2022 is almost coming to an end. How has the year been so far? Have you achieved everything or most of the things you set out to do? Were your expectations met? More importantly, how have you fared emotionally and mentally amidst all the challenges you may have faced this year? As we wind down and close the curtains on the year, we must not forget to prepare for the coming year.
There is so much noise in our spaces today and I am not talking of just the usual culprits. Aside the many distractions we may be receiving from our spaces and associations, there is a lot of political noise, technological noise and environmental noise. Due to the fast rise of innovation in our world today, a lot of individuals and business have become distracted and have lost sight of the basics. With so many considerations, it is necessary for us to evaluate all our options to gain clarity to be properly prepared for the new season.
We will be doing ourselves a great disservice by crossing over into 2023 without proper reflection and evaluation of the happenings in 2022. It is common to hear people say that there is no need to look back at the past. However, in some cases, we must look back. But we are not simply looking back to brood over our past mistakes. The attitude and mindset with which we look back is what matters. You can ask yourself these questions for a true reflection of the past few months. “What did I set out to achieve this year?” “Was I able to achieve everything?” “Were there some things I could have done better?” “As a leader, what was expected of me and did I live up to expectation?” “As a team member, was I helpful? What useful soft skills did I bring to the table? Were they enough?” There are several relevant questions that will mirror the outcomes of your efforts if you are honest.
After taking time to answer the above questions, you must ask yourself if you are ready. Are you ready for 2023? What does it mean to be ready? In the coming new season, we may have to take on a difficult project, we may lose people dear to us, we may have fallouts and we may have to be proactive in mitigating certain crises. Will we be ready? What set of soft skills do we have that will help us win new contracts and win over those new relationships? How do we intend to make better our presence and expand our networks? Deloitte Brandvoice, 2019 shares the following insights on readiness: Readiness is about asking the right questions. And lots of them. Perhaps the most important is: How do you know you are ready? Answering this question begins and ends with a series of honest assessments regarding the people, places, and things that matter to an organization’s mission, our life’s mission and the mission of those in our space. Accurate, honest answers to those questions rely on having accurate data, a lot of it.
To be ready means to be well-positioned socially and psychologically prepared and alert, and physically capable of taking on anything. Readiness means a lot of things to different people. For some people, to be ready means to be prepared, organised, equipped or fit. From the Oxford dictionary, to be ready means to be in a suitable state for action. Beth McGrath, 2019 opines that no matter the term, the heart of readiness remains the ability of an organization to execute its assigned mission promptly and capably.
Readiness or preparation can be done in many forms depending on what you are seeking to achieve. Firstly, you must decide what your targets are going to be for 2020. Your targets should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Your targets must be SMART. Why? Because if you can be clear on your targets, it will be much easier to carve a path or get some direction as to how to be ready in achieving them. You will be completely lost without a vision. I always say that you can go on a mission but you will be moving in circles without a vision. The SMART criteria is a popular acronym in project management. It can also be applied to our life, love and business goals to prepare us.
The essence of the long list of questions I gave above is important in giving you what is called clarity. Clarity is a necessity in every sphere of life and the interesting thing about clarity is that, we need to update it. The same way we update our technological devices and apps we use, we must be intentional about updating and upgrading our current standing in terms of who we are, where we are headed and how we want to get there. With clarity comes self awareness, and with awareness, you can tell how well prepared you are to take action in 2023.
So where do we start and how do we do get to a point where we do not only feel ready but become truly ready.
- Let Go
After we have reflected on the things we did in the old season, we must make a choice on what we want to do in the new season and how we can do it better. But we must let go of everything that we are holding on to. We can remember our experiences and take up the lessons but we must not hold on to things that hold us back. With new seasons come new packages we must arm ourselves with. Can you imagine what it would be like to go into a season of winter with summer clothing? Although the people around you may be the same or you may be in the same job, a lot of things around you will change. Some people will not show up and behave as you know them. You may change jobs and you will meet new people. To survive, you just be ready for the changes. As people in leadership positions, we can get ready by preparing our team members with the capacity to take on new missions. If your team was not capable of seeing certain things through because they were underskilled, how are you preparing them for new mission?
- Go Back To The Basics
It’s true that we are in an era where almost everything is available to us. There are countless innovations that make our work easier and there are several tools we can employ to learn things on the go. It is good to make use of all these things. Being ready requires that we know what is going on around us and that we are equipped to find solutions within the shortest possible time. In spite of all of these benefits in our modern era, one things remain crucial and that is the basics. We cannot neglect certain basic things such as people skills, emotional intelligence, the basics of appearance, behavior and communication. This is because they run through in everything that we do. If these foundation blocks are weak, we are automatically not ready for what is to come. What will we be building on then? No matter how sophisticated the tools we are exposed to, readiness will always come down to the basics.
Mindfulness is being mentally present and to have full awareness of our mind-space, our physical space and to read the thoughts of others beyond what they tell us. Mindfulness is a term popularly used in the mind wellness field when it comes to yoga and meditation. But my reference to mindfulness here is to get yourself into the frame of mind to feel, know and understand what is going on around us and inside of us. The truth is, we can never be fully prepared. So, what we can do is be present in the moment so we can make necessary adjustments depending on where we find ourselves, who we find ourselves with and what is required of us. This does not mean that we shouldn’t prepare. We must prepare and use our preparation as foundations to get ourselves ready for any and every situation.
One of the ways to be ready is to do things that make you feel ready. For instance, if you have an interview, how do you prepare? You ask yourselves several questions or have someone ask you and you prepare some answers. By anticipating what your interviewer might ask you, you brace yourself for unforeseen challenges and difficult questions you may fail in answering. By anticipating, by solving, by acting, and by moving, you get ready.
Sam Rayburn said, “Readiness for opportunity makes for success. Opportunity often comes by accident; readiness never does.” We will succeed in this coming year if we do what we must and that is to prepare. Through reflection, renewal, nurturing new thoughts and making way for transformation, we will be ready for the future. Are you ready?
The best gift you can give to yourself before the year ends is to add to your skills of being a more effective communicator. No matter how 2022 is going for you, one thing is true: You absolutely deserve to be your own Santa Claus and give yourself the best gift of all: a ticket to attend the “Becoming a Better Speaker and an Effective Communicator” class on October 1st. Depending on your schedule, you can pick the most convenient class: 9 am-12 pm OR 2 pm-5 pm. Register now via www.dzigbordi.com.