January 2023 Leader Letter
5 Steps to Set (and Crush!) Your Remaining Term Goals
The start of 2023 is an ideal time to reflect and reset.
This month marks roughly the halfway point of your Toastmasters term, so it's an excellent time to reflect on the goals you started with. Which goals have you already accomplished that need to be celebrated? Which goals are you on track to successfully complete? Did you make goals that now need to be reevaluated and revamped?
Keeping the same motivation that you had in July can be difficult as you face the day-to-day realities of your role. Consider these steps to regain momentum:
- Reflect the positive and dream. Start by applauding what you and your team have done well. How can these strengths be applied toward outstanding or new goals? Dream big: imagine that a year from now others are reflecting on your term. What positive outcomes would you ideally want them to remember? What goals can be revised or created to support those imagined outcomes and make them a reality?
- Break down goals into actionable steps. This will keep you moving forward. For example, if one of your goals for the year is to increase your club membership, one smaller step can be to check that your club's contact information is up-to-date on the Club and Meeting Information page in Club Central so that when leads reach out to you from Find a Club, their email makes it to you. A second step could be to schedule several evenings a week to check and respond to prospect emails. Next, you could post fliers advertising your club/Toastmasters around your meeting venue, if you meet in a public space.
- Schedule your goals. Create a dedicated time each week that you will chip away at your goals; treat this time as non-negotiable. This can be used to cross off a smaller step, to generally evaluate your progress, or even to reach out to someone who can support you if you're feeling stuck. Dedicating even just an hour per week as goal work time will ensure that you don't lose momentum!
- Use time-management techniques to maximize your productivity. Sometimes we set goals and then spin our wheels because the laundry list of to-do items becomes overwhelming. One way to avoid this is to use techniques to tangibly track and manage productive time. For example, maybe you set aside an hour each week to work on your goals, but you don't feel that you've made much progress. Auditing this time could empower you into productivity.
Assess how every ten minutes or so of your allotted time were spent. You may discover that a significant portion of your time is spent on social media (most smartphones let you disable specific apps for a predetermined length of time), or trying to locate relevant files (time to reorganize!), or fielding distractions from family members (establishing boundaries may help). Check out more actionable time management techniques in this month's Toastmaster.
- Be kind to yourself. Being human means that you will experience setbacks and periods of demotivation. And that's okay. Gently acknowledge when you are experiencing these lulls, but don't let the resulting feeling of stress spiral you into longer periods of inaction. Take a step back by formulating a plan to get started again at a later time, even if the first step of that plan is to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or colleague for advice or support. Allow yourself to completely step away to rejuvenate until your planned restart.