As the year approaches an end, it is the perfect time to embark on a journey of personal and professional growth through year-end reflection and goal setting. This practice involves thinking about the past year, celebrating achievements, and learning from setbacks while setting the stage for a brighter, more purpose-filled future.
We start each of our all-staff meetings by taking a few minutes to cherish gains, large or small, together as a group. Celebrating wins is an integral part of the culture at the Don Wood Foundation. Our Board of Trustees also receives updates to our strategic plan and Mission Moment stories about our successful grant investments. Celebrating wins together reminds everyone of the purpose behind what we strive to accomplish and gives us a voice to bring forward team victories of which we can be proud.
In addition to taking time to stop and remind ourselves about the milestones we have reached together as a team, year-end is a perfect time for self-reflection. This effort can be a profound exercise that allows one to gain insights into life, and to make more informed and potentially transformative decisions for the future. While I am no expert in practicing self-reflection, my five steps include:
Also, make sure that goals are realistic and attainable. I have found from personal experience that setting overly ambitious goals can lead to frustration and burnout. Instead, select goals that challenge you but are still within reach. I also like to set a time limit around goals because this establishes a sense of urgency and helps me stay accountable. Another tip that works for me with successful goal setting is to break larger ones down into smaller, manageable steps. For those who know me well, it is no surprise that I love nothing more than to cross something off a list; it provides me with such a sense of accomplishment. Bringing your larger goals down to a more tactical level offers a road map for getting there. Finally, reviewing your goals and adjusting regularly is vital. Life is dynamic, and your goals must be agile enough to evolve with changing circumstances.
Year-end reflection and goal setting can be powerful tools for personal and professional growth and transformation. If you embark on a journey of this practice, be patient and kind to yourself. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Embrace the opportunity for growth and self-discovery each year, so you are on a path to a more fulfilling and purposeful life.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." – Wayne Gretzky
Laura M. Macknick. MA CFRE
President & CEO
Aligning Opportunities Between Students, Community, and Industry
Don Wood Foundation
P.O. Box 25537
10315 Dupont Circle Drive West
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
*By Appointment Only*