What will you do and what will you accomplish?

They tell us we avoided falling off the cliff. They tell us the Mayans were wrong. They tell us we had an election and the government didn’t collapse. The world is still here and we’re part of it. We still seem to have a way of earning and using wealth. And our elected officials came to agreement on something. Not a bad way to start a new year. It may not be the most glittering way to begin, but it could have been worse. So if dire predictions didn’t bear out, I guess we can continue on as we have been. We have opportunities to reflect and consider what we’ve been doing and what we’ve accomplished. We can then set goals for what we will do in the new year and what we will accomplish.

As part of our annual planning process, many in Michigan State University Extension are in the process of summarizing what we accomplished in the past year and what we plan to do in the year ahead. As you consider your accomplishments and your aspirations, I think it’s worth pointing out that we in MSUE possess the means to effect change for the good, to make the world a better place. Our organization empowers people to improve their lives. We’re people helping people help themselves.

As you complete your work plan for 2013, keep in mind that it’s important to plan for what you will DO – the actions you’ll take, and in the context of our logic models, the outputs that you will produce. It’s even more important to identify what you will ACCOMPLISH. Actions are a necessary part of our planning. But if they are actions without intended accomplishments, they’re simply tasks on a list. If they are actions that lead to accomplishments – to some kind of improvement in the lives of those we serve – they advance our organization, they give us purpose, and they improve the state of our university and our communities. Those accomplishments are what set us apart and matter most.

Many people don’t go to work every day knowing they make a difference. But here at MSU Extension, we can, we do and we will make a difference in 2013 and beyond.

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