The entry into the New Year often brings renewed focus on what is important and a chance to think about our intentions, goals, and plans for the forthcoming year. For myself, I have named 2022 the year of Quantum Health – including physical, financial, emotional, and relational health. I am committed to identifying and protecting time for morning exercise, daily meditation (10 minutes, but it is a start), scheduling annual wellness visits, menu planning (so I stick to healthy choices when busy), walking meetings on the phone instead of Zoom, shorter Zoom sessions with time for breaks between appointments, and making and protecting time for relationships at work and at home. I know it seems impossible to make time for these things when there are so many opportunities and demands for our time and talents. I would encourage you, however, to be intentional about planning and protecting your time, how you use it, how you prioritize, and what makes your 2022 list of key goals for work and home.
In addition to a focus on well-rounded health and well-being, I am dedicating deep work time focused on Extension’s strategic future. I will be sharing what we have learned in this last year of listening and navigating challenging times and elaborating on the vision, key areas of emphasis, and resource priorities in March during my State of Extension address (stay tuned for a save-the-date and registration). I am also asking each of us to focus in this new year on our Extension keys and how we each can implement them in our daily lives as lived behaviors. Last month, I talked about being intentional about inclusion in OSU Extension. Today, I want to encourage each of us to think about how we can incorporate the key of CARE into our mission of Extension, with our colleagues and our clientele.
- I provide safe, fun, and enjoyable environments for learning and service.
- I support and model life work balance for co-workers and clientele.
- I value professional development, proficiency, and career growth for all.
- I treat all with kindness and respect.
- I value all partners and community members.
Please join me in finding ways in which we can each demonstrate CARE in our work. Perhaps we implement an office activity or staff tradition to increase fun or social team engagement; share a skill or talent with our team members to raise the knowledge of all; ask someone how they are doing and offer to help them with something (task or deadline, etc.) if they are stressed or overwhelmed; take time to thank someone for something positive they did or said OR offer an apology when you have said or done something that wasn’t so positive; send a hand-written note or make a phone call aimed at making someone’s day. I am saving Fridays at 4 p.m for sending SPARKS (Specific, Personal, Appreciation/Recognition of Kindness and Success). I look forward to seeing how our focus on living our value of caring will strengthen our culture of caring in Extension.
Finally, I ask that you all continue to demonstrate CARE as we continue to navigate an ever-evolving COVID-19 environment, being flexible and understanding when there are specific needs of individuals associated with local spread, personal illness, or other considerations (e.g., ill family members, child care or elder care constraints, etc.). I also remind you to STAY home if you are not feeling well. DO NOT come into the office if you are sick, especially if you have symptoms of COVID.