Earlier this week, I lead an online workshop for community builders to help them look back on 2016 and plan for 2017. If you missed it, you can still access the worksheets, my own planning worksheets, and the audio file.

As I walked through the plans for the new year, the biggest ah-ha! moment that I noticed from the community builders on the call was in setting a clear intention for the first quarter of 2017. And just one intention, not two, or three, or all four.

Intention-setting is all about figuring out how you want to feel and then ensuring that your actions/tasks/projects align with creating that feeling for yourself. It’s honoring of who you want to be, and it allows you to show up as a better version of yourself to lead your community.

Why is this so essential?

When it comes down to it, all of us are very, very busy and torn in five different directions. We are (even if subconsciously) always presented with the question: What actions can I take that will be best for my members, and how can I align those actions with what is best for myself? If we’re constantly taking actions that are good for our members but bad for ourselves (e.g. working 14-hour days and skipping our self-care) or taking actions that are good for ourselves but bad for how we want our community to sustain itself (e.g. doing everything ourselves and never delegating to our teams/members), we end up burned out, feeling unsuccessful, and without a clear trajectory.

If we have a clear intention for ourselves and for our teams to thrive, it becomes much easier to determine what work is worth pouring our hearts into.

So pick one intention and stick with it for just one quarter. There are only four to choose from, so it’s easy. Then re-assess how you’re doing, and dedicate yourself to a new intention or keep the one you’ve got.

The Four Community Builder Intentions 

A) Testing
Try new things, experiment, be creative. Break from the status quo. Try everything and see what sticks. Think outside the box.

Set this intention if you want to feel playful, creative, fun, excited, adventurous, experimental, cutting-edge.

B) Simplifying
Tear things down, stop trying to do SO much, slow down, and intentionally move forward on the essentials.

Set this intention if you want to feel calm, systematic, organized, strategic.

C) Scaling
Take your successful programs and set them up to grow/sustain indefinitely, with the community’s help (or automate All The Things).

Set this intention if you want to feel trusting, empowering, collaborative, supported.

D) Leading & Mastery
Hire new team members, get a promotion, move laterally, get a new job.

Set this intention if you want to feel challenged, trusted, recognized, seen.

Have feedback or questions? Let me know in the comments below.

By the way, this is my first year in many that I have not written a looking-back post about the prior year. If you’re curious about my lessons learned in prior years, you can find my community building lessons from 2015, 2014, and 2013 on Medium.

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