Happy new year!
I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling very optimistic about this year; I have so many exciting projects brewing. Nonetheless, I, for one, like to start the year with considerable reflection and planning – to be more proactive about ensuring success rather than simply hope for the best.
A friend and colleague, Michele Martin, wrapped up her 2013 blogging year over at the Bamboo Project Blog with 30 juicy questions to grow your life in 2014– and that series got me thinking. I also recently came across a post that advocated “questolutions“ – resolutions in the form of a question (and look, another new book I want to read! Bonus!). I thought I might start this blog’s new year by posing some developmental questions that any learning professional might use to spark learning and change this year. I hope you find them useful.
Questions for a year of growth
What do I intend to learn this year?
To have a great developmental year, you have to have a clear intention to learn. Declaring intention is not the same as setting goals; it’s a more emotional and deeper commitment that is resilient and persistent.
How can my projects help me to develop my knowledge and skill?
Many of us worry that we have little time left over from doing our day-to-day jobs to pursue our own learning and development projects. It’s likely, though, that our jobs provide lots of room for experimentation and observation that can be fodder for learning.
How can I strengthen my network?
My own most valued ah-ha moments come in conversation with colleagues, often over lunch or in hotel lobby space during conferences. Take time to identify a few people whose work you admire and find ways to get to know them more informally. Get out to lunch once in a while!
How do I refill my creative well?
Ours is a creative field, and to continue to be successful, we have to find ways to keep our creative energies strong. Figure out what you need to do to recharge, and be sure to reserve and protect time for that. For me, it’s Sundays off (no work; no email) and hopefully, a trip to Cape Cod!
What is my favorite way to learn?
Once you identify your learning comfort zones, make room for more of that in your life. If you like to read, make a book list. If you enjoy learning through projects, keep you eye out for the most exciting ones. If you need mentors, find them (a network of mentors is better than one). If you want to take a course, there are many to choose from (and these days, some of them are free!).
How can I support others in their learning and development?
There is a great deal of truth in the adage that you learn more what you need to teach. You might be surprised at how much you yourself might gain by generously supporting others’ development.
You may be able to think of other “questolutions” more specific to your role or your learning and development goals. However you do your own development planning for 2014, I wish you a year of learning and growth.
If this post resonated with you, you may also be interested in signing up to receive my bi-monthly 4 Your Development newsletter or following me on Twitter (@L4LP) to see what I curate and share for learning and development professionals.
Here’s my motto, a quote from Abigail Adams:
Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
Cheers to 2014!