So, how was your 2016? Despite the holiday frenzy, I hope you took some time to reflect on the year, highlighting your blessings and, yes, considering what might have gone better. What brought you the greatest joy? What were your personal growth successes? Whose lives did you impact the most? What lessons did you learn from your greatest challenges? Does your future look differently?
Soon, the bowl games will be over and it’ll be time to cast your vision for the new year (including completing our goals from 2016!). With a renewed spirit and fresh thinking, some exciting opportunities may be in store.
Here are some tips to help you craft your vision for 2017:
Regardless of our age, we can always take steps to improve our personal (and professional) brand. Perhaps you’ve received some constructive criticism. Or, you wish you possessed a quality you admire in others. This list of positive attributes might stimulate ideas. Here are some additional questions to consider:
- How would you most like to improve your mind, body, and spirit?
- Which growth goals, if achieved, would have the greatest impact on your life and on others?
- What new experiences and learning would allow for growth, enjoyment, or potential impact on the community?
- How might you manage your time more effectively and reduce distractions?
- Do you have a solid understanding of your assets, interests, and passions?
Positivity is a powerful force in life, especially in our relationships. It’s why we should begin each year by identifying the relationships we’d like to improve and how we might begin the process. (Yes, it generally pays for us to initiate the steps rather than wait for the other party… as difficult as this may be.)
Here are some other questions worth considering:
- How is technology affecting your relationships with family and friends? Consider making your family time tech free. Technology IS having a serious effect on relationships and communication, so be on guard.
- For parents: who could become a potential role model and mentor to your children? They’ll help foster new, valuable relationships and help your children build their network. Also, how can you build stronger relationship capital with each of your children?
- Are politics getting in the way of your friendships? If so, it’s repair time!
Our greatest sense of joy, purpose, and fulfillment often comes from serving others. If giving back to your community is an area you’d like to strengthen, these questions might help channel your desire into a plan:
- If you didn’t have to work for a paycheck, how would you contribute to society?
- If you could solve any problem or pursue any cause, what would you choose?
- Which people or needs tug most at your heart?
- Which organizations or programs are aligned with your passions and could benefit from your talents?
Always remember, someone out there needs exactly what you have to offer!
No matter where you are in your career, there are always opportunities to “up your game.” These ideas might take yours to a new level:
- For students, take a skills and interests inventory to identify potential matches. Then, as your candidate list narrows, talk with people in those jobs to gain from their wisdom. It’ll either confirm your interest or steer you away. By investing in your career exploration and understanding your talents, passions, and interests, you’ll be in great shape to find a good fit.
- For experienced employees: 1) is there a new skill/training that will position you to advance? 2) how can you improve your existing job performance? 3) is there someone you would like to be mentored by or whom you can mentor? and 4) what ways can you contribute to your employer’s success that may, or may not, fit within your job description?
Finally, we all should be reviewing our financial goals annually as a course of habit. What ways might you learn to save and invest more, spend more wisely, give more to charitable causes, and improve your financial literacy? Are you on a pathway to achieving your financial goals? What tweaks do you need to make?
Best wishes on your vision casting and for a fantastic 2017!