Each New Year marks a period of self-reflection. Like everyone else, I find myself looking back at the past 12 months, and thinking about my aims for the coming year. Whilst I am unconvinced about the usefulness of the ‘new year’s resolution’, the aspirations that underpin these resolutions should always be encouraged. During my time at Pilotlight, I’ve watched the desire to ‘be better’ drive our charity partners and our business mentors (known as ‘Pilotlighters’) to create lasting change. It’s inspired me to think past a simple resolution this year and look at ways of making lasting change. In the hopes of inspiring you to do the same, I want to share some tips I’ve learnt from working at Pilotlight on how to get the most out of 2018:
Give yourself the time and space to think
First things first, you’ve got to give yourself time to think. Given the pressures of the modern world, you can be forgiven for banishing the ‘luxury’ of long-term planning to tomorrow. However, the very nature of this pressure makes such deferrals extremely risky. For many of the charities we work with, just having a regular slot to examine the key issues facing their organisation is half the battle. Combine this with the sustained support they receive through our Programmes and the charity is already well on the way to becoming a more effective and efficient organisation.
Break your goals down into achievable tasks
Each Pilotlight project has the same goal: to help the charity help more people more effectively. But without further articulation, this lofty ambition offers little guidance on how to achieve positive change. That’s why we encourage charity leaders and their teams of Pilotlighters to identify specific areas for improvement and to map out actionable steps the charity can take moving forwards. Each small step adds up to make a transformational journey. Try breaking down that dream goal into small, measurable tasks and you’ll see what I mean.
Adapt to changing circumstances
Planning for the future can be tricky at the best of times and plans have a habit of going awry. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate how appropriate a chosen course is at frequent intervals. One charity we worked with recently did exactly this during their project. They ended up shifting the focus of their project from several areas to just one: exploring a potential partnership opportunity with one of the world’s largest companies. I’m pleased to say that once they decided to concentrate on this one goal and began to identify simple steps to achieve the ideal partnership, they experienced fantastic success. The charity has since doubled the number of service users it helps.
So whether you’re thinking about your personal life or your professional life, use this New Year as an opportunity make a change. With a bit of luck and by following my own advice(!), I can look forward to helping Pilotlight to work with more inspiring charities and business people than ever before.