Here we are in January – and all around us, there’s talk of being better, improving, giving up bad habits, or taking up new ones. Some people avoid goal-setting, because they’re afraid of failure. They haven’t learned yet that failing to reach a goal is just an opportunity to find the lesson in it all. That’s the best part of stretching ourselves to accomplish something new! In 2018 I set a goal to win an election. I didn’t make it. What I did make were new friends, new ideas, a deeper connection to my community, and a host of resources and sources of help that I didn’t have before. I didn’t win the election, but I know I’m far more successful than I was before, because I tried.
What about you? Have you set a goal for January, or for 2019? Here are some SMART steps that are helpful as you set your goal for the weeks or months ahead:
And on that note, what’s my goal for this year? To find a paying project that takes at least 180 hours (over the whole year, or in a shorter, concentrated burst) that incorporates the work that made me set last year’s goal – to contribute to eliminating hunger, homelessness, or illiteracy. That’s specific, time-bound, realistic and measurable – and I’m taking action by putting it here. If you or someone you know has a project that needs a "do-er", I’m ready to listen. Let’s talk.
How are you feeling?
It's an interesting question, one I've been asked frequently since this time last month, when I had just lost an election. The answer? Just fine. Satisfied. Relaxed. You see, I believe it is always worth it to try something that seems like a huge challenge, even if it doesn't work out. That's because I subscribe to the Jim Rohn philosophy of, "You win or you learn".
So, I'm still trying to find just the right way to make a big difference in my community. In the meantime, I know that many small differences add up over time, just like compound interest. So while I'm working on the next big thing, I look for a way to do some small thing, every single day. And I'm confident that I learned something that's going to come in handy. I set an example for many people (they've told me so), so how can it not be worth it?
This week I was at a meeting with members of local agencies to discuss how we might build our community's economic engine. We were discussing who we need at the table to make sure both jobs and entrepreneurial ventures can thrive. During this conversation, I was excited to see that one of my community-minded colleagues was realizing that doors are opening up as his network is growing. (Porter Gale even wrote a book about it: Your Network is Your Net Worth.) Later in the week, I had another conversation with colleagues at the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, where I'm a Board Member. Again, the conversation turned to who in our networks could help us grow our various projects. During my recent campaign, I grew my web of community connections exponentially, and doors are opening. Now it's up to me to turn that potential into something. To that end, I have three asks this week:
First, how can I inspire you to stop waiting, and start building the network that leads to your next big thing?
Next, who do you know, who is an expert at creating jobs, who should be part of my community conversation?
What advice have you received, that changed your career trajectory for the better, that I can share with my network?
Looking forward to building together!