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Leading Your Way Into the New Year

Updated: Oct 25, 2018

What differentiates a leader from a manager? My cousin asked me this question during our discussion on NYE about Bake Me A Leader. I told him that to me, a leader is someone who seeks to understand the perspectives and motivations of themselves and others and empowers people to leverage their unique skills in order to achieve a goal or vision where a manager is more focused on tasks and the execution of a vision. He stated that he agreed, but was able to sum it up in a very succinct manner…being a leader is about vision, where a manager deals in complexities. This is the perfect place to start my very first post.

As we roll into 2018, everyone is abuzz with discussions about resolutions to make this the best year yet, but I’d rather challenge you to think of ways in which you can be a leader in your life (yes, this can actually be a resolution!). When looking at setting goals for the new year, I prefer to set goals in areas of my life that will enable me to reduce stress and grow personally and professionally. Keeping in mind that a leader is someone who is the best version of themselves first, I set goals there before diving into goals which will help me empower others.

Here are a few tips for setting goals to help you empower yourself first.

  1. Take a look at areas of your life that are causing stress or you feel could use some extra attention (doesn’t even need to be something “bad” to be an area you want to work on)

  2. Brainstorm ways in which you’d like to improve; have a high-level vision of where you want to go and then write down specific actions you can take to get there.

  3. Set a timeframe for you to accomplish these actions & hold yourself accountable! Don’t let yourself make excuses because that benefits nobody (trust me, I’m speaking from experience!)

Goal setting is hard…it’s so easy to get caught up in the lofty notions that you can change everything in a year. Instead of falling into that trap, be realistic with yourself and choose one or two things that are really important to you! You know what works for you and you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else to create improvements in your life (DON’T FORGET…small improvements count too!). As someone who used to say, I’m going to change my whole body in one year or eat better or whatever the whim was at that point in time, I was constantly finding myself frustrated when I didn’t achieve a goal that actually was never achievable in the first place because I didn’t make it achievable. Don’t think you have to move the Earth in one year…you just want to get somewhere different than where you started and the journey is half the fun. Celebrate the progress along the way and don’t every let yourself give up! You set the goal for a reason and I’d love to hear about your goals and successes along the way (I'll share my goals in my next post).

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