"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional" - John C Maxwell
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As a passionate and addicted gardener, I tend to equate this time of year more with all the new growth that will arrive with Spring. January is when all the new garden catalogs and magazines start filling up my mailbox. It's like Christmas every day! If you garden, you understand! This time of year brings news of new plant and tree cultivers along with season previews. I love paging through all the books while putting pen to paper to plan which plants will be moved, trashed, or given new garden buddies. Garden websites are full of vibrant colors and planting schemes that offer endless possibilities. It helps get me thorough the cold dreary Western Michigan winters......
Professional garden architects would cringe if they knew the ways that I garden. While I try to work with planting principles like "plant in odd groups" or "plant by color", I just can't. There are too many gems out there in nurseries and catalogs that I want to include in my gardens. I love to try new things with color, form, and texture. I am very guilty of buying cool plants that catch my eye and feverishly finding spots for them. Luckily, I have a lot of room to garden with so my gardens flow without looking too much like a patchy mess. I love more of a wild and natural look than a manicured and cut look.
For years I kept a detailed garden notebook where I indicated what was planted and where. I kept tags for proper care. I was on it! As I became more experienced and whimsical in my ways, I stopped. Occasionally it's an issue but I work around it. One thing that I do every year is write out a list of ideas or plants that I want to incorporate into my garden the next year. I love jotting everything down so I have somewhat of a plan for Spring. You need to do the same in order to showcase your ideas and jump start some creativity as ideas often build on themselves.
Here are 10 "resolutions" to spark ideas for the 2014 gardening season
- Grow some unusual rare or unique plants from seed. Scour those catalogs and start planting inside as early as late January. It will lift your spirits and your gardening confidence.
- Vow to enjoy more organic homegrown food. Incorporate flowers into your veggies to make a colorful, yet useful planting bed.
- Compost, compost, compost.
- Take some garden classes at a local garden house or a state extension program. Here's a site that will help you find one in your area State garden extension programs . Plan what you want to learn.
- If you don't garden much, commit by doing it at least 3 times a week. Gardening burns a lot of calories. Moderate gardening for an hour burns almost 300 calories! Who needs to run?
- Reduce or eliminate your lawn. Lawns need a lot of water, fertilizer, and don't do a lot to add to the ecosystem with beneficial bugs like butterflies and a gallery of beautiful song birds.
- Go native. Keep your clothes on here! Plant plants native to your area. Many need little to NO care in order to thrive. They love your planting climate and have evolved so they will flourish.
- Plant for the four seasons. This may take some planning however, some of the most beautiful gardens actually shine in the winter. Their bronze colors and textures can be amazing!
- Join or start a garden club. Starting a club in my area is a goal of mine in 2014. What a great way to reach out to others, learn, and make new friends!
- Have fun!!!! Enjoy your garden with others and hold garden parties!
Gardening is a great de-stresser and a great way to cut work out of your mind and into something where you can visually see growth and change. If gardening isn't your thing, make sure that you do have an outlet or hobby that sparks your creativity and brings you to a relaxing state of mind. If you don't have a hobby yet - This needs to be your first 2014 resolution!
If you are committed to your personal growth as a person and leader in 2014, you need to set goals. In order to have success, don't go overboard with a long list of goals because your chances of remaining focused are slim. Even if you set 2 goals for the upcoming year you will be a stronger person and more effective leader. To achieve your resolutions you need to have a plan AND find a good buddy to keep you on track and accountable (guilt trip guilt trip!). If having a notebook with goals on you isn't your thing then search for an app to keep track on your phone. There is a website that you can sign up for to help with your resolutions at http://askmeevery.com/. You will be sent an email or text every day asking how you are doing on your goal. It will also track your stats. This great idea came from Dan McCarthy at SmartBlog. Read his entire article at SmartBlog - How to achieve your 2014 leadership goals Bottom line? Have a plan to keep yourself on track and accountable. What resolutions will you set for yourself in 2014? Here are some ideas to get you started...
10 resolutions to get you motivated for leadership growth in 2014
- Become more thoughtful.
- Focus on employee benefits and relationships.
- Invest in continued learning and development. Yours and your team.
- Become a stronger communicator.
- Focus on talking less and listening more.
- Be a champion of doing the right thing.
- Provide and develop better ideas from others.
- Build trust in your skills and from your people.
- Involve everyone on the team in setting the vision and goals. Own the goals!
- Focus on feedback. Welcome it and take criticism with an open mind.
What will your goals be? What will you dedicate yourself to focusing on in 2014? Write it down, own it, and have an accountability buddy. Lead with growth in 2014 and become a better, stronger, empowering leader.
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