Monday, December 31, 2012

The Risk of Not Planning

 Here's an adaption of a post I wrote on year end goal-setting for my personal blog exactly a year ago.

“I was lucky enough to take part in the very first "Reboot Your Life" weekend retreat offered by The Sabbatical Sisters.  I was on the second leg of a train trip around the country, arriving in Santa Fe from Los Angeles.  Eight of us converged on Cathy Allen's beautiful home for a wide variety of discussions and exercises designed to make us rethink the use of our time.  The best of the exercises is one on setting and tracking achievable annual goals.

(You can read exactly how to undertake the "goals circle exercise" in the book written by the four Sabbatical Sisters -- Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith -- titled Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career & Life by Taking a Break available on amazon. com.)

Since 2009, I've taken time to look at the prior year's circle and then to make adjustments when I make a new one, often because I've learned something about myself from the review.  Here's how you would proceed:

Make a circle and divide it into six to eight pie slices, which you then label with aspects of your life.  I use six slices, and they are labeled “health,” “creativity,” “ books,” “ financial,” “ career,” and “personal.”

The next step is to identify five goals for the new year in each category.  This can take longer than one sitting; and indeed you'll find that some of the pie slices change from year to year because of projects you might undertake. 

Once you've completed this portion of the exercise, then pick out the goal in each category that is most important to you.  Make a new circle with only a single goal in each slice, and keep it with you to remind yourself and review progress during the year.

All of the slices are designed to have equal weight so that you have begun to balance your time more evenly across these aspects of life."

I'm still experimenting with multiple roles in my work -- consultant, speaker, teacher, and author.  Even as we solved problems for clients, we managed a major update of the website this past fall, and there's more still to come.  ASA published a second book in February.  Having taught one course last spring and preparing to teach two courses in winter quarter, I can honestly say that I thrive on teaching graduate students at the University of Washington.  And I'm still determined to enhance the amount of physical exercise and training I accomplish.

 “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” -- Francis Bacon, The Essays

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