16 Ideas to Start 2016 Right
I cannot believe it, but another year has come and gone. They say the older you get, the faster time flies, and I agree. We cannot do anything about the past, but we can prepare for the future and hope for the best.
In preparation for 2016, I will suggest 16 ideas to get you started in a positive way:
- Take off a few days. Completely shut down your engine—relax, watch a movie and basically do nothing. You need to recharge your overworked battery.
- Clear your desk and files of 2015 stuff. Get your new date book in order and prepare for the new year. Review your date book for 2015 and pick up any loose ends.
- Critique 2015. Then decide how you will approach 2016 in a fresh and productive state of mind.
- Set goals and objectives for the new year. Goals that are both easy and hard to achieve.
- Determine what is needed to make goal in the next six months (if you are in the middle of a fiscal year).
- Sit down with any staff members who report to you and have a one-on-one review. This may consist of a mid-course evaluation or yearly goal setting. Determine your expectations and obtain feedback.
- If you have not obtained your CFRE, create a plan to obtain it in 2016.
- Schedule Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) meetings where you can network and learn new perspectives on your job.
- Use free time in January to meet old friends and peers. See what they plan to do in the new year.
- Join a new volunteer board with a cause that excites you and is not related to your current job. You will gain enjoyment from the experience.
- Seek a meeting with your boss to obtain feedback on your performance. It is better to be proactive than reactive.
- Create a bucket list. Achieve at least one item on the list in 2016.
- Find an opportunity to speak to a group in 2016 that will recharge your batteries and keep you on top of your game.
- Plan a vacation to somewhere new and exciting with someone you care about at mid-year. It'll be something to look forward to.
- Be a mentor to someone younger than you and seek out wisdom from someone older than you.
- Keep your resume and contacts in the field fresh.
The year 2016 will be what you make it. I suggest looking ahead with hope and preparation knowing the unexpected will occur to you. Life is like a weather system. You will have sunny days and rainy days. I strongly suggest keeping your attitude positive by exercising your mind, body and spirit. Happy new year to you. May it be memorable and set the tone for many great years to come!
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.