Building The Future

Whether you are struggling to make significant changes in your life (professional or otherwise) or to introduce improvements into an organization, here is one plan to guide your thought process and efforts:

  1. Make a list of what you believe you achieved last year and what you think you’d like to get done in the next year; name your values;  let the list sit “overnight,” and then take it back out to review with a fresh pair of eyes;
  2. Give yourself credit for the achievements – even if you had disappointments or losses you  probably achieved more than you have allowed yourself credit for;
  3. Confirm or tweak future goals; list some steps to meet them;
  4. Reflect on core values that you’ll observe in taking those steps;
  5. Consider  ideas and age-old wisdom that are a good source of advice even though we easily overlook or disregard less flashy suggestions;  
  6. Check out some entries on this blog such as the early entry back in January of 2010 – “Pinning Hopes on a Bright Future” and “The ABCs” post of June 2010; see if anything there speaks to you or inspires;
  7. Think about what gets in the way of achieving new goals, for example, deal with conflicts and negatives that are lingering – resolve them as positively as posssible to get them off the shelf or off the books;
  8. Plan to prevent recurring disputes – are there predictable “traps’ to avoid and are there some best practices that could help you (and others with whom you interact) deal with stress and unproductive disagreement?; figure out how to extract value from genuine differences of opinion;
  9. Cultivate continued learning  – it’s the gift that keeps on giving for individuals and organizations.  (I wouldn’t underestimate the value of self-education through reading, and other exposure to new information);
  10. Look for and keep in mind possible resources that may be of assistance when you are encountering a roadblock;

If this plan sounds superficial, it is not. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that there is power in  simple thought exercises such as these suggested. Productivity calls for ongoing, consistent effort but support is needed from time to time to motivate and maintain that effort. We all need confidence and hope. Read this plan out loud if you must to get it off your screen and into a different part of your brain. Then try it. Refreshing goals, motivation, values, and knowledge can provide a much needed boost. Good luck!

Jeanne Franklin