It's Not Too Late to Set Goals in the New Year

As we find ourselves in the first month of a brand-new year, we have a unique opportunity before us. It’s the time of year when New Year’s resolutions in motion and maybe finding their way into conversation—some spoken about with dread and some with pure excitement. How are we going to change in 2022? What are things we want to see done better both at work and in our personal life? What are goals I have that I want to make a priority this year? How do I prepare myself to stick with my resolutions? With so many thoughts swirling, conversations had, and encouraging posts shared on social media, it can be overwhelming to say the least.  

Then there’s another layer we must consider—heading into year three of a pandemic that seems to be constantly looming over us. Terms like pre-covid, post-covid, and everlasting-covid have been exhausted in our vocabulary. We are all absolutely “talked out” of everything COVID19 related, but rather than put it in a box, we must talk about how it’s changing things. We don’t have to talk about COVID per say…but we are at the point that we need to talk about the ripple effect it has caused in our lives—both personally and professionally. We cannot ignore that—it is staring us in the face, and we have hard, but necessary choices to make. We are all in this reality together and facing change  

Things are different now—from day-to-day relationships to the modes in which we work and communicate, to readjusting priorities—change has been a prominent constant in our lives for going on three years now. How are we changing and adapting when our relationships are different? We as individuals have been through a lot…have you taken the time to reflect how you have changed and how that has impacted you personally? In your job? In your leadership? We are at a time where things must change—the world is changing around us and we can either keep pushing back on it, or we can embrace it and make ourselves, our companies, and our society better for it.  

You could be leading a team for the past 5, 10, even 15 years, but now find yourself feeling like you’re leading a whole new team. When we consider how much has changed for us on a personal level, we must channel our empathy to understand that our team members are feeling all that change as well. Relationship (re)building will continue to be vital to the success of teams moving forward. In a quick search on social media, it is clear that many employees are feeling like another number that has to solely focus on hitting metrics for the success of the company amidst fielding a pandemic that has changed life as we know it. Through utilizing empathy and actively listening to our team members, stronger and more trusting relationships will emerge.  

It is okay for new priorities to emerge; it can be exciting and rejuvenating for all involved. It is also important to look back at the last few years and consider what changes that initially formed out of necessity but resulted in a better work environment and higher employee satisfaction. Major companies, like Target, are starting to take note of the good changes that resulted from the pivots needed from the pandemic. “What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard,” Brian Cornell, Target’s chief executive, said in a statement when discussing the decision to have Target stores be closed on Thanksgiving Day.  

 As we reflect on 2021 and find ourselves at the beginning of 2022:

      • What are some changes that can finally be embraced?
      • How can you stick to embracing that change for the betterment of yourself and team?
      • How can you hold yourself, your team and company accountable to implementation of changes needed?

It is not something that will be perfect or happen overnight, but it is important to take the big steps to embrace change rather than continue to push back on or avoid it.  

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