Reflections on 2016’s Professional Goals, Some Success and Some Opportunities

I created a post last January about my professional goals for 2016. This January I wanted to see how I performed and what progress I made over the past year, as 2016 has been busy beyond my wildest dreams in terms of professional work.  

Why revisit goals? Revisiting goals helps to hold us accountable for our professional practice. The act of revisiting our goals also supports reflecting and closure as we look forward to the coming year.

My plan was to write specific goals that had a list of activities I could measure to show progress around a central theme, “Building Professional Visibility in ECE Communities.

For goal number one (see original blog post), I accomplished the tasks that I set for myself, but not in the way I expected. I envisioned a very clear image of what and how I would accomplish my tasks, which did not go as planned. New opportunities presented themselves – a chance to write a white paper for the Strategic Studies Committee of the Armed Forces on Pedagogies that Serve Military Children, a chance to present at NAEYC on the Unintended Consequences of State Professional Development Systems, and a chance to work with Stephanie Feeney, one of the authors of NAEYC’s Code of Ethical Conduct.

My second goal also shifted slightly as I ended up working in other mediums to create documentation. In fact we set up a photography studio to create original content for the website, blog, and social media. I now have a whole room full of recycled materials for provocations, experimentation, and exploration.

The shift in my goals, reminded me of the importance of being flexible in goal setting. If I had approached my goals in ridged fashion, then I would have missed opportunities that presented themselves along the way. What I came to understand is the importance of having a theme in goal setting. My theme supported flexibility of thinking but kept me from getting to far off track.

What I have learned from my goal setting this year, is that it is important to have a plan and equally important to have flexibility within reason to take advantage of the possibilities that await you in your professional journey. The experiences I had changed my thinking and led to some important discoveries that are the foundation for my work in 2017.

What type of reflection do you practice to revisit your goals?

 How often do you revisit your goals, Never, Monthly, Quarterly, or Yearly?