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What’s Your Association’s Theme for 2015?

Lori Halley 13 January 2015 0 comments

The holiday season is over. But are you ready for 2015?

To help you kick-start the New Year, we’ve already offered up a link round-up of Trends and Predictions for 2015, as well as a New Year Planning Resource Round-up. But before you finalize your organization’s strategic plan or launch your 2015 projects or events schedule, first take time to look back over 2014. What worked, what didn't? What lessons have you learned that you can put into practice for the coming year?

Time to "reflect on the year past and look ahead to your goals for the coming year"

In an article I read recently in the Globe and Mail – What will your personal theme be for 2015?  – Eileen Chadnick suggests we:

...reflect on the year past and to get ready to start anew … framed within a lens of positivity and appreciation. ...According to neuroscientists, the positive moments are more “slippery” in memory and more likely to be forgotten so we have to work harder to bring them to the fore.

Chadnick advises that if we “take stock of the good, alongside the challenges” we’ll be in a position to have “a more balanced perspective and a dose of positivity to fuel 2015.”

While this article offers questions to guide individuals in reviewing the past year and setting goals, I found many of these relevant for non-profit and associations too. So here are excerpts from Chadnick’s “annual review” article, with some of my own suggestions added in for good measure.

The Year Past

What went well?

Chadnick notes: It’s easy to forget the good stuff amidst the ‘tough’ memories of the past year. So rewind your 2014 video and mine it for all that went well. …

What do you recall as your organization’s biggest success this year? Is it something you can simply repeat in 2015? Or did a small success show promise for what you can build on this year?

What changed for the better?

Chadnick’s article focused on personal growth and evolution in terms of skills, knowledge, habits and experience acquired. But what changed in your organization this year “that made [it] a better version of [its former self]?

For example, was the organization more successful due to a cohesive board? Did you manage to achieve your goals or stick to your plan? Thinking about what changed and how it impacted the organization is important for future planning.

What were the gifts of 2014 and what and who are you most grateful for right now?

... Reflect on the stand-out moments, experiences and circumstances of the past year and try to identify the silver lining in each of them...

...Mark your year-end with a big dollop of gratitude and you will see a shinier year both behind and ahead of you.

I’ve combined a couple of Chadnick’s questions here, but basically consider what you’ve received and what you’re grateful for during 2014.

We published a post a while back – Should Your Organization Take the Gratitude Challenge – about the importance of acknowledging or being grateful to your supporters, members, volunteers, etc. But it’s also important to take stock of unexpected gifts or successes. Maybe it's simply acknowledging that things actually went as planned last year for a particular event or project – which can be a gift in itself!

Or perhaps you received an actual gift in 2014, such as a grant or pro-bono services, that took your organization to the next level or saved you an enormous expense. How did it impact your organization. How or even should this be repeated? 

What do you need to let go of or complete to start 2015 anew?

Chadnick notes that "We need to make space for the new and for the good – because sometimes the old stuff gets in the way. …"

But organizations like associations and non-profits could also benefit from a little clear up sometimes.

Perhaps you need to let go of some outdated processes (time to move things online?). Maybe it’s time to banish the ghosts of events past – breath some new life into one or a number of your events. It may even be time to look at your board or committee structure or succession planning. Is it time for some new blood in the top volunteer ranks?

What’s your theme for the past year?

Wrap up your year by giving it a name. Complete this phrase: “...2014 was the year of __________”

The Year Ahead

The article also had a number of questions to ask yourself about your plans for 2015. For example:

What changes would you like to make?

Chadnick notes:...Clarifying and declaring what you want is the first step to creating a vision for your future. Then you need a follow-up plan as well.

Here are some other great questions you and your organization can consider:

If you could celebrate just one accomplishment at the end of 2015 what would it be?

What’s your theme for the year ahead?

Complete this sentence: “As I reflect on my year ahead, this will be the year of _______”


So – what is your organization's theme for 2015?

Here’s wishing you and your organization success in meeting your goals for 2015 and enjoying the journey along the way.

Image source:  New or Old Life – courtesy of BigStockPhoto.com

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Tuesday, 13 January 2015 at 8:30 AM
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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