I've recently been challenged through a number of influences, to establish goals for myself. One such influence was Catherine Finlayson, Executive Director of the Fanshawe College Foundation at a seminar she gave last week when she asked all the attendees if our professional work experience is less like 10 years of experience and more like 1 year of experience repeated 10 times. By that she means, are we just doing the same things over and over and not growing as a professional? It's a great question.

So I've been thinking a lot about goal-setting ever since, in order to ensure that my future is full of growing and not just repeating.

My approach to work is not myopic. My work life impacts my home life and vice versa. I cannot set professional goals that do not line up with my personal goals. In fact, there's a very good chance that my personal/home-based goals may very well trump my professional goals…and I think that's ok.

The trick for me, and perhaps for all of us, is to do our goal-setting in context of priority and a sense that our professional lives are not somehow distinct from the rest of our life.

Separating the two feels rather like what many people like to call a 'Sunday Christian' - the person who attends church in their Sunday best and look the part of the model Christian but at all other times of the week, lead a life that speaks rather counter to that image.

Put differently, one could be a great leader in the marketplace and be a complete disaster as a husband, father, wife or mother.

My goal is to find balance.

To provide.
To lead.
To be generous.
To be respectful.
To work hard.
To be loving.
To be thoughtful.
To be available.

...to do/be all those things in all areas of my life. Any other goals will be informed by that.

Andrew VanderPloeg
Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.