I specifically remember being away from home for a workshop in November 2019. As I was packing to leave, I’d made plans to work on my 2020 vision book during the downtime in my hotel room. I gathered my vision book that I keep adding pages to each year and all the necessary supplies and magazines that I would need. There was a level of excitement as I thought about what I wanted to accomplish in 2020 and all the great things that would happen. I was ready!
On the first evening of the workshop, I laid out the supplies and started cutting words and pictures from the magazine. I was strategic in making sure that I added goals that would be challenging. You may have heard the quote “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” Fred DeVito. I wanted to be challenged and changed. I didn’t want things to stay the same in my personal and professional lives. I wanted to be better, to feel better, to do better.
Side note: As I type this blog, the word consistency continues to echo in my thoughts and has been for several days. That must be my word for 2021 to focus on so that I can become better.
Back to the sharing about creating the 2020 vision book. I began pasting pictures and words to the paper that’ll be placed in the vision book. The more I pasted pictures and words, the more a feeling of sadness began to overwhelm me. The excitement slowly faded, and I was beginning to feel deflated. The unexpected and uninvited tears slowly started to fall and then the sobbing took over the was supposed to be a time of excitement of planning for the future.
What was happening? What had gone wrong and to cause a cloud of darkness? There was a sudden reality that I didn’t believe anything that I was placing in the book. Not one word. Not one picture was believable. You see, things hadn’t gone the way I’d planned in 2019 and somehow, I’d lost hope for 2020 goals. Now that I am writing this, a lightening bolt thought—I realized that I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. So, I put the items away and never looked back at the vision book throughout 2020. With the way 2020 transitioned for all of us, you would think that I would’ve quickly restarted working on a vision plan, but I didn’t and the book remained put away on the book shelf.
As with any new year, we set goals to reach within the next 365 days. But here’s the great thing about goal setting is that we don’t have to wait until January 1st of each year to set goals. Yet, we all know what happens as one year is ending and another one is beginning, we make vision boards, vision books, purchase organizers, determine what our word for the year is, and plan for our vision for the year. We all have individual plans and methods for goal planning in 2021 and I want all of us to reach our goals. However, we must stay focused and “geared up” about our goals.
Fast forward to January 2021, I’ve been reinvigorated, am seeing clearer and my vision is purposeful. In goal setting and vision planning for this year, there are five specific areas that will be my focus: health, relationships, communication, personal, and professional.
We all need to focus on our physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and financial health. Our strategies will look different because we all have different needs and goals. While establishing goals, we need to set micro-goals to reach the final goal. We also don’t need to get frustrated when we get off track. Refocus, regroup, and start again. Please, make sure that you celebrate the micro-wins.
What do the relationships in your life look like? Are they healthy and happy? Or stale and sad? I encourage you to cultivate meaningful relationships. Whatever that looks like and with whom for you.
Communication! Communication! Communication! The words we say or don’t say can help, hurt, or hinder others. We definitely need to choose our words wisely to have healthy meaningful relationships. In 2021, I want you to practice being attentive to what you say to others. A book I recommend is Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler. One of my goals is to read it again in the first quarter of the year.
These goals revolve around what’s at the core for your personal development. Identifying what you want most out of life and how to obtain it. Personal goals may also include learning how to forgive yourself and others. Do you have a habit of saying “someday” and procrastinating to get things done? Maybe a personal goal (actual realization) is that someday isn’t promised to any of us and we need to do it today. What does your life balance look like? Is more time spent working instead of enjoying your personal life? Of course, we all have professional goals, but we also need to establish a healthy balance between personal and professional goals.
I’ve already established a realistic plan to reach two specific goals by March 2021. For my professional career, I am going to obtain two certifications–Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator. Before 2020 ended, I printed documents and ordered textbooks to prepare for the exams. Your professional goals are different and I hope that you’re creating a plan that includes mini-steps for daily progress toward your goals.
Whatever your goals are for 2021, I hope that you excel beyond your expectations!