If you’re anything like me, the goals you set at the beginning of 2022 are the furthest thing from your mind at this point. For me, a new puppy, last-minute shopping, and the prospect of sixteen house guests has pushed any thoughts of my resolutions and goals way into the back of my consciousness. But the holidays are a time for celebration, and that makes it worthwhile to carve out some of our attention to review and appreciate how far we’ve all come.
Last January on our blog, we laid the groundwork for strong goal/resolution setting and follow through.
Omnia is big on self-reflection, so we opened the year by offering tips on how to use the power of self-reflection to shape goals and goal-achievement strategies that are perfectly tailored to the individual. The Power of Self-Reflection
Next, we talked about how to set SMART goals and plans for achieving them. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.3 Simple Rules for Reaching Your Goals
Then we took self-reflection a step further by explaining how to create a personal learning strategy by:
Creating a Personal Learning Plan
Finally, we discussed ways of working around obstacles by taking tiny steps, reprioritizing, focusing on progress rather than perfection, paying yourself first (in time), and giving yourself grace. New Year's Resolutions - How's it going?
As 2022 comes to a close, it’s time to review your progress. Did you achieve your goals? Did you come close?
If so, congratulations!
Take time now to feel that well-earned sense of accomplishment. Give yourself the reward you promised yourself. Reflect on how your successes have improved your situation. Did you expand your skills? Did you move closer to your larger long-range goals? Did you establish new habits that will contribute to your overall well-being? That is amazing!
If you didn’t quite get there, congratulations, too! Any objective you set to improve your situation is going to yield positive results. You’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. You’ve possibly shifted your focus to something that’s more meaningful. You’ve taken steps and laid the groundwork for the future.
For the moment, forget your goals entirely. Don’t try to match what you did to what you said you’d do. Instead, just make a list of everything you have accomplished. This is something I had to do this year. I had set a couple of solid resolutions at the beginning of the year and created a realistic plan for achieving them. I was right on track, and then *WHAM* life forcefully (but happily) shoved me right onto a different track.
In the spring, our family was suddenly given an opportunity to relocate to my home state. This was something we had wanted for a while but hadn’t been able to find a clear path to it. Then, in the blink of an eye, everything lined up just so, and we were able to make it happen. I forgot all about those beginning-of-the-year goals and focused on a whole new set of objectives: selling our house, moving our belongings and four cats (I KNOW!), and resettling over a thousand miles away. We did it! Now, at the end of the year, I have not achieved a single one of my resolutions, but wow… my family and I accomplished a LOT!
The point is: If you’re kicking yourself for not achieving your goals, now is a good time to look at what you did accomplish! You worked hard, cared for your family, dealt with the trials life sent your way. I have no doubt you succeeded in a hundred ways, even if those successes weren’t the same ones you were aiming for in January. Congratulate yourself. Give yourself a present – even if it is just a really long nap!
We just concluded our third-party independent validation study! Because language evolves, the study identified a short list of adjectives from our checklist that needed to be “modernized.” Once those changes were made, we saw an increase in overall reliability of the tool to .93 for Part 1 and .94 for Part 2, meaning the assessment continues to be well above the .80 standard for reliability. Simply put, it means the tool continues to be a reliable measure of our 5 scales: assertiveness, sociability, pace, structure, and perspective. We also got some great data connecting our assertiveness scale to sales performance! Are we surprised? Not at all! But we are proud and pleased to continue to offer such a powerful yet simple tool to our customers.
We’re also preparing to launch our new 3-part, mobile-friendly assessment, which will make the assessment experience simpler and quicker for all candidates and participants, but just as powerful!
Finally, we’re wrapping up our 2nd Annual Talent Trends survey. With the information we gather, we’ll provide a realistic glimpse of changes in the talent landscape and provide actionable direction to address those changes and optimize your talent strategies. You still have time to add your voice — the survey closes on December 31. Click here.
Happy New Year to you all! We look forward to 2023 and all it has to offer!
Mid-year, the end of the second quarter, school’s out! This is a great time to reflect on your career, check in on your goals, and see how you’re doing. So, how is it going? Feeling stress-free, engaged, and overall satisfied? Excellent! Check in with us next week for another informative article!
Oh, or no? Or maybe not all those things all the time? Maybe it’s time to do some soul searching to see what’s keeping you from feeling your best in your career.
In all honesty, midyear is probably not the time when you’re going to feel 100% engaged at work. If you have kids, they have just finished or are just finishing school for the year. You’re shifting from last-minute-everything mode to give-them-something/anything-to-do mode. If you’re a former kid, you may be struggling to remember why and when we all agreed to work most of the summer instead of having it off like we used to. There are vacations to take, other people’s vacations to cover, graduations to attend, and fun places to go or wish you were going.
It’s ironic that I volunteered to write about this topic a few months ago, before I realized that I would be experiencing MAJOR life changes when it came time to write it. Midyear finds me picking up stakes and moving myself and my family long distance, to a different home, state and climate. If you’ve never sold your house and moved long distance, let me assure you, the process is full of distractions! If I wasn’t engaged by my career, I would probably have had a bit of a breakdown trying to do all this and keep working. As it is, I’m muddling through (I think) because I enjoy what I do, and I feel supported by my manager and teammates.
It's ok to not feel fully engaged all the time. If there’s one thing we discovered through these challenging last couple of years, it’s that we can all still get a lot done, even when our mind is very FULLY on something else. Still, some consistent element of engagement is critical to health, success, and happiness in your career. Think of your professional engagement as the lifeline that helps you stay successful even when you would be otherwise distracted. If there is nothing in your daily responsibilities that makes you feel energized and helps you keep your head in the game, it may be time to make some adjustments.
Whether we like it or not, some amount of career stress is inevitable. Most adults are doing some pretty incredible life-work balancing acts, and most of us have internal and external pressures about our performance. But chronic work-related stress left unchecked can lead to major problems. Are you finding yourself dreading work, lacking energy, struggling to concentrate on the job, and/or having difficulty sleeping at night? If so, according to The Mayo Clinic, you may be approaching or already experiencing job burnout.
If you’re feeling these things, chances are pretty good, you know the source. Maybe it’s conflict with a supervisor or colleague, maybe it’s deadlines or objectives that are impossible to achieve, maybe it’s chronic uncertainty about your job, or maybe you’re just not doing work that aligns with your strengths and motivators.
If you know your major stressor is temporary, you may do best to wait it out, but make sure you are focusing on self-care as much as possible while you do. However, being out of alignment with your core duties is not the kind of problem that will go away on its own or solve itself.
If you’re a competitor with no chances to compete, a people person working in solitude, an analytic dealing in generalities and hypotheticals all day, an innovator who always needs to strictly follow the rules, you are out of alignment. This can make all your daily work feel like a struggle. It’s not that you can’t be successful for a short time, but not being true to the needs of your personality is rarely sustainable and is almost always stressful.
The good news is the change you need does not always have to be that dramatic. It may be enough to make a small shift in your responsibilities – take on something new, swap something that doesn’t motivate you with someone who it does motivate. If management is sympathetic and flexible (which they should be, since helping minimize stress for employees improves productivity and profitability!) there’s potential for adjustments that could benefit both you and a colleague. That’s a win-win!
Even if you’re totally happy with your work, culture, colleagues, and company (or especially if you are) humans require some kind of growth to stay motivated. We’re curious creatures who love to learn. Do you have goals beyond your basic responsibilities that you’re working toward? If not, this is a good time to explore your interests and speak with your manager about opportunities. Covering for colleagues during their breaks can provide an excellent chance for cross-training and exploration of different duties.
If you have growth goals in place or set New Year’s resolutions, how is your progress at this midpoint of the year? This is the time to look back and praise yourself for how well you’ve done or to make adjustments to your goals, if circumstances, opportunities, or interests have shifted. You’re only halfway through the year – there’s lots of time to adjust and get moving!
Knowing about yourself can help you maintain career satisfaction, productivity, and engagement and mitigate stress. A behavioral assessment, like the Omnia Professional Development report, can help you identify what you need to ensure success for the rest of 2022 and beyond. Reach out to your Omnia Success Team member for more information.
I’ve tried it all… the home edit, the Marie Kondo method, Pinterest dollar store finds for organization. I’m addicted to anything related to organizing your home and life. My t-shirts are folded in thirds and stacked horizontally, socks are in Ikea drawer organizers, books are arranged by the colors of the rainbow (this one makes no sense, but they look pretty). However, it takes about 2.2 seconds for my methods to crumble.
I’d like to blame the other people living in my household who are never as enamored of my systems as I am. But the biggest culprit is my complete lack of personal discipline. I tend to quickly stuff things out of sight when I’m in a hurry, and I’m always in a hurry (I know you can relate).
I keep reorganizing though because when things are organized, I truly feel better and work faster. My mindset, productivity and energy are just stronger. Stuff gets done without spinning my wheels on finding what I need. I think this is true of most people, though your organization process is likely very different from mine, and that’s okay, whatever works for you, do that.
Do that. The end. Short blog.
Just kidding. Goals are like socks, emails, bills, books, we need to know where they are so we can put them on, answer them, pay them, read them… One of the reasons we tend to drop some goals is that we don’t organize ourselves around their achievement. We write them down, and then possibly forget where. But when we can see all our shirts or know exactly where the charger is, we get out of the house faster. Goals feel less concrete; you can’t pick them up like a book, and therefore they require a different set of organizational rules.
Number 1: Understand yourself. I know, it sounds a bit hokey. But really, understanding yourself is the foundation for literally everything. For example, it helps you identify potential roadblocks, like a tendency to take shortcuts when you’re in a hurry. Who you are intrinsically doesn’t stop you from doing anything, rather it gives you the answer key for getting what you want in a way that works best for you. Knowing you are naturally cautious, extroverted, detailed, or fast paced, helps you assess the best ways to use your strengths and navigate around your weaknesses as you work towards each goal. Self-awareness enhances our focus and helps light our way.
Number 2: Create SMART goals (I know another acronym). SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
Specific. Being specific is always important. If I ask for a PB&J sandwich and get one made with grape jelly, but I’m allergic to grapes, that’s a problem. I wasn’t specific. Know what you want, why you want it, whose help you might need and the resources you’ll require. Include that information in your goal.
Measurable. There needs to be an indicator of success. For example, you set a goal to work on your public speaking. Make it measurable by adding activities to get you there. I will sign up for Toastmasters or some other course, complete the course by (time) and give a presentation on (your area of expertise) to my department at our Q3 team meeting.
Attainable. Goals are all about stretching, but don’t let yourself snap!
Relevant. Sometimes things change and a goal might not be relevant to you anymore. You set a goal to get a corner office, but now your office is fully remote, the goal is not relevant.
Timely. That means deadlines. When will you accomplish the goal?
Number 3: For each goal, have a plan. The plan might vary based on the goal. You might find your goal is achieved by a simple checklist or maybe it will require a more elaborate layout. Also, your personality type is likely to drive the level of detail you put into each plan and that’s okay. Using our “work on my public speaking” goal as an example, your plan might be to research classes, workshops or other activities that develop your public speaking skills by a certain date. Next, choose one, maybe 2, and go through the course. Finally, your plan is to do a presentation to a group of at least 20 people by a certain date. Your organized plan makes execution much easier.
If you are interested in learning more about yourself or your team as you develop goals for 2022, the Omnia Assessment is a great place to start. Our self-awareness reports provide a non-threatening review of an individual’s strengths and challenge areas. Each report is written to (not about) you and provides a way to reflect on your own personal tendencies and preferences.
So put those socks away and admire your color coordinated bookshelves on your road to a bigger, better, more organized 2022.
New Year’s what? Oh yeah! LOL. I was so young and naïve 30 days ago.
If this is you, I’m not going to judge. It has sure been me more often than I’d like to admit because even the most starry-eyed, carefully planned goals can be derailed by this crazy thing called life. Take heart! The new year is still fresh, and your starry-eyed goals can be revived. You just need to identify your obstacles and plan to overcome them. (Psst… even if you’re too tired to think about that right now).
First, you need to identify your obstacles. Then, you need to make a plan.
Obstacle 1: You’re too tired to even think about that right now. Resolutions are exciting when you’re coming off several weeks of celebrating and not-normal life. You can see space for them in your return to your usual schedule. The problem is, you may have forgotten that your “normal” schedule was pretty crazy too. Still, you made that goal for a reason. It was important to not-tired you!
Plan: Go tiny. You don’t have to do it allll today! Just take a little step. One step every day. All those steps add up. A friend of mine used to say of hitchhikers (not to them because he didn’t pick them up due to possible murder), “If you keep walking with your thumb out, you’ll get there eventually.” Take those steps. They’ll get easier and faster, and soon, you’ll look back to find yourself miles away from where you started.
Obstacle 2: It doesn’t seem so important anymore. This happens to me a lot. I lose momentum on a goal because I can’t really remember why I set it in the first place. The perfect example is my crazy, periodic quest to quit drinking coffee. I’m sure there was always a reason, but I can’t for the life of me think what it was.
Plan: Reevaluate. Situations and priorities change. Take a look at the goal you set. Is there some element of it that’s important to you still? If so, try again. Make an adjustment so that the goal matches your situation a little better. If not, let it go! In the case of my quitting coffee resolution, the real goal was to be healthier and to not “drink my calories.” This year, I changed my quest to learning to like black coffee. That way, I’m still getting my caffeine fix (come on, I’m not giving that up), but I’m not having all the fat and sugar I was putting in my morning cup. And you know what? So far so good. I’m comfortable with this adjustment, and I’m proud of myself because I’ve made some progress.
Obstacle 3: I tried. It didn’t go well. I got discouraged. It stinks to put effort into something only to have it not work out. What’s the sense of trying if I’m just going to fail, right? But did you really fail?
Plan: Identify your success. We get so caught up in perfection, it’s easy to overlook our progress. Every time we try something, we learn something. Give yourself credit for the lesson, adjust your technique, and try again. I have to remind my son about this all the time. I say, “Sonny-boy,” I totally don’t call him that, “you didn’t just try walking once, fall on your butt, and never try again, did you?” To which he responds by rolling his eyes. But it’s a good reminder for me too!
Obstacle 4: There’s no time. All the time you thought you’d have after the holidays never seemed to materialize. It’s noon before you know it and midnight a blink of an eye later. (How does Friday still seem so far away?)
Plan: Pay yourself first. They say time is money. If you’re trying to meet financial goals, you need to pay yourself first. The same is true with your time. Stake out your time. Put it on a calendar. Put yourself on “do not disturb.” There’s always something that will seem more important, especially to other people. Claim the 5-10-15 minutes, whatever you need to take your small step that day.
Obstacle 5: That mean little voice in your head calling you names. This is a family-friendly space, so I’m not going to quote some of the stuff that mean little voice says. We say things to ourselves we’d never say to a loved one or even an acquaintance. Do you kiss your mamma with that mouth?
Plan: Give yourself grace. Whatever you’ve tried and however you’ve progressed (or haven’t), cut yourself some slack! Goodness - you’re only human. And you’re trying. Be as kind to you as you would be to a friend.
For whatever other obstacles you encounter: Be your own teacher. Think back on something you’ve accomplished before. How did you do it? What was it about that time that made it different from previous less-successful attempts?
For me, the times I’ve set a goal and achieved it (apart from that time I resolved to make no resolutions that year – a valid goal tbh) all have something in common. I DECIDED I was going to do it. That was it. It was a thing I was absolutely going to do. And I did. Maybe I have made that “do or die” decision before and haven’t been as successful. In retrospect, I can’t really tell if that was the case or if I had been giving myself little escape clauses. But the times I have accomplished a goal all have that in common. I decided, and not achieving the goal was not an option.
Look back at the things you’ve done in the past that really make you proud. How’d you do it? Do that some more.
Shoot, that final piece of advice makes the rest seem kind of unnecessary. I’ll just say this then: The best of luck in the pursuit of all your goals. Luck certainly helps. And Happy Still-New Year!
At the start of any new year, I like to do self-reflection on the year that’s passed and think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year. I’m not big on setting New Year’s resolutions, but I do like setting intentions for the year. With those intentions there are always goals that I end up setting for myself. I also pick a word that encompasses the main intention for the year that I can use as my guiding star or compass point. Over the years, I’ve chosen words like joy, grace, hope, and revive. This year my word is learn.
Last year, I used a new monthly planner; each month, it asked me what I had learned the month prior and what I wanted to learn the next. While I was thumbing back through the year, I realized that most of my learnings were in response to a situation or challenge at work or something I was trying to address in my personal life. Unfortunately, they were all mostly reactionary. That’s when it came to me that I wanted to spend 2022 being more intentional about learning new things and personal growth – and thus came my word for 2022.
Heading into this new year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the word learn and how I can approach learning more intentionally and mindfully. As a fan of process, I’ve categorized this idea into phases that I hope you’ll find helpful as you set out to accomplish your goals and learning plan for the year ahead:
1. Identify your gaps
2. Set learning goals
3. Get going
4. Learn and adjust
The first step with intentional learning is to figure out what you want to learn. It helps to know where you are now, where you want to be, and what the gap is to get there. It’s in this gap that the learning objectives become crystal clear, though sometimes, it’s not that easy to see when we’re getting started. The best place to start is with a future-focused look at what you want to achieve or the result you want at the end. Ideally, you picture yourself achieving that result. As Stephen Covey says in still one of my favorite personal development books The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 2 is “Begin with the End in Mind.” An example of this is reading a recipe before cooking or looking at a map of your destination before leaving on a trip. Once you have that image in mind, picture yourself in the process of doing it and consider where you may have struggles. This will help you get clearer on what you need to learn to accomplish the goal.
Another way to consider what you need to learn is to develop your self-awareness. If you haven’t done so yet, take a behavioral assessment (I can highly recommend one - try it for yourself) to identify your natural traits and strengths and where you may have blind spots. Consider asking for feedback from your work and personal network about what areas they believe you could improve on to be a more effective leader, colleague, or friend. The key is to identify what gaps exist between where you are right now and where you want to be to reach your goals. When that is clear, the path forward to learning begins.
Now that you’ve got a clear picture of what you want to learn it’s time to start chopping it into achievable goals. These goal-setting tips are helpful guidelines when it comes down to developing learning goals:
Once you’ve identified what you want to learn and your specific learning goals, it’s time to get started. Think about how you’re going to go about learning and meeting your objectives. As you consider your learning path forward, determine how you best learn. Learning inventories are great, especially before you invest in a process that won’t work for you, like putting your credit card number down for an expensive online subscription that you’ll never use. We all learn differently. Some of us learn by watching others or reading about a subject. Some of us learn better by trial and error in the act of doing. Your personal learning style should drive the path you choose to learn. There’s a great way to get started on understanding how you learn at www.educationplanner.org.
Once you’ve identified your unique learning style, it’s time to make a plan for how you’ll get there. If you’ve set lofty learning goals, get started with just one. You’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment just by signing up for that course, watching the YouTube video, or booking time with your colleague to get their help walking you through how to make that pivot table on your first monthly report. The key here is just get going.
One day I was reading a book that I realized I didn’t like at all. Well into adulthood by then, I had one of those Aha moments where I realized that I had made a personal choice to read the book and that nobody was forcing me to finish it. Not one to typically give up on a goal once I’d set it, it was a complete breakthrough moment to realize I could change my mind and just discard the book. There have been lots of unfinished books in my life since then. And movies too.
The same can be for setting out to learn new things or the ways you’ve chosen to go about learning them. The key point in this phase is to embrace your learning style and adjust if needed. You may end up hating that subscription to MasterClass or decide that you can’t learn in big groups. It’s okay to adjust the plan. It’s also possible that you have established a learning goal that’s not going to get you to the end objective or isn’t something that’s a priority for you to learn anymore. Maybe something in life has come up that’s requiring you to change your goals or learning plans. Learning from your experiences and reviewing what’s working and what’s not is an important step to be sure you’re getting to your ultimate objective. Incorporate a process check throughout your learning path to be sure you’re still on the right track.
It’s likely that you’ve set some lofty goals for yourself this year. Too often we wait to celebrate a finished product and not all the small successes along the way. If 2022 is like the past two years, and I think we’re all concerned it might be, we’re going to need some things to cheer about. As you set out to design and implement your learning plan and achieve goals, make sure you take the time to celebrate throughout the process; don’t wait until the end of 2022. If you followed the steps laid out so far, you broke your goals down into achievable milestones and plotted them out on a calendar and/or into your planning system. You’ll have a path to review your progress, so as you realize achievement on key milestones, make sure that you take the time to reward yourself and celebrate these milestones.
Michelangelo once said, “The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Abigail Adams said, “Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended with diligence.”
As you jump into 2022, I hope you’ll join me in aiming high with intentional learning, and that it gets you to where you want to be at the end of this year. And even if some adjustments are made throughout the year, I hope we all end up enjoying the learning process and take time to celebrate along the way.
Recently, I read a story on the Internet (so it must be true) about a bride-to-be who decided to have an over-the-top expensive wedding despite having a modest budget. In order to accomplish this, she told their family and friends that they would have to make a hefty financial contribution to the wedding or would not be invited. Naturally, most of her guests decided not to attend the wedding. As plans started falling through, her best friend/maid of honor suggested they rethink the wedding plans. Instead, the bride cut her out of her life. When her fiancé suggested throwing in the towel on the plans and getting married in Las Vegas, she broke up with him. In her dogged determination to achieve the wedding of her dreams, she lost people who cared about her and gained a scathing roasting from strangers the world over.
Before you cast the next stone, think about how many articles, podcasts, TED talks, books, and movies you’ve seen about not giving up on your goals and staying the course no matter the obstacles. Think about the cautionary tales of people who gave up right before they succeeded -- the channel swimmer who quit just before she reached the shore or the miner digging for gold who stopped just inches away from finding the goldmine. I think we can agree our bride had determination. So, why didn’t she succeed?
I think it is because she was missing a key element -- reflection. Last year, I did an activity with my team on goal setting that would have been helpful to our bride. I talked about re-examining our goals to see if we should keep, tweak, or replace them. I used the perspective of the effect the pandemic might have on our goals. I gave the example of having a goal to move into a big, corner office at work and needing to replace that goal since we now work from home. Another example was having a goal of running a particular marathon and needing to tweak that because some marathons got cancelled last year. You could keep the goal of running the same distance but tweak it to be a virtual marathon.
As you set your goals for 2022, consider doing some reflection on which goals you should keep, tweak, or replace. One tool that can be helpful for reflecting on your professional goals is the Omnia Professional Development report. It provides powerful insight into your current strengths and weaknesses. You may identify a strength that you could lean into or a weakness that you can spend time developing. Whether you decide to keep, tweak, or replace your goals, I wish you much success in 2022!