Welcome 2012!

We’re very excited about the New Year and the opportunities it will bring. As you are aware, recently the YMCA of the USA changed our brand and logo. We’re not alone – from small and effective downtown business like Initial Inspirations (formally Kids & Sew On) to major local corporations like August Health (formerly Augusta Medical Center) all recently assessed their products, company, and core values and transitioned with a new brand. Even Waynesboro itself has hired consultants to navigate these waters (pun intended).

I’d argue that ‘rebranding’ is not just for corporations and non-profits, but an excellent exercise for individuals as well. So throw out the old New Years Resolutions that might last you the first few months of this year – and create a new brand for yourself. What do you believe in? What core values are most critical to you? How do I want my friends and family to view me? Who do I want to be when I ‘grow up’? What do I want to accomplish while I’m here?

With anything worth doing, this requires some investment of time. The first exercise I’d suggest is a recommendation from Steven Covey – straight from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Write your own mission statement. This will help refocus your goals and direction. It will help define what you believe in most and help guide you as critical decisions need to be made. This is just a first draft – and the New Year is great time for reflection and putting in additional drafts every year. This is also a great ‘diary’ for your children. Make sure someone close to you knows where this document is because it will serve as a great teaching tool for your children once you’re gone. My second recommendation also comes from Covey – write your eulogy. This will give you a sense of how you want people to view you when you are gone. The third recommendation is pure Fife – get in a quiet place and listen to Train’s “I Am”. Then answer all the questions the artist is asking of himself. “Am I the father that I think I am, am I the man I think I want to be, am I the son I think I am” It’s worth a listen. Compare the documents, are you behaving in the same manner that is both consistent with your core beliefs and the way you want people to remember you when you are gone?

The Y’s refocused effort comes into three focus areas. 2012 will bring programming directed at Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. We’re dedicated to serving the community in these core areas for generations to come. Where are you going to focus your efforts in 2012? How will you be remembered? Let the journey begin!


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