Achieving your school goals for the year is an important piece of the principal’s role.

You cast vision, set the targets, and resource your team so they can execute the established goals. Today’s post will share 10 timeless tips that will help you achieve your school goals for the year.

These tips are “Timeless” because they work and the ideas have been working for a very long time. You won’t find these ideas trending on Twitter or featured in a BuzzFeed article for virality.

No, this advice is classic, tried-and-true advice that will not let you down as long as you execute on the ideas.

So here are 10 timeless tips for achieving your school goals this year.

Add think time to your calendar.

You’re not a mindless robot. Give yourself the gift of uninterrupted time to just be. To sit and think about a problem.

Too often we jump into action mode without careful consideration of the steps that actually need to realize our goals.

Slow down to go fast.

Schedule deep work. 

Now that you have considered how you will attain your goals, schedule at least one 90-minute block of “deep work” time a week to move important initiatives forward.

During a deep work block, the task at hand is all that matters. Everything else is just noise. Ignore it.

Disconnect from social media — it’s a waste of time.

Let’s get this out of the way nice and early.

Social media is a waste of time.

A professional uses social media:

  • To add value / answer questions during pre-determined sprints of time
  • Reply to anyone commenting on your work / asking a question
  • Share helpful content you’ve created

Other than that, social media is a waste of time.

Don’t get me wrong, social media can be entertaining for personal use. But that should be limited. Strong boundaries will help you get more impactful work done.

And if you are looking to be entertained, grab a book. If you have some free time, get in a workout, sit for a session of meditation, call an old friend, or pay more attention to your family.

On your deathbed, do you think you’ll care about your social feed?

Measure your progress.

Sports teams keep score because there are winners and losers after each competition. You will be more accountable to yourself if you measure the results you create.

Note: I am talking about measuring the inputs and trusting the process —  that the results will be what you are looking for.

So if I want to grow the mastermind some inputs I could measure:

  • Focus first on sustaining a world-class mastermind environment so current members share their experience with other leaders
  • Create valuable content (if the content is quality, how much better would the mastermind experience be?)
  • Invite leaders to a powerful coaching session (and invite to the mastermind if I’d like to continue working with them)
  • Follow-up timely with new applications

The inputs I can measure are ten times as long as these last few bullets, but they illustrate my point.

Share your progress in public.

And now that you are keeping track of your ability to execute, show your work. I call this “Do it in public.”

I share my results each month on my blog.

Which brings me to my next point …

Surround yourself with the right people.

I also share my progress toward goals with people I trust and that will push me to be the best version of myself.

Brené Brown calls this her “Square squad.”

Everyone’s opinion does not matter.  Listen to the people who have permission to challenge you and ask the hard questions.

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

That quote changed my life 5-years ago.

As a result, I am doing fulfilling work and have the privilege to help leaders level up via that work.

Do less.

Everyone’s heard the idea “Less is more.”

Five goals are better than ten. Three are better than five.

If you have only one goal, there is nowhere to hide. You should be working on your one goal.

Earlier, I noted the importance of scheduling deep work. This kind of activity is different from shallow work.

Shallow work helps you maintain your job. It’s like matching the blind in poker. That bet doesn’t mean you will win the hand, it only means you continue to play.

With the right strategy, you just might win the hand. Deep work changes people’s lives for the better. Shallow work does not.

While writing the most recent draft of my book, I was absolutely terrible at answering email.

So what.

The book will have a bigger impact.

Routines, rituals, and the importance of showing up.

One reason people struggle to accomplish what they set out to do is that they are scared. It’s scary to be on the hook for results, especially when you’re telling a group of people you admire that you are going to accomplish X, Y, and Z.

To get past the fear and move past procrastination, turn pro.

The professional has routines, rituals, and structures to help her get through the bits when she doesn’t want to show up.

The professional shows up anyway.

Every day you won’t do great work. But the more often you show up consistently, the more often you do amazing work.

It’s not luck. It’s not a coincidence.

It’s consistency and structure.

Use the focus funnel.

I learned this in 2016 from Rory Vaden. I don’t suggest using this tool for “deep work” tasks, but you should use it for shallow work.

When a given task crosses your desk, ask …

  • Can I eliminate this task?
  • If not, can I automate this task?
  • If not, can I delegate this task?
  • If not, can I procrastinate on this task?
  • If not, I need to concentrate on this task.

Celebrate your successes.

If you’re like me you might struggle celebrating your achievements. I can be obnoxiously shy and humble after achieving something spectacular. That’s silly and unmotivating.

You know what I’m enjoying these days?

Celebrating all the wins.

If someone new signs up to work with me one-on-one, I’m going to buy a nice bottle of champagne and celebrate with my wife.

I’m also finding it motivating to plan how I will celebrate major accomplishments. Come December 2023 and I’ve done what I said what I’d do, I have the permission to do two things:

  • Buy a new Tesla in cash
  • Go travel to somewhere fun on my bucket list.

I hope you’ve found this list of timeless tips to help you achieve your school goals helpful.

This advice has and will continue to stand the test of time.

I promise that if you have the courage to work these ten principles in the new year, then you will achieve dramatic results.

I’d love to hear what you have planned and even better, what results you achieve. If you take action on this post and want to share your results on the podcast, send me an email.

PS … the best way to guarantee your success this year is to avoid doing it alone. Maybe now is a great time for you to team up with other driven leaders making change happen in education. Check out how the mastermind is an exceptional PD opportunity and fill out an application today.

Now, Go Make a Ruckus!

Ready to elevate the learning experience on your campus?

The Remarkable Vision Formula: A Guided School Leader Retreat will increase the energy on your campus, align the actions of your team, and elevate the learning experience for all your students.

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