As I looked ahead to 2017 and worked to lay my best plans for an intentional, successful, and growth-filled year, I found myself in need of a plan. My plan started with a search for something to structure my goals around and would fit into my current systems of accountability. Enter the Powersheets system. Powersheets, created by Lara Casey, is an intentional goal-setting and goal-getting workbook designed to help uncover meaningful goals and to make what matters happen.
The Powersheets have a brief “prep work” section which provide different reflective exercises to make space to process the previous year.
What worked and what didn’t? What I am I carrying from last year that I’d like to let go so I can move forward into this year? What’s holding me back? What am I afraid of?
As I mulled through these questions and journaled about 2016, one word sat heavy with me: Responsibility. I love to plan ALL the things and accomplish ALL the things. I cannot and should not let anyone help me or let anyone down. This shows up in my work and at home. As a returning staff member, I love to send out resources, answer every call for help, and volunteer to take on any project that needs doing–even at the expense of my own time or balance.
My responsibility gets things done and makes me a reliable colleague, partner, and friend; but it also takes a toll on my own version of balance. It stops me from helping others succeed by taking on things that could be delegated and stunting their opportunities to grow. As I reflect on the last year, I find joy in looking at the projects I accomplished and the people I was able to help, but I also know that I was tired. If I keep on the way I was trying to keep on, I will burn out.
Instead of burning out with my responsibility, my 2017 word is embrace. Specifically, my goal is to embrace stillness, to embrace myself and to embrace change.
Instead of planning out every hour of my week and working ahead during every season, I am going to embrace stillness. Moments of quiet that come right before students return from a break or right after we complete our selection process. When I embrace stillness, I will be able to approach my work with more energy and a renewed appreciation for what lies ahead.
Instead of sacrificing my own balance for a deadline or leaving myself for last, I am going to embrace myself. Prioritizing active self-care, modeling healthy work hours and habits for my peers and students alike. When I embrace myself and model this for others, I will be more well and will foster a culture of self-care. I will encourage the people I work with and care about to live with more wellness and balance.
I anticipate that 2017 will be a year of change, at many levels for me as an individual, housing professional, queer person, person living in the United States (and many of the other groups I identify with/belong to). So I want to prepare myself well to embrace change. The change I hope to bring into my own corner of the world and the change I hope to bring about in the world around me. When I embrace change, I ready myself to stop waiting for someone else to do the changing and become an active participant in the change that needs to happen in the world.
As 2017 begins, I am already finding small bits of stillness to sit in and appreciate. I am working to keep control of my schedule so I can have the time I need for myself and the balance I have dictated for the semester. These are changes and habits I hope to carry forward through the end of 2017 that are part of my #OneWordSA resolution. That, and so much more.
This post is part of our #OneWordSA series for January. Student affairs professionals are goal-oriented, change positive, individuals. One word mantras for 2017 are a great way to create focus in the new year. Find out what all kinds of pros are choosing as their #onewordSA this year. For more info, please see Sabina’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!