As a nonprofit leader, when was the last time you planned how you wanted to feel? That is a crazy notion, isn't it? However, if you consider how you want to feel and attach goals to those feelings you desire, you will find that you have a way different year ahead of you!
Start by looking over the past year for lessons
In this post, I encouraged you to look back over the past year for the lessons you learned. Pausing and then pondering how things turned out in different situations allows you to collect ideas for what you want to do differently in the future.
If you want different results, then you need to do something else. The strategic review of the past year in this post will help you highlight areas of your life that you want to change.
Next, look ahead to choose your feelings
Now that you have taken a look back, it's time to pivot and look forward. The backward review and peering into the future are part of laying a solid foundation before setting goals for the new year.
As you inspect what might unfold in the new year, I want you to consider how you want to feel. Instead of starting by thinking about what you want to achieve or what you are hoping to accomplish, I want you to think about your feelings first.
It may be helpful to note what you DON'T want
Looking at the past year, you can identify what you don't want, and it's an excellent place to start. If you are like most women leading in the nonprofit sector, you know what you don't want:
Then, it's time to shift
But if not that, then what? That's the easy part. We complain, grumble and moan about what we don't want. However, continuing that cycle of what you don't want in your head keeps you stuck on the negative. Instead, it would be best if you look for something different.
Consider the experience you DO want
Consider for a moment what feelings and experiences you want in the coming year. Here are some examples of what feelings you may be looking for:
Hold off on developing goals
If your mind keeps going to goals, step back from them for a bit. Setting goals are important, and we will get there. But the goal is only part of the picture. When we only identify the target, we miss the importance of attaining that.
When you ask yourself what you want to accomplish a goal or achieve, it's about the feeling you will get as a result of completing it.
It matters because it's doing or achieving something that will produce a certain feeling. So it's that feeling that I want you to focus on now.
Here are some examples
A goal that so many identify each year is to become healthier. So what difference does it make if you lose weight or change your eating habits?
Imagine that you want to do something different at work, return to school, apply for a new position or start a new project. Consider that outcome for a moment and think about what the feeling is that you are longing for.
Changing jobs will make you feel what?
Where do you already feel that?
The second part of this exercise is to consider the list of feelings you've identified. Then, look at where you experienced those feelings now.
Combine the lessons learned and feelings desired
Pulling these two concepts together (lessons + feelings) looks like this:
Looking back and then ahead
When you pull out lessons learned and pair them with the desired feelings you have for the future, you are in a great place to set goals for the future.
First, take the time to let these two ideas sit with you in the next few days.
Then, come back to them a few times. Journal some thoughts about them. Talk to others in your life about it as well. Slowing down to get a handle on your life intentionally will put you back in the driver's seat.
Finally, you'll be able to create goals that help you create your future rather than just watch it unfold!
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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.