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?