122314_candle_lightsIf your holidays are anything like mine, they’re packed with parties, fundraisers, year-end campaigns, launches, and, if we’re really lucky, open bars.

I believe that if you don’t put your thoughts in order, the new year will be just like the old year. And I, for one, want each year to be better than the last.

Especially for nonprofit folks, it can seem impossible to carve out time during the holidays to do any planning, much less the strategic thinking that is so critical to the ultimate success of our work. It’s not just organizational planning that needs doing—we and our organizations (or clients) benefit when we take look inward and reflect on our personal priorities.

Therefore, I’ve promised myself that I will make time to look inward now, so I can charge forward with success. Even if that means I have to skip a holiday party to do it!

Here’s what I’ll be thinking about over the holidays:

Purpose. That which motivates me—and the passions that sustain me when I’m worn out—is what matters most. Having clarity of purpose is what engages my imagination and powers my solutions-focused approach. It helps that my purpose is always a fusion of practical and fun.

The question I need to answer: Why do I do what I do?

Goals. If I’m going to do all this navel-gazing, I should make sure that there’s a payoff. During the year, I can course correct and adjust my goals, but setting goals now will help me say yes (or no) when the time comes.

The question I need to answer: How will I know that I’ve had a successful year?

Resources. So much more than just time, my resources are a combination of the hard skills and creative capacity I can use to devise new solutions and ideas.

The question I need to answer: In what ways can I get even better at what I do?

Rejuvenation. My clients benefit when I’m at my best. Among other things, people rely on me for my intention, patience, and persistence, and those are qualities that are replenished when I’m refreshed.

The question I need to answer: How will I restore my energy throughout the year?

Ready to look inward?

Will you join me in doing some deep thinking over the holidays? What questions do you need to answer so you have a fantastic 2015?

Image courtesy of Flickr user LenDog64

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Lauren Girardin
Lauren Girardin  is a LightBox collaborator who hopes your 2015 brings growth, success, and happiness.