New Year’s Resolutions vs. Goals and how does that tie into Association Management?
First, HAPPY 2018!!! I wish you and yours happiness, health and success!!!
**BONUS FOR THE CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE IF YOU READ TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST**
Those of you that know me well will remember I do not do New Year’s resolutions. The reason why is my definition of a resolution vs. a goal.
A resolution is a dream without a plan. It is something you tell yourself at 11:59pm on December 31 to make yourself feel better about some aspect of your life that was not perfect in 2017. First issue with that is life will never be perfect but you can still enjoy it. Second issue with resolutions is most people never live up to any of their resolutions. By January 15th they are stored in a box like a Strategic Plan for an association on a shelf (I will get back to the strategic plan later). Resolutions are usually unrealistic and there is no plan in place to achieve them. There is also no accountability for a resolution since many people keep them private. People hold you accountable, so scream your resolutions from the roof top or in today’s world post them on social media.
A goal on the other hand is a well thought out achievable desired outcome based on a plan of action that includes a benchmark, action/implementation plan, occasional check-ins, a time line for the outcome and a metric at the end that will allow you (or your association) to gauge your successes. A goal in life (or a strategic plan) also includes required resources (people, money, equipment, knowledge….). I would not set a goal that I want to be a sky diver without some understanding of the resources that it will take. This is not to say that you should let where you currently are to define your goals. Shoot for the sky and with a dedicated plan you can get there.
OK, so how does this fit into the association management world? This is also the time where associations may set their goals or at the start of the year some Board Member will say “remember that strategic plan we did in 2016” and this is a great time to set some goals or revisit that strategic plan. I had the privilege and honor to lead one of our newest clients through a strategic planning session in October 2017 and we have made some progress on it but I also went in realizing that the implementation would really start in January 2017. We have goals, objectives, timelines, metrics and all the other components needed for success. We will need to revisit them and I will need to work with the client to start pressing the volunteers and myself a little more so over the next year the components necessary for success are all there. The Strategic Plan is not a bunch of resolutions that will not be implemented. All items are well thought out and achievable. We also have the most important resource ready to go – people and in this case the volunteer leaders who will make it happen. We will be setting a communication schedule that will be used to communicate the plan and the progress of the plan to the members and stakeholders so we will be held accountable. The communications will also allow us to tap the energy and expertise of our members so we have the volunteers we need..
So just to complete the tie in with the association management world this is a great time to either set a few goals for your association or to revisit that strategic plan that might be a little dusty right now. Those associations that are not moving forward are really taking a step back!
Since I want to be held accountable for all of my goals I will share them with you. My goals will also be used for some future blogs as I tie in my personal and professional growth with the growth of my business and clients since I really see all of the items as one. Success breeds success.
- Do a blog once a month
- Take at least 5 hours a week and focus on the strategic work of my clients (not administrative issues)
- Take at least two hours a week and focus on making my business operations better (many weeks I am so focused on client work and deliverables that my business takes a back seat)
- Other goals will come out throughout the year based on client need and changes in my business and the client’s needs.
So about mid-year I realized that I was not treating myself correctly and I had a fear that if I did not take better care of me I would not be around for my family and my clients so I took some corrective action and started running. I had three goals for 2017:
- Start by running every day for 100 days straight – COMPLETED and surpassed my personal goal of 90 minutes by completing the 10k in 79 minutes 24 seconds
- Finish the Run the Bridge 10k in November 2017 – COMPLETED
- Do a timed 5k race – COMPLETED
Running totals for 2017 (really from July on since that is when I started)
- 267 miles ran
- 57 hours ran
- 12 minutes and 40 second per mile avg pace
- 46k calories burned
- Completed 2 organized races - a 10k and a 5k
- I held myself accountable. To complete my 100 day running streak I had to run at 11pm each night during a client conference even though I knew I was up the next day at 5am. While driving back from Chicago I had to stop at a truck stop at 11:30pm and run around the parking lot with all the tractor trailers honking at me since I looked like there was something wrong with me but I was not going to use the travel as an excuse.
- I defined my goals.
- I posted my goals and my progress on my Facebook page even when there was a week that I did not run at all. I posted my failures and my successes and I used my failures feed the fire the next week.
- I found a group of great people that helped support me when I was struggling. This group of positive people was always there. Nobody walks alone through this life. Fine positive people and people that are better than you at what you want to accomplish and surround yourself with those people.
2018 running goals
- Love Run Half Marathon in March 2018
- A full marathon probably Philly Marathon in November 2018
- Completing 1,000 miles for 2018
- Maybe a sprint triathlon but I need to research the swimming component more
I have my training plan set through March 2018 and then will adjust so I am implementing the benchmarking from last year and the occasional check-in towards my various goals.
I also helped a canned food drive in November that collected over 350 items of food for a local food pantry and a drive to collect new socks and underwear for a homeless shelter in Camden. The wonderful people from my running group were so generous in both drives. Below is a picture of what was collected with my two guard dogs Gus and Mikey standing watch (ok Mikey is actually laying down on the job but be works for food, walks and love so what can you expect). Thanks to all the Run856 crew for the donations.
2018 personal goals:
- Do more for others through charity work. If everyone did a little a lot can be accomplished.
- Take my daughter out at least every two weeks just her and I. She is getting older and in a few years will be out of the house.
I hope this message was helpful, entertaining, inspiring – you fill in your descriptive word that you think is appropriate and add that work to the "Comments" section below. with the name and web address of your selected charity If you leave a comment I will select one comment randomly and make a $100.00 donation in your name to the charity of your choice. I am already implementing one of my personal goals.
I will close this as I started.
HAPPY 2018!!! I wish you and yours happiness, health and success!!!