I have a couple of New Year’s rituals that help prepare me for a new year. These include a review of the year’s accomplishments and two techniques that help you focus on your goals: Peter Bregman’s theme for the year, and Chris Brogan’s “My Three Words .” I also throughout the month of January review my work routines and systems and redesign or tweak to improve productivity.
Rituals and routines have many benefits for your personal effectiveness. They capitalize on our brains’ ability to direct our behavior on autopilot, allowing us to reach our goals even when we are distracted or preoccupied with other things.
Year in Review
- International Training Work: Most of my work is designing and delivering capacity building projects for nonprofits literally all over the world. This past year I had the honor of facilitating an intense training in Tunisia in January for Women Entrepreneurs that included leadership, entrepreneurship, business planning, and communications. I taught social media integration and “Train the Trainers” workshops for trainers who would be delivering the curriculum throughout Tunisia. Since were are on the Mediterranean Sea, I did the final reflective exercise as a walk on the beach. I got to perfect it when I taught master classes and workshops for NGOs and activists in New Zealand and Australia.
- Peer Learning Capacity Building Programs: This year I continued my work in designing and facilitating peer learning programs on behalf of several foundations for their grantees. I facilitated two programs for grantees of the Packard Foundation based on my book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit and designed and currently facilitating a peer learning exchange for the Knight Foundation for its community foundation partners that are hosting Giving Days. I also designed and facilitated a nonprofit leadership institute at Pepperdine University.
- Workshops, Keynotes, Webinars, and Conference Panels: This year I did over 75 speaking engagements and presentations. Some highlights included workshops in Santa Barbara, a mini-workshop on content curation at Scoop.it’s headquarters, workshops for Gates Foundation staff, and a presentation at convening hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Advancing Social Media Measurement.
- Celebrated my 9th Year of Blogging: I continued to blog or host guest posts regularly every week as I have been doing for the past nine years. My favorite posts were interviews with authors from outside of the nonprofit sector, including Adam Grant, Give and Take and Eric Ries, Lean Start Up and coverage of the Social Innovation Summit: Future of Technology. I also wrote guest posts for the Harvard Business Review and the LinkedIn Corporate Blog.
- Measuring the Networked Nonprofit Wins 2013 Terry McAdam Nonprofit Book Award.
- Completed Five Years As Visiting Scholar at David and Lucile Packard Foundation: I completed my visiting scholar appointment at the Packard Foundation and did a Google Hangout as a send off. This post summarizes the accomplishments of the give years which included two books, working with hundreds of grantees, many presentations all over the world, and more.
My Theme for the Year: Learning
I’ve been working in the nonprofit sector for 35 years, doing training for the past twenty, blogging for the past ten, and published author over the past five years. Learning has kept me inspired and improving what I do. But, it isn’t just about learning new techniques or ideas. When you’ve been doing what you do for a long time, it is also about unlearning (being mindful when bad habits creep in and changing them) and relearning what you have learned or updating it. 2014 will be the year of learning for me. You’ll be reading more about how to learn – either professional learning or learning in organizations or learning from peers and how technology – especially social networks and data supports the process.
My Three Words
My three words for the year are:
Attention: Living a world that is connected and where sacred space and deep thinking is becoming extinct, I’m focusing on my attention skills. This is a place where I will unlearning some bad habits and focusing on strengthening creativity, focus, filtering, and content curation for professional learning and task management. I will writing about the tools and techniques for being more focused in age of distraction – both on my blog and guest posts.
Learn: Learning is not just for kids or students. In the world we live in, we have to keep on learning. I will exploring ideas around self-directed learning, peer learning, networked or e-learning, and much more in the coming year.
Teach: This is my passion, my calling, and my professional work. Most of work projects are capacity building and training other trainers. I will be exploring and writing about assessment, curriculum development, facilitation, evaluation, and documentation. I will be teaching a graduate course at the Monterrey Institute in January as well as other opportunities. In order to be a great teacher, you have to always be learning. I have a goal for one learning day per month where I will take workshop on instructional topics and share those here.
Many best wishes for happy, healthy, and abundant 2014 for you.
What is your theme for the year?