At the start of a New Year, many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions or what we want to “do” in the coming year. Being a goal-oriented person, I set annual goals every year, which I’m pretty good about accomplishing. Since it’s the start of the year, I’ve been thinking about what I want to achieve in 2014 and, as I always do, I sat down and started my list of things to accomplish this year. As I was doing that, I realized I wanted this year to be more about who I will be than what I will “do.” Because it’s a New Year, many of us make those resolutions or commitments about what we’ll do or stop doing: go to the gym, stop hitting the snooze button, go to sleep earlier, go see the doctor, lose 10 pounds, update our resume, and start looking for a new job… And I think we should focus on who we want to be instead. What type of person do you want to be in 2014? Is it the healthy, well rested, in-shape, energized, and kindhearted person? Or maybe it’s the person who spends more time focused on taking care of him or herself so they have more to give others. Once you decide who you want to be, create your list of what you want to do based on that. Then, your list of tasks to complete has meaning behind it. If you want to be a healthy, well-rested and in-shape person, then going to the gym, seeing the doctor, and going to sleep earlier are actions that have meaning behind them. They are not merely things you “should do” but are things you want to do because of the person you want to become. Think about this in terms of your leadership role and your career as well. What type of leader, employee, colleague, or business owner do you want to be? What will you do to become that person? For me, one thing I decided I wanted to be this year is more present and giving of my time. Because of that, my goals of slowing down (not rushing through things and from place-to-place) and of volunteering at the local animal shelter have a lot of meaning behind them: they are related to who I want to be. By taking time to focus first on who you want to be and then creating what you will do based on who you will be, your actions not only have deeper meaning but inevitably will be easier to accomplish. This month’s development tip: If you haven’t made up your list of 2014 goals, start with creating your “who will I be?” list. Once you decide who you want to be, then create your “what will I do?” list based off of your “who will I be?” list. If you’ve already set your 2014 goals, go back and review them to ensure that they are related to who you want to be – give them the true meaning they deserve.
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