A Twist on Annual Goals

One of my favorite times of the year is summer, when I set my goals for the year. I own that I am a complete nerd for the fact that I get super excited about goal setting, but I feel a sense of accomplishment when, at the beginning of each month, I pull up my goals, check off what I have accomplished that month, and take on the next goal on my list. It is my own big kid version of hanging something on the refrigerator door (I view assessment initiatives in the same way, but I will talk about that another time!). Each year, I set goals in a variety of categories that are important to my life. I set spiritual goals, physical goals, financial goals, personal goals, and establish a flexible reading list for the year. Aside: I set separate professional goals. Sometimes professional goals overlap with personal goals (reading certain books, presenting at ACPA, etc.)

This year, in light of all of my learning at ACPA and blogging, I am adding a new category to my goals list. I am going to set goals using a slightly different framework. I want to set goals for who I am, not just what I want to do. I will add a category that will remind and encourage me to focus on one or more of my intersecting identities.  Recently, my most salient identity has been that of a woman. What does it mean to be a woman (to me, to my family, to my fiancé, to society)? What kind of woman should I be (in my personal life, as a professional – these are not mutually exclusive)? What kind of woman do I not want to be? What stereotypes are associated with this identity?  

I am still brainstorming what setting goals for this will look like, if this is a good idea, how I can meet these goals, but I have a good feeling about this. Here are some things I have come up with so far:

  • Write in a themed journal about my identity exploration as a young professional woman
  • Read books like:
  • Empowering Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs
  • The Gender Gap in College
  • On Becoming a Woman Leader
  • Power, Politics, and Pearls
  • The Female Brain
    • Subscribe to the Feminist Lattice
    • Follow #wlsalt (twitter & blog)
    • Join the ACPA Standing Committee for Women
    • Be more intentional about maintain contact with my female mentors

What are your goals for the year? Do you use your goals as a tool to encourage self exploration? Could we do this with our students?


5 thoughts on “A Twist on Annual Goals

  1. Hi, I found your blog through twitter and it has me thinking a lot. I feel like working with students, we do a lot of work around their identities and the intersection of their various identities, but forget to do the work ourselves. What it meant for me to be a woman in college is incredibly different now, especially as I now find myself being placed into different statuses and stereotypes – I just got engaged recently, and it has been such a privately joyous but publicly challenging experience. Anyway, great post. I hope your work on these goals is rewarding! I’d love to talk more about it (@DeloKN)


    • I would love to continue the conversation. It is interesting to me that you bring up being engaged, because getting engaged is what inspired me initially to start thinking about my identity as a woman. ACPA continued to push me, and blogging gives me an outlet to share and hear responses on my process and the process of others. DM on twitter @CijiAnn. I would enjoy hearing more from you!


  2. Ciji – I definitely try to do the same thing, though it has been a while since I’ve looked at my list through my identities. What a great idea! And, I’d love to help you out with one of your goals!! I’m the Volunteer Coordinator for the SCW and we would love love love to have you aboard! I’d be happy to send you info if you DM your email! (@MichelleRodems). Thanks for inspiring me to make a new list!


  3. I love this post Ciji, this is the same process I’ve been going through recently as well. Maybe my biggest realization (this week!) is that self-care is about more than getting a pedicure every now and then. Taking the time to take care of yourself is so much bigger and deeper than this. Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Becca,
      Thank you! I read your post the other day on looking for/being surrounded by strong women leaders and mentors. I have similar admiration for the women in my family and that admiration, combined with your post, inspired me to list (and obtain!) the goal of staying in contact with the female mentors and leaders in the field that I really admire and take advice from. Thank you again for commenting and sharing your thoughts. I always enjoy them.


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