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Already Stalled? Jump-Start January

January 14, 2021 By Professor Of Professional Development Leave a comment

After I arrived at work a few years ago, my wife, Rachel, sent me a text saying, “D, my van won’t start. Please keep your phone with you just in case I need you.”

Immediately, I thought, “Wow, I’m pathetic! I’m middle-aged and still lack the confidence to jump a car the old-fashioned way. In fact, I barely know how to fix a windshield wiper.”

A few hours later, thankfully, I received another text from Rachel saying, “Uncle Tom is at our house fixing the van.” Whew. Once again, I got away with my low mechanical IQ.

For those of you who experience extreme temperatures and snow, you’re surely aware that vehicle issues are a part of life at this time of year. Sometimes the problems are caused by human error … other times it is normal wear and tear. In this situation, our van died because I left an interior light on overnight. It was my very own human error that caused the issue.

Now, let’s switch gears for a moment.

For those of you who were bold enough to entertain New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of this year, think about the last thirty days. In the middle of December, were you “too busy” to dig deeper into what New Year’s resolutions could potentially change your life? At the beginning of January, did you talk yourself out of a New Year’s resolution because so many people around you (at home, work, the gym) were too negative about the likelihood of succeeding?

All of these “stalls” are your very own human errors.

Reality check … We’re already in the middle of January. How do you feel? Are you still excited? Are you eager to see what’s in store for the upcoming year? Or, have you completely given up?

You might be thinking, “Derek, why are you writing this article so early in the year? Shouldn’t you be writing about failing resolutions during the summer slump or at the mid-point of the year?”

Definitely not.  Now is the best time to positively impact your year.

Last month, I finished my vision for 2021. I’m excited to share with you the 3 questions that I used to set my goals.

  1. Evaluation Question: On a scale of 1-7 (1 is low & 7 is high), how happy were you with 2020?
  2. Thinking Question: What 3 things will you do differently in 2021 to increase your rating and make it your best year yet?
  3. Doing Question: What next steps will you take right away, even before the Super Bowl, to ensure momentum and success?

If you’ve stalled, you, and only you, can jump-start yourself.

ACTION! Block off 30 reflection minutes. Answer the 3 questions with brutal honesty. Write down your answers. Finally, do what you say. Mark my words … this will be one of the most powerful exercises that you will ever do if you want to grow personally. [Extra Credit: If you lead a team, consider facilitating a discussion with the questions.]

REMAN U, meet Derek. You’re going to be hearing from the Principal of Professional Development a lot this year as he’s ETE’s (and REMAN U’s 😉) Director of Training and Development. And the dude loves to write. Thus, we welcome him with open arms to REMAN U. Hi, Derek! Learn more about Derek and his role here.


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