Once a year, I stop, breathe and reflect on the year that was. I schedule a day out of my calendar to check-in with myself and to work out what the coming year will entail. I’ve written about the process I follow before now, and suffice to say, I am still a happy failure at goal setting. I simply visualise what I want to coming year to look like and feel like then write about who I want to be in that year to make it a great year.

Far be it from me to encourage a military like focus on goal setting, hell, why would I? I am a self-confessed failure at this goal setting malarkey.  The approach Georgina Dent outlined  earlier this year, “I have a goal not to set goals” works for me. However, I do want some framework, some guidelines to make sure that my actions are intentional, have impact and are influencing great outcomes for women, everywhere.

In 2018, I was guided by the words:

Fearless: I decided to be fearless, a lot. The conversations I had to have with people in powerful positions, mean fearlessly calling out what it’s time for now!

Audacious:  I must continue to be audacious. Pick up the phone. Talk to that person. Write that article. Audacious women will change the world.

Persistent: Persistence, resilience and tenacity are traits I draw upon regularly. Don’t let the knock-backs, the setbacks and the drawbacks distract me from what I must do.

Simple: Simplifying my life, my business, my clients lives and businesses is a pathway to following my bliss. I made a commitment to communicate what I do, simply and promised myself to stick to my knitting…don’t try to be all things to all people.

This year, there are three new words and one recycled word that will guide me and my activity throughout 2019.

Words That Work

Intentional:  I will be intentional about everything that I do. And importantly, everything that I don’t do is the key here. Making sure that whatever I have chosen to do is intentional or deliberate. I will ensure that my decisions are grounded in my intentions for the year. This is a good thing because it’s going to make it much easier for some who has a serial habit of saying yes, learn to say no, gracefully, but importantly say no to things that perhaps I might have said yes to in the past. I will be intentional because it is linked to my second guiding word;

Impact:  My business is now in its fourth year. My work must have impact, or really, what is the point?  My impact must be measurable.  What outcomes are being created for women, social, politically, financially and personally as a result of my work? How am I positively impacting the life that my wife and I share? Am I living my best life? I will be clearly defining and measuring the impact that I’m having because we can so often do the things that feel good and feel right. And, you know, they probably are,  but is it intentional, and is it going to have impact?

Influence:  My third word and I’ve got a bit of a theme here happening around the letter “I” is influence.  Being named as one of the AFR Qantas 100 Women of Influence in Australia last year really opened my eyes to how advocacy and influence can be powerful tools for advancing women.  I will use the platforms and resources at my disposal to influence outcomes for women and for gender equality. I will be deliberate about using my influence wisely,  intentionally and with his impact.

Simple:  Gets a guernsey again this year. I want a simple life that has flow, not friction. I will focus on the things that matter most to me and continue to follow my bliss.

Actions Not Words

These words will guide my actions in 2019.  Truth is, they already are, so I’m simply calling it out to literally hold myself accountable! It’s too easy to let the days, weeks and months go by without stopping to reflect, check in and make are you are in track, whatever the track is. I’ll reflect on this blog throughout the year and then again at the end of the year to see that my actions weren’t just words. You can hold me accountable too!

What about you? What are you doing to set a course for a 2019 that will make 2019 the best year yet?

Michelle Redfern is an Australian based, globally focussed advisor, speaker and director who is an expert in workplace gender diversity and inclusion.

For a confidential discussion about your organisations gender action plan or developing your female talent pool, please contact Michelle. 

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