What are your professional/personal development goals for 2013?

image of my journals

30 Years of Journals

Since I was in elementary school, I’ve kept a journal. I’ve written about everything from crushes on boys to having a baby to the joys and tears that come with moving and having a new job. Every year on New Year’s Eve I write about the past year and remember the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly. Then I write goals for the next year. This year I was so tired on New Year’s Eve I went to bed early, and I must confess I haven’t set a goal yet. New Year’s Day is really an arbitrary day and we could pick any day of the year to take stock, assess, and reassess.

I already know in my head what my goals are. I’ve brainstormed them at random times for the past month. But there is something about putting that goal down on paper and signing your name to it that makes it real, makes it a contract. So this year I’m skipping my paper journal and sharing my goals here. I hope that this will not only make me more accountable but that it will also inspire you to do the same.

Personal

  • Focus on less. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta is an excellent read. I have too much physical and virtual clutter in my life. I’m archiving all 3,500 unread Gmail messages and starting over with 0. I’m archiving photos to DVDs and selecting only the best to keep on my hard drive. I’m deleting files I no longer need. I’m taking two days off work this week to finish unpacking and declutter my home. This weekend it will be my children’s turn to do the same in their rooms. I am tossing anything that does not have meaning, importance, or is something that I am not in love with.
  • Focus on myself and my family. My children are at ages, 5 and 8, where they want and need constant attention from me when I am not working. I’ve cut down on nearly all my outside commitments to focus on them. In a few short years they will want to spend more time with their friends, so I don’t want to miss a moment of this precious time when their brains and hearts are like sponges ready to learn, love, and be loved. I made the difficult decision to put off graduate school until my kids are older. I have no regrets and feel relived by my decision. As I’ve said in the past, we can have it all, just not all at the same time.

Professional

  • Make email a tool for me, and not let myself become a slave to email. Enough said! When I figure out how to do this I’ll let you know.
  • Connect with customers. Now that I’ve learned much about my organization and its products and met some initial short term goals, I’ll be reaching out to customers in my role as customer relationship coordinator. My job is to make sure customers are having the best possible experience with our products and maximizing use of their products. I will help customers succeed in their goals.
  • Just like my personal email, I’m clearing out my RSS feeds and limiting myself to 10 feeds. When I can manage 10, I’ll add 5 more, and so on. Having more than 500 feeds is counterproductive and causes me to be so overwhelmed I just don’t look at them.
  • Complete my Facebook best practices for professionals project. Look for an updated survey soon!

So these are my goals for 2013. What are yours?

Finding Your Place in Your Organization

Yesterday during the Technology Essentials 2010: WebJunction Online Conference there was a session by Sandra Nelson about integrating your technology plan with your strategic plan. Home with a sick child, I enjoyed the conference via Twitter as tweets like this came in:

This tweet really stood out for me because defining the problem or what it is that we want is crucial, and I can’t agree with Sandra enough on the value of integrating anything that’s important to an organization into its strategic plan. The strategic plan is the North Star that guides an organization into the future. Not having a strategic plan is like sailing blindly into the night without any tools for navigation. You may end up in the Bahamas or you may end up in Antarctica. Your strategic plan determines your final destination and provides you with a map of how to get there.

My employer recently created a new strategic plan, and I was overjoyed to see the following listed as a strategic priority:

Once an organization has a strategic plan it’s important that each and every employee can find his or her place in the plan. This may seem like a small thing, but when employees know how they are contributing as an individual to the overall success of an organization, they feel ownership and pride in their jobs.

My place is clear, and I have this strategic outcome posted in my office. Why? Because this portion of the strategic plan is my North Star and it guides everything I do.
Strategic Outcome for Library Relating to My Job

Any time I find myself with too many projects and not enough time, I step back and make sure that the projects I am working on contribute to my strategic plan (taking ownership). All of my goals and outcomes for my job support this one part of the Library’s bigger plan.

Last fall we created a new Employee Learning & Development Curriculum. All of the training within the curriculum ties in to the strategic plan for the Library.

Employee Learning & Development Curriculum

Does your organization have a strategic plan? If so, have you identified your role in that plan? If your organization does not have a strategic plan, are there ways that you can ensure you are contributing to the overall success of the organization?

New Year = New You

I’ll admit it. I’m a total New Years Resolutions junkie. As far back as I can remember I’ve spent every New Year’s Eve journaling about the past year and setting goals for the new year. There’s something about the feeling of a clean slate that I like. I know that it’s just an arbitrary day on the calendar, but since we celebrate it I figure I may as well take full advantage of it.

Facebook has a cool app that lets you share your goals so your friends can give you some encouragement.

facebook

Yet another reason to love Facebook!

facebook2

p.s. I’m already registered for that Spanish class!

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