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Resolutions, Goals, Plans: Get Started

Two random sources came together this week that relate to this newsletter. One was a news story that said the average U.S. life span is 4,000 weeks. I have lived more of those than I have left. And the second one was the Hidden Brain podcast episode, “What Would Socrates Do?”

Hidden Brain is my favorite podcast. Today, I randomly chose “What Would Socrates Do?” from the list of episodes, and they were talking about this very subject, more or less. The episode covered why we do and don’t do things, our inner battle with ourselves, the decisions we make, ignoring what’s good for us, and forming habits.

My epiphanies were: I Don’t Have Time To Waste and We Are What We Do.

It’s what our parents told us about practicing the piano or playing soccer. Do it until you’re good at it, until it becomes second nature. It’s the same whether you want to be a good accountant or a gamester. Or fundraiser!

Now, we’re talking about more than New Year’s resolutions, which are usually not specific. For example:

I want to lose weight (resolution).

I want to be a healthy person, so I will join a gym and work out with a personal trainer twice a week. I will work with a nutritionist to change my eating habits (goals).

To be what I want to be, I have to work toward being it. This is where goals come into play, and actually, we can dust off the S.M.A.R.T. method (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) to help us. For example,

Specific Who do you want to be? What do you want to achieve? To be an ED/CEO is 3 years
Measurable How will you know you’ve reached your goal? What are you measuring against? I will be hired by a NPO to lead the organization
Achievable Do you have the skills and resources needed? Not yet. I’ll join a mentoring program and invest in my professional development
Relevant Will these results matter? Do they align with your team and/or organization? Yes, this goal aligns with my professional ambition
Time-bound What is your deadline(s)? December 2026

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