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Discern your season

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens" Ecclesiastes 3:1





This past week I reflected on how important it is for us to discern and understand the season of life that we are in even as we continue to set our goals for the year. The SMART principle of goal-setting includes only setting goals that are realistic. I believe that we cannot set realistic goals if we are not in tune with the season of our lives that we are in.


Throughout our careers, personal lives and other areas of our lives, we will go through different seasons that will demand that we prioritise specific goals and objectives at the expense of others. And it is important for us to discern and analyse what goals require our attention so that we can make the right decisions to meet our goals.


I remember when I started working and was doing articles at an audit firm, in the first year I also had to juggle part-time studies as I had failed CTA (accounting honours degree) just the year before. In that season I had two main priorities: To pass CTA and to show up consistently at work. This meant my time had to be committed to clocking in a certain number of study hours every week, it also meant that between travelling on out-of-town audits and working overtime, I had little time left for anything else. Financially it meant taking a study loan to pay for my registration fees at the beginning of the year and spending the rest of the year paying back the study loan over ten months - goodbye ambitious financial goals! I had also been a homecell leader at my church and decided after a few months of working and struggling to keep up with the role to step back so that I could prioritise school and work. A difficult decision to make amidst the pressure of wanting to be a spiritual high-performer but a necessary one considering the season I was in.


At the end of the year I achieved my goal and passed CTA #Yassss! I also maintained consistent 3 ratings (basically doing what you're getting paid to do and nothing more) at work - not amazing but good enough and in line with the strategy that my coach and I had agreed on - School FIRST, work second. In the following year the strategy changed to getting better ratings (doing excellent work and standing out) to catch up with my peers who didn't have the added stress of juggling school. I also could go back to leading a homecell and to doing extra-curricular activities such as tutoring high school students over weekends.


As women, the seasons of life are highlighted even more when we have kids. I remember how I pushed (ćava the pun) to work until two days before giving birth, only to have my AHA-moment as I dragged myself through 6-weeks of postpartum recovery and the first 4 months of motherhood. I realised that this was the season for bonding with my son and showing up differently in the world - as a mother. At a minimum, I had to be out of action for 3 months - whether I liked it or not - and so it was an eye-opener of how that was not the appropriate time to be goal-setting how to become the first female president - am ambitious goal that would only serve to frustrate me at a time when I needed to be planning how to freeze enough milk to sustain a hungry baby when I went back to work.


Over the years, I've had to review my goals time and again and ensure that they are in alignment with my season. In retrospect, I realise that in seasons where I did this well, not only was my goal-setting process enjoyable and relaxed (without pressure and stress), but the goals themselves were attainable, realistic and motivating enough for me to remain committed to achieving them. In seasons where my goals were out of touch with my life's season, I became frustrated, impatient and made mistakes in my decision-making processes (like deciding to start an MBA when my son was four months old).


My encouragement for this week is that we should spend some time analysing what season we are in at the level of the dimensions of our lives - because seasons can differ based on the area of our lives we are reviewing. And we might even find that some areas don't require as much priority as others in this season - meaning it's not always necessary to equally prioritise each area of our lives. Sometimes we can get away with neglecting the others in the short-term in order to have long-term gains.


Journal Prompts:

  1. What season am I in, in each area of my life?

  2. What should I prioritise in this season?

  3. What should I eliminate in this season?

  4. What should I maintain in this season?

  5. In what ways are my goals not aligned to my season? How can I better calibrate my goals with my season?


Resources:


I love these blogs written to explore the different seasons of life:



I also recommend these two books












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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a passionate leader, accomplished professional and a mentor. I believe that nation-building depends on how well we build people. Therefore, my mission is to contribute to the personal, professional and leadership development of people to empower them to reach their highest potential.

I do this through a mentorship program that I founded and through this blog where I share principles I've applied and insights I've gained in the past twelve years of my career and leadership journey.

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