Facing the challenges of a school leader is not easy.
- How do you step off the ‘overwhelm treadmill’?
- Stuck when trying to apply the complexity of a new Goal Achievement system (Full Focus Planner)?
- How do build or create something that matters?
- Do your big dreams feel out of reach?
- How do you make a concrete lifestyle shift?
Here are a few approaches to master, particularly if your plan gets off track, as it understandably will…
My daughter is trying to learn the piano. As a classically-trained pianist, I can tell you, this instrument requires lots of hours of practice.But, for children, practicing each day doesn’t often come naturally. We’ve noticed the most difficult step is actually beginning, sitting down on the bench. Once she’s there, her 10-year-old being, loves to be creative, make music, and figure out her challenging pieces.The biggest barrier is getting started.Or starting again…So, one of the things we have to cultivate, as leaders, is the notion of starting, restarting, and starting again. It takes self-compassion. If you are cruel to yourself, it will be more difficult. Be mindful of how you’re meeting yourself. I encourage you to be gentle with yourself.It’s okay if, recently, your proverbial piano bench sat empty for days, what’s most important is to sit down again today.What do you need to start again today? How will you do it?
My work in goal-setting with Michael Hyatt has taught me this principle, we don’t need to map out the whole plan (because who knows what it is anyway). All we need to do is define 1-3 next steps. Consider a big goal or dream.What are the next couple of concrete steps?It’s easy to see one or two steps.Write them down.I try to make these steps really easy. So, I get started. Then, when I review my goals each weekend, I can see the next step or two. This is the power of the Weekly Preview!In “The Problem with Annual Improvement Planning,” Robyn Jackson also recommends a shorter planning cycle for school improvement! She names the following as reasons to throw out the big annual plan that extends from summer to summer and create shorter sprints:
- You can predict next steps more easily in shorter planning cycles.
- Take advantage of what you’re learning through the year.
- Experience wins throughout the year.
- Create a bit of urgency. Shorter sprints keep us focused.
This organizational approach aligns with the individual approach I’m suggesting. Keeping it fresh and focused.
Power of 3
If things go off track, go back to the basics. Start with the Power of Three! Three things that are manageable for today! What can I get done today?What 3 things do I want to get done this week? The Power of 3. Focus on the basics. When things feel too complex, we’re off-track, or we’re facing transition or change, these three ideas re-orient us,
- Next Steps,
- Power of 3.
From there, you can work your system and focus on what matters most.Championing you,Karine