At the start of this season we posted a blog about setting your goals for 2017. In fact, it’s such an important subject, we wrote two! The first blog gave you suggestions on what you could do over a summer to improve your skills. The second encouraged you to set your goals, both short term and long term, with an extract from Sue’s book – How to Become an Ecological Consultant.
But here’s the thing. Setting goals isn’t difficult. Reviewing them and measuring progress is a lot harder. So now that we’re well into November and the survey season is feeling like a distant memory, it’s time to review your goals.
If you did, then well done! If not, then don’t despair, you won’t be alone in this. Either way, you still need to review your plan.
Here’s how to review:
- Work out what did and didn’t happen on your list. Add anything you achieved that wasn’t on there (an extra training session you attended, or a last-minute conference).
- Look at what’s left on your list of goals and check they are still relevant. You need to be flexible. Maybe you discovered a passion for bats and you now want to become a bat specialist! Keep the central points of your plan the same, but don’t be afraid to change the details.
- How hard were these goals to achieve? A bit easy? Make next year more challenging. Too hard and you only managed half of them? Don’t get dispirited, make next year more achievable.
- What did you cover? Have you become an expert in dormice, but only learnt a dozen new plants all year? Spend some time working out why and what you can do to fix this imbalance next year. Even dormouse experts need botany!
Write up your goals for 2018. Learn from your achievements this year and go forward. Stick with the SMART method of goal setting.
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-bound
Remember to set goals that are enjoyable! Have fun, keep learning and remember to review regularly to stay on track.
What could you do differently next year? Boost those skills with an Acorn Ecology course. We have introductory courses on a wide range of ecological topic, advanced courses on protected species and development and online courses too!
If you’re not sure what course is right for you, get in touch with our friendly staff on firstname.lastname@example.org, or give our Exeter office a call on 01392 366512 for some advice.