What do you hope to achieve this year? Start there when thinking about what to learn.

January is a time when we think about goals, aspirations, new initiatives, and strategy. We hope for success knowing that the busyness of the day-to-day will soon distract us from long term projects.

January is also the time when we are asked to speak with groups around the state about the learning programs we have ready for nonprofit leaders. And we have many, from in-person workshops to webinars to on-demand options ranging from insurance to ethics. But what we have to teach is not the first question we ask at the start of a new year. We are focused on your success taking action on your goals. We want to help you find solutions to your most pressing challenges or opportunities. That means more than teaching and learning.

We would rather ask this: What do you hope to achieve? What is your organizational goal? What new strategy is your staff or volunteers hoping to implement? What cool idea have you read about that you think would move you forward?

Download this worksheet to follow along as we connect your goals with ways to learn

We invite you to choose one thing that you want to achieve this year. Write it down.

Imagine then what success with that goal looks like. What will you see people doing? What will you hear at meetings or community gatherings? How will clients or board members feel when this goal has been achieved?

Achieving that success depends on a few things. You may need to know something or gain a new skill. You might need a tool or resource, like a directory or template. Lastly, you could possibly use a connection to someone who has been through this before or someone with funding or access to in-kind services. It is hard to maintain motivation when things get tough. Write down what you need across these three categories.

Sustaining action takes time to think and support from your community. Schedule time for reflection alone and with others. Too often we fail to leave space for deep thinking, and yet so much research tells us that we need reflection for effective actin. Define your team—the people who will hold you accountable—and invite them to help you celebrate your achievements along the way.

Your goals inspire us to create learning programs that make a difference. Your success informs how we build out online toolkits, “document vaults,” and other tips for others. We look forward to seeing you at a workshop, online—or hearing from you anytime about how we can support you as you achieve your 2018 goal.LearningGoalSetting

Next steps:

Best wishes for a wonderful, learningful New Year!

About Nancy Bacon 23 Articles
Nancy Bacon leads the development and implementation of Washington Nonprofits’ learning and engagement programs.