Personal Goals for the Month

At the beginning of each month, a group of 15–20 friends gather in the LES for a potluck centered around discussing and keeping each other accountable for personal, monthly goals. This is a list of my goals. It’s my hope that making them public will somehow — through public pressure or my mother’s inquiries — keep me more accountable.

Goal 1

Develop patience and compassion with those I work with and ‘manage’. Focus not on treating them how I’d want to be treated, but how they need to be treated to learn, grow and succeed. I personally prefer a straightforward and freewheeling approach, but recognize every member on my team needs something unique.

An article from HBR on the topic of praise and motivation in the workplace.

Praise in both the workplace and social settings would encourage people to achieve more, according to the authors. “By activating people’s best-self concepts and highlighting examples of them making extraordinary contributions, we found positive changes in their physiology, creative problem solving, performance under pressure, and social relationships,” they wrote.

Goal 2

Finalize Wuji’s technical prototype by December 1, so the related December 12th Cancer Charity Event can be held on time. I recently learned a friend of mine has been diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer. To join him in his fight against cancer, I am hosting a Charity Gala on Saturday, December 12th. The Gala is going to be powered by Wuji technology enabling verified, time- specific entry, seamless registration and automated admission of guests. More importantly, ALL proceeds will go towards my friend’s medical bills.

Goal 3

One of September’s goals was to make more meaningful connections with people I meet for the first time. This is still a high-priority goal of mine, but I’ll tell you about last month’s effort because…well, it’s self-deprecating humor and everyone secretly loves seeing a car crash.

FULL DISCLOSURE: It was a crash and burn flop of Hindenburg proportions.

The questions driving the ‘personal connections experiment’ were:

Can I introduce myself in a novel, casual way which would then allow enough ‘space’ for the other person to then share something unique or special about themselves?
Can I personally get over my hesitance to ask a new acquaintance for their phone # or e-mail?
I meet dozens of new, inspiring people every week, is it possible to maintain a connection with a higher % of them?
Is it possible to go from small talk to “medium talk” during the first meeting?
Better yet, are two strangers able to share something they normally wouldn’t and be 100% comfortable doing so?

I wanted to avoid being overly professional or self-promoting or a “friend pusher”. What I came up with — the now embarrassing — friendship card:

Take aways:

  1. Pun creators are usually the only ones who think their puns are funny.
  2. People don’t like being handed cards — it’s essentially more ‘stuff’ to clutter their lives and receiving one offering ‘friendship’ feels disingenuous.
  3. Not everyone wants to share themselves OR wants to share things with you…and that’s cool too.
  4. I never needed a damn ‘friendship card’ all along. It did help me further realize the initiative is always on your end to make connections, but only if they’re meant to be. In the end, it’s about recognizing what is 100% unique and special in a person, acknowledging it on the spot, sharing something unique about yourself and then…MOVING ON.

My goal for October is to get better at take-away number 4. I don’t think its a weakness of mine per-se, but it's a skill that— when mastered — can add incredible value to those around you.

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