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Get started on your new year’s resolution

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The new year provides an opportunity to reflect on your development over the course of the past year, and an opportunity to re-evaluate what you want to achieve in the year to come.

Having said that, once work and regular life resumes post-New Year, many of us inadvertently file away our New Year’s resolutions in the ‘too hard’ or ‘do later when things quieten down’ basket.

So you’ve made resolutions – how are you going to keep them?

A resolution is like any other goal – once you contextualize it and frame it as a goal, you arm yourself with the tools you need to achieve.

Project goals or work targets require planning, research and a deadline in order to succeed. As do your goals.

So how exactly do you achieve?
We asked around the office for some tips on how to achieve your professional development goals. Here’s what the OsgoodePD team came up with:

> Get specific
Like any goal, you need to identify what success will look like.
Make it tangible and also realistic. Set a date by which you want to achieve and clearly define, as detailed as possible, what you want to work towards. Visualize what success will look like, what the tangible outcomes are.
Having a specific goal and time frame helps you track your progress and realize when you’ve succeeded.

> Break it down
So you’ve got your big picture, now how do you achieve it?
Break your goal down into achievable steps. Factor in your work commitments and social commitments, your financial and time constraints. How can you work effectively on your goal, within your determined time frame, without your commitment becoming a dreaded task that saps energy and time?
Are you wanting to engage in further study but are already limited by an extensive work schedule? Is lessening your work commitments an option? Or is part-time study or a series of short courses a more viable option?

> Document your progress
Check in regularly – how close are you from achieving your determined success? What has helped or hindered your progress? What lessons have you learned? What new habits have you developed?
Checking in helps develop a healthy perspective on your path to achievement and you might just be surprised with how far you’ve progressed!

> Know yourself
Work to your weakness’ and your strengths.
Do you prefer to break up your learning over months or prefer a more intensive model? Or are you more interested in short and sharp lunchtime learnings spread out over the course of the year?
Know what works for you and what doesn’t and use these traits to your advantage.

>Get techy
Are there any apps you can use to get organised, stay focused & achieve your goal? Can you learn on your commute/ from home/ on your lunch break? Can you tap into a community to share ideas, insights and discuss questions?

> Change your mindset
The older you get, the harder it is to challenge or change habits. But you can start by adding ‘yet’ to your next statement.
Professional development requires a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.
Fixed mindset tends to view success as being tied to a fixed trait, in this case talent or intellect, that can not be improved or developed.
You’ve either got it or your don’t.
Growth mindset, a concept developed by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, acknowledges that talent or intellect are traits but they are also just the beginning. Hard work and focus are vital to developing those traits and making progress. In turn, shortening the distance between you and your end goal.
You’ve either got it or you don’t, yet.

Here at OsgoodePD, we’re committed to professional development . Consider your learning goals, time, and budget – we offer a variety of both short term and long term options and we’re sure to have a professional development program to help you achieve your professional development resolutions.

Published by

Sarah Alexander

Staff writer at OsgoodePD

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