We’re welcoming a new year and farewelling the old. If you’re like me, you’re experiencing this in real life as well as via your social media feed. It can feel overwhelming.
In all honesty I am someone that finds this transitional time of the year a tad tricky. The start of a new year is challenging for me. I’m hard on myself. I’m hard on myself. I need to remind myself that I can climb another metaphorical mountain again.
Episode 190 of Assist With Impact was a look back at 2023. I shared ten things that I was proud and grateful for. Spoiler alert, two biggies were my ten year Cancerversary and continuing the podcast.
I’m grateful for my lovely loyal listeners, my LLL’s (endless thanks if you’re one of them!).
But it wasn’t all ‘beer & skittles’. I had what I call a ‘Big Kahuna’ goal, a big stretch goal for 2023 and I didn’t achieve it. There were good reasons for that. Some within my control, some not.
Facing up to that was part of my reflection and review process. It’s a key part of embracing a growth mindset. Something that I can resist, but pushing through that resistance is vital to not feeling stuck.
You don’t have to scroll far to find many other people in your feed encouraging you to embrace a growth mindset.
I am here to join that chorus because I can attest to the power of this practice. Feel free to stop reading now if this is truly NOT your bag. I understand if you’d rather close the book on 2023 and march into 2024 with no preparations or prescriptions.
If you’re still with me though, I want to share with you my three tips for assistants. How you can set yourself up for success in 2024 the Liz way. I’m calling it R&R Liz Style, Reflection & Review Liz Style and there’s three things you need to do.
R&R Liz Style – Tip One
Let’s start with tip one. It’s all about reflecting and reviewing the year that was.
I’ve created a downloadable worksheet that you can get here to help you with this.
Consider it a bit of ‘Vitamin Liz’ supporting you to march into 2024 feeling more confident and with self insight.
The questions are simple. I’d love you to consider them from both a personal and a professional standpoint. Because if you’ve been around me for a while, you’ll know that one of my mantra’s is that we’re human beings not human doings.
There are FIVE questions I want you to consider.
1. What was my biggest lesson in 2023?
2. What do I feel most proud of?
3. Who helped me be at my best in 2023?
4. How did my strengths help me succeed in 2023?
5. What is one thing I wish I’d done differently this year?
When I was preparing this newsletter I recalled a Marie Forleo video. She shared her process for end of year reflection and review process. You can find the video here if you’re interested.
She shares a wonderful perspective that hindsight isn’t just 20/20 it’s often thick skinned. Her point is that the further away we are from something, the better chance we have of re-examining it and learning from it. That’s one of the true benefits of reflecting on what didn’t go well as well as what did go well.
So make sure to ask yourself, what are some of the things that didn’t go so well?
- What mistakes did I make?
- What lesson can I learn and leverage from this?
- How can I do better next time?
- How can I use this to grow into a better and wiser person?
- What am I willing to let go of?
R&R Liz Style – Tip Two
Now that you’ve looked back, it’s time to look forward. So my second tip is to do some goal setting. I’m not a rah-rah goal-setting person. In fact, if you know me you’ll know that I’m less rah-rah and more aha. I like to be practical and tactical. There are countless ‘experts’ out there flogging courses and programs on goals setting. I want you to remember a couple of quotes on the topic.
Zig Ziglar, the American motivational speaker said “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” C.S. Lewis, said “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
We need goals. Goals are good. Especially SMART goals.
- Realistic, and
Goals help you find focus and help bring you back to that point of focus when distractions seek to overwhelm you. My recommendation is to make note of your goals as ‘I will’ statements. Keep them somewhere you can see them.
With regard to the scope of your goals, think personal and professional. Think broad and narrow.
As an EA or Administrative Professional you are an individual contributor. So my advice is to think about these five categories and craft them as “I will” statements:
1. Skills Development
2. Performance Metrics (The impact you will have)
3. Career Progression/Professional Advancement
4. Work-Life Balance
5. Contribution to Team/Organization
R&R Liz Style – Tip Three
My third tip is to incorporate some manager feedback in your goal-setting process. The start of the year is the perfect time to do this and I want to make this as easy as possible for you.
It’s as simple as asking your manager to give you three words to describe your contribution in 2023. Then ask them for three words that describe how they would love you to show up in 2024.
That’s just six words. Not a big ask but a great way to start a conversation.
I have two episodes of the podcast to support you to better protect the time and energy of your manager. Listen to Episode #48 ‘How To Interview Your Boss To Clarify Expectations & Perceptions’ and ‘Mastering The 3 Ps: A Framework For Understanding Your Manager’s Needs And Priorities’. They will both of support you to have better conversations with your manager.
Adopt These Tips For Assistants & Increase Your Impact & Insight
Hey, did you know that if you take my advice and put these three tips into action you will be increasing your Self Insight. And did you know this is one of the five ‘Insight and Impact Zones in the Linchpin Model® that I train and coach assistants in?
Bam, you’ve immediately got your 2024 off to a great start! Go YOU!!!
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I work with Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants to deliver the confidence, consistency and career development that transforms them into thriving Linchpin Assistants.