New Year, New Habits

Happy New Year. Happy 2017. This is the time of year many of us think and set goals, resolutions, plans for the year ahead. The new year gives us a clean slate to start with good habits that will help us reach our goals for the year.


In 2016, my professional goals were to attend the Grant Professionals Association national conference in Atlanta and to become a Grant Professional Certified. I achieved both of these goals. This year I am working to expand my own consulting business and continue my professional development.


What are your professional goals? What will you do this year to make yourself a better nonprofit professional? Are any of these on your list?


  1. Take the Grant Readiness Challenge for your organization
  2. Read two books for professional development (See Three Books that should be on Every Grant Professional’s Bookshelf for some ideas on what to read)
  3. Eat lunch away from your desk
  4. Move more
  5. Drink more water
  6. Don’t take work home – I work from home, so all my work is done at home, but I have established some strict rules for myself. I do almost all my work at my stand-up desk in the office. After dinner and on weekends, I don’t use the office and I generally don’t even open my computer. It is time for me to enjoy my hobbies and time with my husband.


How do we meet our goals? Many of our goals are about making a change in ourselves and establishing good habits.


“If we change our habits, we can our lives.” Gretchen Rubin in Better Than Before.


In Better than Before, Gretchen outlines 21 strategies to form habits. Here are four that really help me.

  1. Take the first step – starting is the hardest
  2. Monitoring – we manage what we monitor. I use many apps to help me monitor my habits like Wunderlist for my to do lists and health/exercise tracking apps like health and runkeeper.
  3. Scheduling – put the activities to meet the goal on your calendar
  4. Sleeping – you are more likely to stick to your goals and habits if you are getting enough sleep. iPhones now have a feature in the clock app where you can set an alarm to go off when it is time for you to go to bed.

*To learn more about making and breaking habits, check out Gretchen Rubin’s books Better Than Before, Happier at Home, and The Happiness Project. Other great resources are Diane’s webinar Start Your 2017 Grant Strategy Off Right! and New Year, New Goals #Grantchat.


What do you want to achieve in 2017? How are you going to achieve those goals?

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