Looking outside my Minnesota window today, it does not look like spring has arrived. Yet here we are- snow and all. We are officially a quarter into 2019. So how can we spring into action and make sure our annual goals stay on track? There are a number of good tips and lessons from spring that can help our goals blossom.
Many a genius has been slow of growth. Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed. George Henry Lewes
Big things take time. Sometimes our goals will take time to mature. The key is making sure we give it the time and nourishment required to flower. We are working on cultural transformation at my organization. It won’t be fast, and if we do it right, it won’t always be flashy. But over time, people should see it growing and see how the branches of this initiative are connected, as well as the benefits it can provide them. We want to be sure we grow deep roots so we are taking time to be thoughtful and intentional every step of the way.
Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be. Unknown
Almost all of our goals involve creating some kind of change. Usually when we start working on a change initiative our first instincts are often to think about how we manage the change: analyzing the cost, mitigating risks, and creating lots of project plans. But do we ever ask ourselves what will be more beautiful after this change? How can we help people see a sunny future? What will they need to bloom? We are also working on redesigning our customer service model. Our goals for this project will be SMART, and our work will have milestones and measures. But success will be increasing both our customer and employee engagement by being thoughtful about how each will flourish in the future model.
All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today. Unknown
Sometimes the hardest thing about a goal is just getting started. How in the world can we ____? Who has time to ___? But more often than not, we have the elements we need to succeed right in front of us, we just need to spend some time both fertilizing and weeding. The most powerful thing we can do when goal planning is to pause. Step back and be on the work, not in the work. What are we trying to solve? What will success look like? Why does this matter? If we can answer these questions, then we want to dig in and nourish them. We also want to look at weeding. What do we need to stop doing? Do differently? Do later? We need to create space for this new goal to grow, so we will have to be sure other less important but perhaps more embedded things don’t crowd our goal out. We are also looking at our team structure, our team focus, and our team’s priorities. We are planting some new ideas and weeding some old practices out. Not every one of them may grow, but we know that we are excited to watch these new ideas bloom.
In the spring we spring the clock forward – and often wake up surprised that the year is already a quarter over. But spring also is the season of new beginnings and the perfect time for new ideas and goals to blossom. So take heart and take some lessons from Mother Nature to help you keep your goals growing.