Forget Goal-Setting; I Want to Declare Intentions

Photo by Nils Geylen

Photo by Nils Geylen

Do you define clear goals for yourself?  Set deadlines?  Create detailed plans? 

My life isn’t organized into milestones or outlined into actions.  I used to be more concrete in my goals and plan iteratively in my head how to accomplish them.  I was focused in my drive.  The process was: 1. Realize achieving X would make me more awesome.  2. Find ways to achieve X.  3. Work on achieving X.  4. Achievement X unlocked.  This method successfully made me more awesome. 

Over the last two years, I’ve been slowly changing my achievement mentality.  Now I have a vision and a purpose that I reflect upon, and I give more thought to how I want to improve my skills as ongoing growth.  I still push myself and, yes, overcommit myself; admittedly, I enjoy the thrill of testing my boundaries, finding creative ways of doing more, and possibly falling flat on my face at any time. 

I fear I’d lose my edge if I was expected make realistic commitments and be held accountable for them.  When I'm at my best, I dream big.  Huge, really.  I pick a direction, learn my options, and commit one day at a time.

With all of that in mind, it is a new year, and as a one word resolution, I want 2015 to be slower.  My schedule has been packed the last 2 weeks, and I already know it will be intense for the next 6 months as I go through Certified Professional Co-Active Coach certification to further develop my coaching skills.  My intention isn’t to have a slow year—that would be boring.  I want more breathing into life—more savoring of experiencesand an actual vacation because I didn't do that last year.  Professionally and personally, I want more moments that feel like this:

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.

Mid-Year Check-In: Are You Achieving Your Resolutions?

Photo by Palomaleca

Photo by Palomaleca

Inspired by another blog, I decided I could benefit from a mid-year check-in.  Back in January, I chose a one-word resolution for 2014: astonishing.  My intent was to amplify the goodness of 2013, learn more, laugh more, live more, give back more, and make a bigger impact in 2014. 

In the spirit of a retrospective, let’s move on to gather data.  What have you achieved towards your goal or resolution over the last 6 months?

My “astonishing” first half of 2014:

  • Learn more:  Registering for CTI’s classes was a bold step for me, and I’ve learned so much about myself and about coaching as a result.  That knowledge and the opportunity to assist ACI’s 3-day Coaching Agile Teams gave me greater understanding and appreciation of what coaching can do for agile transformations.
  • Laugh more: There have been a number of changes going on at my client’s organization, which means many people have become increasingly stressed.  I have been talking to people more one-on-one and using my gift-giving appreciation language to lighten the mood, provide reassurance, and share a laugh.  Plus Star Wars-, Winnie the Pooh-, and super hero-themed gifts are fun.
  • Live more: After I was promoted to principal consultant, I held a dinner to appreciate the people who helped me achieve the promotion.  It was a lovely evening with delicious food and good company.
  • Give back more: I mixed my fraternity world with my professional world: one of my Improving Enterprises colleagues gave a great presentation to the Texas A&M chapter of Theta Tau Fraternity that was well received.  I see similarities between the two organizations’ values, and I’m happy I was able to connect them to one another.
  • Make a bigger impact: I co-presented at the Dallas PMI Agile CoP, Keep Austin Agile, and Scrum Gathering New Orleans; taught a PMI-ACP prep class (our first class offered evenings and weekends); and made my first Open Space offering at Agile Coach Camp Canada.

Looking over your achievements, what insights do you notice?  Unsurprisingly, coaching plays a large role in my accomplishments, but I’m also recognizing a theme of connecting to and appreciating people.

Are you making progress on your 2014 resolutions? Share your accomplishments in the comments.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.

One Word Resolution for 2014

Photo by Ali Elan

Photo by Ali Elan

Happy New Year!  I've been reflecting on 2013, and it was an ok year.  I met some of my personal goals--but not all--and I'm still in the process of defining what I want in 2014.  Already 2014 looks like it will include more networking, more speaking opportunities, and doing more with the organizations I love.

Following the advice of Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin, I'm choosing a one word theme for this year: astonishing.  This one word will will be my guide for the year.  I considered other words until I heard a song on SiriusXM that compelled me to choose it, and below is a video clip of the song.   

Sutton Foster performs "Astonishing" from her role in the Broadway musical "Little Women."

I want to amplify the goodness of 2013, learn more, laugh more, live more, give back more, and make a bigger impact in 2014.  Astonishing.  What is your theme for 2014?

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.