Mapping Out Your New Year’s Goals for School Nutrition Program Success!
With the arrival of 2019, you’re likely thinking about personal goals or resolutions for the new year. But what about professional goals? How might you improve and grow professionally; how might you encourage the same among your team and school nutrition program? How might your school or district set goals to become more efficient, more flexible, save money, or save time?
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
The team here at My K12 Resource encourages you to set aside some time for thought, reflection and goal-setting. Schedule this “appointment” for yourself, and put pen to paper. You might consider inviting your team to do the same, or conduct as a group.
Create SMART goals - ones that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. As an example, perhaps one of your goals is to achieve 100% on your Menu Review this year.
This goal is specific: It is actionable and specifically states what you are setting out to do
This goal is measurable: You will achieve 100%
This goal is relevant: The goal falls within your jurisdiction, it supports your mission to be a successful school lunch program, and will set a precedent for reviews to come
This goal is timely: You will achieve this goal this calendar year (if it is your review year)
Make a Plan
Benjamin Franklin said, "Failing to plan is planning to fail," so let’s map out a plan! Take your SMART goals and map out a plan for how you aim to achieve each of them. Put a detailed timeline in place; stick to your self-imposed deadlines.
As an example, during this time of year you are likely deciding what to do with your Commodity Entitlement Dollars (link to Terry’s blog). Set SMART goals pertaining to your commodities processing and make plans for how to achieve them. One goal could be determining where to spend your entitlement, either
1) Diversion to a Processor,
2) Brown Box, or
3) USDA Department of Defense Fresh Produce Program.
Or, perhaps you’re not yet taking part in commodities processing, and you might set a goal to take part. Map out a plan for involvement in commodities processing; start by setting up a call with your commodities coach to learn more!
When setting your goals and mapping out your plans to achieve them, you’ll also want to make sure you are keeping yourself organized. Keep your goals in a place where you’ll be able to come back to them and refresh them as needed. Put your deadlines and milestones in your calendar! Feel amazing when you tick them off one by one.
Think of how you organize your recipes - your recipes are organized, right? Of course they are! Do the same (or even better) for your goal-setting document and plans. And speaking of recipes, perhaps your SMART goal is to incorporate two new recipes that introduce new foods to your students this Spring. Your “map” could include surveying your students for their input as to various foods they haven’t yet tried but would like to. We have a few from Comida Vida such as Creamed Plantain Soup and Mashed Yuca Mojo that we wanted to share with you to get you started! Or perhaps you want to explore new means of preparing your full menus, i.e. via a new software platform. Which is best for your district? The My K12 Resource team is here to aid in your decision-making.
Execute - It’s Time to Get Busy!
Once you have your goals set and your plan(s) in place, it’s time to execute on those plans! Think of your procurement plan as an example. Your procurement plan describes in full detail how you plan to procure the food and supplies for your district, and you likely follow this in perfect detail! Execute on your professional goals and plans just as you do for your procurement plan. And if you don’t have a procurement plan in place, we’re here to help you prep one.
Use your team for support in achieving your department’s goals; hold one another accountable. Rely on the team here at My K12 to help you achieve your goals as well - we’re here to help you become more efficient and more flexible - while saving time and money!
Please share your 2019 goals with us!