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Google’s Year in Search 2022 revealed recently that the most searched for term was Wordle with Ukraine, the death of Queen Elizabeth II and cricket in the top five terms.  We also searched for Johnny Depp and Top Gun, looked up how to grow garden roses and mushrooms, checked out breeds of cats and recipes for overnight oats.  It’s an eclectic insight into global trends.

2022 was the year where we got back to a “ new normal” after COVID but it has also been a challenging year with the war in Ukraine, climate change and rising cost of living creating uncertainty at every corner. So, what’s interesting about the Google Year in Search was that it also showed that people also searched for possibilities and potential on offer.  It seems that human’s innate desire to evolve and improve is still very strong after the lockdowns of the previous two years.

At this time of year, it’s natural to take time to reflect, review and think forward to the new year and what you want to achieve.  Goals can help focus on what you want to do differently or the next steps you want to take.  There’s lots of data that suggests in order to reach your personal development goals, you need to set them with clear steps so you know that they are realistic and achievable. 

Where do you start when faced with a blank sheet of paper and pen?  Look no further, we’ve got some ideas of personal development goals for 2023 and beyond.

Personal Development Goals to change career

The number of people planning a career changed has increased from 53% to 60% since July 2020 and almost a fifth of UK adults aim to generate a revenue stream from a side hustle through their hobbies or interests. If you are one of these then these are two goals are worth considering.

Start a professional qualification

A new qualification is a good place to start and there are many options including postgraduate courses or accredited professional memberships such as ICF or ILM. Not only to you gain new knowledge and a qualification, but you’ll also build a network of others to give you a kickstart.  There are many part-time qualification programmes available including Roffey Park’s own MSc in People and Organisational Development and there are ideas here on jobs that you can do after you graduate

Improve your networking skills

Unless you’re in a sales role the chances are networking fills you with horrors.  Networking is a vital aspect of your working life as you need to build and maintain positive relationships with your colleagues, leaders and other professionals in your field.  Set a goal that is specific about what aspects of your networking skills you want to focus on. You may choose to meet one person regularly to strengthen your relationships with them or join an established networking group to boost your circle of peers.  Utilise social networks such as Facebook or Linked in to join professional groups and connect with others in your field.

Personal Development Goals to change your work-life balance

30% of the UK workforce are working remotely at least once per week in 2022 and the term “remote jobs” is now searched for over 18,000 times per month.  For some the COVID pandemic changed where and how we work for good. Having a good work-life balance is essential, particularly if you work remotely or hybrid. With mobile phones and laptops at constant reach, it can feel like you never switch off leading to increased stress levels and burnout.  Here are two goals that could help improve your balance.

Take a lunch break

A simple but effective goal for 2023 could be to use your lunch break and whilst that may sound too small a goal, it isn’t. Recent data suggests that just over 1 in 2 people don’t take a full lunch break with the average lunch break being 27 minutes and 25% of us skip lunch altogether.  Use this time productively – take a walk, do some exercise, run some errands or, simply, enjoy your food.  As a result, your concentration levels and productivity will improve. If you want to make the most of your lunch break in 2023, there are some ideas here that might be useful.

Don’t be afraid to unplug and set boundaries

Set yourself some limits on what you can, will and will not do both at work and at home.  This might include, for example, blocking time out in your calendar to check emails or focus time for meetings.  Develop an on-off switch between work and home by planning an activity which stops you from spending an extra 15 minutes at your desk which turns into longer. Try to avoid using your work equipment in your personal life to help create space between the two. Most importantly, learn to say no to preserve your work-life balance.  There are plenty of tips out there to improve your work-life balance – here are 50 simple things that might help you.

Personal Development Goals to change your skills and practice

Continuous learning is a key personal development goal.  There are many ways to learn new things through things like reading, research, podcasts, online courses such as Udemy or LinkedIn Learning.  And of course, Roffey Park Institute has a number of open courses that help you to develop your skills and improve your practice. Here are a couple of practical, but vital, goals that can help improve your presence at work.

Be an active listener

Listening is one of the most important skills you can have at work.  How well you listen has a major impact on the quality of your relationships with other people.  And you would think we’d be good at it but we’re not. Research studies show that we only remember between 25% and 50% of what we hear.  By improving your active listening improves your communication and builds a trusting relationship with your colleagues.  There are some practical ideas here to improve the art of listening.

Build relationships

Today’s workplace is heavily reliant on strong relationships – both working with and through other people.  Your ability to build relationships is key to getting things done.  Ask yourself what kind of relationships you have at work and where are the strengths and weaknesses.  Try to foster relationships with the people you work with and those you need to influence more effectively.  Developing relationships takes time but the value of doing so is immense because it creates shared knowledge and insight which leads to greater collaboration and better work – for you and the organisation.  If you want to understand more about relationship theory – this article is for you.

Whatever personal development goals you choose to focus on just remember to go easy on yourself.  Some goals can be achieved in an instant, others will take time.  There’s no right or wrong way here, just your way.  Take that first step and enjoy the journey.

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