your leadership and life experience with some planning, and you are worth the time it will take! Trust me!
Your indecision will leave you in default mode
If you don't plan, you live in default mode. Defaulting to others, lack of time, or the expectations set for you, means you don't decide. Your indecision means you give up the ability to create your days and how you want them to be.
Put together day after day of defaulting to the world, and this is what you will find:
I felt like I was a victim of my circumstances
I look back in my journals and see when I was in default mode. It's easy to tell. It was when I felt I was the victim. I blamed my mess of a life on others, the job, the sector, society and life in general. I gave up control.
Women fit their life around everyone else
In default mode, women wait to see what everyone else around them does. Then women try to fit their needs, wants, wishes and dreams into the tiny cracks in the middle. That is, if there are any cracks to be found. Unfortunately, most of us are so busy taking care of the things that need doing that we don't make time for ourselves.
Are you letting everyone else decide your life?
The problem is if you keep going down that path, you will never find what you want. If you don't set goals for yourself, someone else will set them for you. Your organization and your boss or board probably have goals set for you. I bet someone else has decided what you will do at work and in your personal life. You follow the beat of the drums around you. It's time to find your own beat!
Don't get me wrong, your organization should have goals, and in addition to those goals, you should design your own personal goals for your career and your life.
Stop letting everyone else decide. Create your vision
Designing your life means you step back and determine how you want to experience it. It means you choose what you want and then make that happen. That starts with deciding on a vision and then developing goals to reach that vision.
Take back your power by making choices
In design mode, you take back control. You take back your power and make choices. You become responsible for the choices and the outcomes of your life. When you do that, you ensure there are time, resources and motivation to reach your goals and dreams, whatever those are.
I gained my power back
I can also see in my journals where I took the time to set goals and the shifts it made in my moods and my day-to-day experiences.
Prepare to design your life:
Live life in design mode
Make a choice. Decide to take back control of your life. Start by taking control of your agenda and setting aside time to plan. You'll be glad you did!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.