Monday, December 30, 2013

What are you putting in your Christmas Stocking?

My wife told me tonight about a family she heard about who take a moment at the end of the Christmas season to write down their hopes, dreams and goals for the next year. They then take those papers and put them in their Christmas stockings when they take them down and pack them away. The idea being that next Christmas, when they open the box with the stockings, they will also be reminded of their dreams for the coming year and they can discern if those came true.

I think this is a great idea and we will do it with our kids this year. I love it because it is something I have long argued for folks to do each new year. As a coach (one of the hats I wear) I believe in the essential nature of this intentional goal setting.  In fact, last year I posted about my annual goal setting work on New Years Eve and it gained a little Facebook traction. So I shared my goal setting worksheet and encouraged folks to use it if it was useful for them. This is about personal transparency, what do you wish to do/achieve and do you accomplish it.

And the reality is, you won't. You can see below my Goalsheet from 2013 (I break it out into Personal, Professional and then Organizational Goals). Some were achieved, some partially, and some didn't even get close. That is the deal. You won't achieve everything you plan. But you should still plan.

                                                          2013 Personal Goals

Anticipated Outcome
Expected Date of Completion
-Play guitar 3 times/week
-Actually be able to play guitar competently.
Dec. 2013
No: played more, but not as regularly.
-Participate in Summer 5K series and run El Scorcho 25K
-Run fastest 5K in my life
August 2013
Partial: Completed El Scorcho with a PR (despite injury). Ran 23:30 5K in November (not PR)
-Swim once a week.
-Provide alternative cardio/strength exercise with lower impact
Habit formed by Feb. 2013
No: Failed to form habit. Swam more, but not weekly
-Complete weight loss
-Weigh 210 pounds
May 2013
Maintenance: Stagnant on weight loss, no gain, but little loss

2013 Professional Goals

Anticipated Outcome
Expected Date of Completion
-Online Coaching Presence
-Platform to advertise and grow coaching presence.
April 2013
Partial: Plan for January 2014 rollout.
-Build taxonomy of leadership study history
-Beginning preparation for comprehensive exams in 2014
Aug 2013
Yes: Taxonomy developed, comps prep underway
-Blog weekly
-Create a systematic structure and build audience for weekly thoughts on leadership/etc…
Dec. 2013
No: Blogged more, but not weekly

2013 Organizational Goals  
Anticipated Outcome
Expected Date of Completion
-Cooperative Youth and Family ministry program.
-Do at least 4 cooperative events with other congregations
Dec. 2013
Partial: 2 events completed, one cancelled by weather.
-Sell 2017 Vision Idea, Building on culture of growth.
-worship attendance growth of 10%, 10 new members in young-adult demographic.
Dec. 2013
Partial: Worship grew 5-8%. 12 new members in young-adult demo. New small group in that demographic.
-Continue to grow stewardship and connection to TLCC
-2 new families join from TLCC
Dec. 2013
Partial: One new family. Goal for accreditation in 2014 includes more intentional work.

In working towards these goals I have had coaching friends. I am part of a new organization called the nGage Coaching Network. It is three individuals (all ELCA Pastors) who are working together to both coach each other as well as offer coaching to others. We are not a corporation or a real partnership in the legal sense. We are simply a group who believe in coaching and hope to spread the word about this important ministry.

We bring a variety of personal and educational experiences to the table. By working together we hope we can offer a couple things. 1) A variety of gifts to coach individuals and leaders through both personal, professional and family challenges. 2) Geographical diversity for the sake of either face-to-face coaching or more flexibility in time for phone/skype conversations. 

So what does it mean to be a coach or to have a coach? A coach is someone who walks alongside others to help them achieve their goals. Coaching is not consulting. The coach doesn't need to be an expert in the field. They simply need to have the skill set of listening, reflecting and then holding accountable the individual they are coaching for their goals. They help you decide what to put in your Christmas stocking and then walk with you as you try to make that a reality.

2014 will bring you many opportunities. With a coach by your side you might even be able to make it better! If you are interested in coaching, please visit our Facebook site and drop us a line. 

Oh, and if you are interested in my 2014 goals, stop by on New Years day for an update. I can use the accountability partners!

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