I'm EXCITED for the new year! As an avid believer in goal-setting, I love the feeling the new year brings, a chance to reflect on the past year and start planning for a fresh, new one. As we turn the page on the new year, the first question you and I must ask ourselves is:
Where do I want to go in 2011?
If you haven't thought about this, then I can assure you, you won't reach your goals. How can you navigate the ship of your life if you don't know where you're going? The old adage says, "Most people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan"... and it's really true! As moms, we are the LEADERS in our family. As such, we need to think about where are we leading ourselves and our families in this new year. Good leaders, whether in business, politics, or any endeavour all share some basic common traits:
1) An effective leader HAS A CLEAR VISION of what they want to accomplish.
Do you have a clear vision of want you want to accomplish both individually and as a family in 2011? Do you want to volunteer more? Help out at your child's school more? Save more? Get out of debt? Get your health, finances, relationships in order? Do you want to work on strengthening your marriage, increase your time with the family, learn something new? You need to spend some time thinking about your goals and have a CLEAR VISION of what you want to accomplish.
2) An effective leader listens to INPUT FROM OTHERS.
Talk about these goals with your spouse and kids! Getting input from the whole family helps to define a shared vision and common goals you can all work toward. Imagine the lessons learned while striving toward a shared family goal and the wonderful sense of accomplishment you'll all share when you all reach that goal!
3) Effective leaders WRITE IT DOWN.
Whether you write your goals in a journal, on a piece of paper stuck to the fridge, or create a family poster highlighting the goals for 2011, all effective leaders record their goals by writing them down. Keep them where you can be reminded of them easily. This provides daily encouragement, keeps your goals out in front of you and keeps you thinking about them on a daily basis. It also provides some accountability as you share your goals with others by making them visible, (which makes them more concrete) and gives others the opportunity to ask you about them and how you're progressing!
4) Effective leaders DON'T GIVE UP. There are going to be challenges ahead as you work toward your goals, but effective leaders don't give up. They are successful because they push through when others would just give up and say it's too hard. Anything worth having is worth working hard for! All the best things in life require hard work and dedication: a good marriage, happy, well-adjusted kids, financial independence and security, etc. And here's the hidden benefit: we appreciate things more when we have to work for them. If it's just handed to us, we rarely attach much value to it.
I hope you'll look at yourself in a little different way in 2011. I hope you'll see yourself as a LEADER in your family. I hope you'll use some of these techniques of effective leadership to move yourself and your family toward important and meaningful goals. I hope 2011 is your best year yet!
There is joy in the journey!
(a.k.a. NW MOMMA)