Nonprofit leadership growth strategy for next year’s goals

​Do you set personal leadership goals for each year?

The most effective leaders have personal leadership goals that drive them throughout the year. These aren’t the organization’s goals for you. Instead, they are your goals that drive the type of leader you are becoming.

You probably aren’t thinking about your goals quite yet. Instead, gifts, parties, baking and work deadlines likely have your attention these days. I get it!

👉 However, December is the perfect time to let the last year percolate in your mind. That way, you’ll have some things in mind when it is time to sit down and work on your goals for next year.

Most of us wait until the end of December or the beginning of January to start thinking about setting goals. The problem with waiting until then is that we often jump into goal setting with whatever is on our minds at the beginning of the new year. And for most of us, overeating and overspending are top of mind.

The most popular New Years’ Resolutions are about weight loss and reducing debt. AND…most New Year’s resolutions are dropped within a couple of weeks, and goals are forgotten by February. Often that is because we set the same goals half the world does every January.

🎯 However, as a leader who wants to achieve excellence and live a somewhat balanced life, you need goals specifically for you and your situation.

To create more impactful goals that will develop you as a strong leader, you need to be more intentional.

If you want to be more successful with your leadership goals next year, start thinking about laying the foundation for goal setting now. This groundwork will help you identify the goals that will impact you most and how to achieve those goals.

This coming week, start to look back over the past year. Scan events, relationships and experiences for the lessons you’ve learned.

  • What is it that you’ve done or not done that has taught you something that you can take forward into the New Year?

This review is not a time to judge or beat yourself up. Instead, it is a nonjudgmental observation. So, be curious as you look back.

🔲 Looking back, you might see that the few times you had time to yourself were when you consciously created it. For example, you booked an afternoon off or got up earlier to journal.

  • The lesson you learned might be that if you want solitude, time or time to yourself, you must create it.

🔲 When you review the past year, you may notice certain calmer and more relaxed times. However, by digging deeper, you may see that you were doing your yoga regularly in those times.

  • The lesson you learned, perhaps, is that you need to up your game by doing yoga regularly.

🔲 Looking back, you may have noticed times of better productivity and focus. When you get curious about what was going on then, you may see you were sleeping better.

  • The lesson learned is sleep is critical for you and a fundamental thing you need to ensure happens.

Choose whatever method works for you as you have some realizations or ah-has. I’m a sticky note kind of gal. I’ll jot it down when something comes to me on a sticky note. They’ll pile up over several weeks whenever something new comes to mind. Then, when it’s time to do my review and set goals, I’ll have all of those random but so very important lessons and ah has to go review and use them as information to guide me going into the new year.

You could use a notes app on your phone, a Google doc, or a notebook. The idea is to have something easily accessible to capture realizations on the fly.
❎ You aren’t committing to anything.
✅ Instead, you are simply noting insights.

Let this idea of ‘lesson’s learned” simmer in the background for the coming weeks. Write down the lessons you notice as you go back over the past year. They will help you when you start to define your goals next year.

Students in my membership site, The Training Library, often schedule time between Christmas and the New Year to complete their Annual Analysis.

Your Annual Analysis is an in-depth review of the inner growth of your leadership. When you complete your Annual Analysis, you’ll:
Discover how effective your growth and development plan has been over the last year
Feel pride as you acknowledge your achievements, inner growth, development and progress
Identify the next steps for your continued path toward excellence.

Originally published at



Helping women leaders make it in the nonprofit world. Leadership Development Coach * Best-Selling Author * Wife * Mom * Grandma * Mom to one boxer named Zeus!

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Kathy Archer

Helping women leaders make it in the nonprofit world. Leadership Development Coach * Best-Selling Author * Wife * Mom * Grandma * Mom to one boxer named Zeus!