We’re halfway through the “vision” year, 2020. What a year it has been so far! While it may be hard not to focus on all of the upheaval, uncertainty, loss, and pain that has defined the last several months, many of us have also had shining moments, opportunities to grow, awakenings, powerful learnings, and renewal. It’s important to take a moment to reflect and self-assess – and be Thoughtful – especially with all that has taken place, all the change that has happened, and all the reordering and renewal that is yet to come.
How would you assess your progress in these first six months of 2020? Here are a few questions to think about:
- What are you learning? – Building your knowledge and skills is always a critical part of any development plan, and that does not need to be put on hold because of our current work-from-home situation. One thing is for sure, there are tons of webinars available from all over the world, and many are free. (Admittedly, not all are well-done or worthwhile, but it’s easy to drop off if the program is not meeting your expectations.) I have a friend who lost her job at the start of the pandemic. She found several free or low-cost classes to help her learn additional tools that will beef up her credentials and skills as she looks for a new job. In response to the national reckoning on racism, I know many people who are educating themselves on the history of race and class, and opening themselves up to learn more about people who are different from them. What are you learning that will continue to help you move forward?
- Where have you stepped up? – No doubt, work has been uncharted territory since March. Working from home, connecting with your team, leading change, supporting your colleagues – we each have had our moments of success and feeling positive and moments of frustration, hopelessness, and failure. Focus on those moments of greatness and positive difference and write them down, because this will make your positive momentum stick. Many of you have successfully redirected and led your team or organization in the midst of stay-at-home orders, personal loss, and global upheaval. You’ve established policies and practices to better support employees and made difficult decisions to keep your organizations afloat. You’ve pushed your senior leaders to take meaningful action to fight racism and get serious about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. You’ve taken on extra work to help your colleagues – or filled in where needed because your projects are on hold. You’ve come up with creative ways and novel ideas to respond to these crises and to rethink what your organization does and how it does it. One client led an effort to develop new programming to support the COVID-19 response in higher education. Another is active in her organization’s anti-racism efforts. Another has taken the lead on expanding and prioritizing communications to staff. Where have you stepped up and how do you want to keep stepping up?
- What are you creating? – In times of reflection, despair, and uncertainty, many of us turn to our creative outlets – poetry, music, song, art, writing, photography, cooking, and more. Many people are picking up their instruments again, taking the easel out of the attic, sharing their work on social media, and finding their voices through writing. You may be creating at work with new ideas and greater or more focused productivity. Creating may be a way to express whatever you’re feeling in the midst of this upheaval and revolution, or creating may be your escape and your chance to renew, remember, and focus on the beauty and hope that is present for you right now. I have been inspired by nature in my outings to the park and in my own backyard – so many birds, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and the beautiful swan that glides across the lake at my local park. That inspiration is helping me to focus on creativity. What is inspiring you?
- Where will you focus for the second half of this tumultuous year 2020? – Given where we are right now, what are your top three goals through the end of the year? They may be very different from those you set back in December or January. They may be about work, about volunteering in your community, about supporting the protests, about caring for yourself, or about focusing on your loved ones. Think about what else you want to learn, how you will continue to step up and grow, and what else you want to create. Where will you intentionally focus?
2020 may be the vision year, but certainly none of us saw this coming. Taking stock of what you have been able to accomplish, how you have changed and grown, and what you desire to achieve over the next six months can bring you purpose and clarity. Doing your own personal mid-year review will help you reflect on the last six months and plan for the next six months. And help you focus on and capture the ways in which you have seized this moment for the better and the ways you want to continue to take action, be Thoughtful, and show up.
What are the highlights of your personal mid-year review?
Please leave a comment.
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