August is likely the most important, yet underappreciated, time of the 4-H year. This is the month which will set your trajectory for your 4-H program next year. Remember all those things that didn’t work quite right last year? Or great ideas you wanted to implement in the future? The time is now!
In the next month take some time to really reflect and set some plans into motion for the next year. A few questions I suggest you ask yourself now:
- Ask yourself- what didn’t work last year and why? It may be helpful to engage a colleague or other mentor in walking you through this process, so you can gain an outside perspective on future strategies.
- What one thing (program, event, activity, etc.), if I implemented in my 4-H program next year, would have the greatest impact? THEN PLAN TO DO IT! Remember, there are lots of small things you can do… don’t get bogged down with that right now. What is the one BIG thing you can do?
- What one skill would I like to develop over the next year that would make me a more effective youth development professional? Plan to focus some time on developing this one skill through reading, professional seminars, TED Talk watching, etc.. After a year of focus, next year you will undoubtedly know more in this area than the bulk of the population, and can set about to teach and mentor your colleagues.
Need some more tools to help you as you develop a vision and plan for the coming year? Check out these resources (great for you, and great for leading volunteers through a similar process):