Don’t start making those New Year’s resolutions just yet. Before deciding what you should do next year, it’s critical to step back, take a breath, and do your own year-end review.
It’s true. As T&D professionals, we’re all good at setting our own learning goals and then noticing which ones we didn’t accomplish. So, we immediately begin identifying ways to improve. While that’s great for continually focusing on improvement, it doesn’t give us much of a chance to reflect on what we’ve done really well.
So, here’s a suggestion to “balance the books” before the year ends—why not focus on your strengths, as well as the areas you want to improve. Call it a “Celebrating My Strengths” assignment, a “Year-End Achievement Inventory,” or anything else that fits for you. Just be sure to identify what you did well this year so you can build on these successes in 2014.
Consider these ideas to get you started.
Step 1: Gather together the following items:
- your 2013 calendar, showing meetings, conferences, project deadlines, and so forth
- any notes from initiatives you’ve worked on over the past year
- a description of any products or services you helped develop or create
- performance reviews, other forms of feedback, and notes of appreciation
- a review of association events or meetings you took part in
- any notes or other items that reflect how you spent your professional time this past year, including conferences, regional meetings, local events, continuing education programs, and so on
- any presentation(s) you made.
Step 2: Set aside time to review all this material. Recall each event or activity in detail.
Step 3: Jot down a few words that summarize what you learned from each event or experience.
- What did you learn that you didn’t know before?
- Which activities deepened skills or strengths you already possess?
- What accomplishments are you proudest of?
- Which skills, strengths or competencies do you want to use more of in 2014?
We can all become so focused on ways we need to improve that we may forget the skills and value we already bring to our work. Before launching into what you could do better, why not take the time to celebrate yourself as 2013 comes to a close?