It’s hard to believe that the New Year is almost here. In light of that, it’s a time to dedicate some calendar space to reviewing how you did relative to your professional development plan. Think about your goals and any of the mindsets or behaviors you may have set out to change. What successes can you build upon? What shortcomings need to be corrected or still need addressing? Finally, how well does your professional development plan support that critical life-work balance? If your plan has been tucked away in a drawer or stored somewhere on your computer, bring it out and get busy! Let’s get it updated, primed and ready for January 1, 2018.
Here are three steps to give greater structure to this planning activity:
1. Schedule A Time And Place To Do This Review Activity
Identify when you’re going to do this, where you’ll be most productive, and what resources you’ll need to be successful. Then make sure to clear your calendar, eliminate the opportunity for distractions, and put the date and place in your books. Simply writing it down supports intention. Then you need to show up just like you would for any other meeting—be professional, prepared and ready to work.
Tip: Take a break from email, texting and social media during this time so you can fully engage in the task at hand.
2. Review And Assess Current Professional Development Documents
Assuming you already have a professional development plan of sorts, use this as the basis for your review and planning. (If you don’t have one, consider using MAP’s Professional Development Plan.) As you review your progress against your goals, be objective about it and release any tendency to bring in judgments or excuses for any shortcomings that may exist. (Note: This requires awareness and discipline!) Focus on successes and ask yourself what’s been learned and where the value lies within any challenges that surfaced.
Tip: Think about how you feel after reviewing your 2017 document—and consider how you want to feel a year from now? More productive? Less stressed? More disciplined? Whatever it is, use that motivation to move on to Step 3.
3. Update Your Plan
In looking at your current blueprint, what still matters and what doesn’t? Do you have goals written down that are no longer vital, relevant or needed? If the aspects or the importance of your goals have morphed in some way, don’t personalize it or consider it a failure. It’s ok to change a date, set a more realistic target number, move it to a higher position of importance, etc. You may have goals that make sense to axe and new ones to add. With your action items, also identify what to update and do it. You may find it’s better to delegate certain activities or stop some all together, so you can be more productive in meeting other, more vital goals. Have this plan set and ready to go by the first of the year, making sure all your planned activities have due dates.
Tip: Share it with your business coach, a trusted team member or mentor to help give it credibility and support your accountability to this updated plan.
What common themes do you see around goals you’ve hit and goals you may have missed?