I think resolutions are like owning a sword, dangerous to yourself and others if you don’t have a plan and know how to use it. Frankly, I despise the idea of ‘resolutions’ because they are often synonymous with failure and disappointment because of the lack of follow through.
Being happy is all about managing expectations and we fall into a trap of holding ‘perfect world’ expectations against real life results.
- Lose Weight
- Eat Healthy & Get Fit
- Learn Something New
- Make New Experiences
While we can’t just ‘make it so’, like Jean-Luc Picard, all of these things are noble and beneficial. Just like our personal lives we can look at our professional lives, our training and learning careers and find that maybe they are getting a little flabby or predictable. What follows are a few possible upgrades (I will not call them resolutions….) for your training game and a few first steps towards something new.
Learn Something New
There are so many books out there to check out to add some new tools to your kit. Full disclosure, I’ve only read a few myself. I can strongly recommend “Telling Ain’t Training” and “Made to Stick”. Telling Ain’t Training is a great book for anyone that facilitates or designs training material. If you’ve been doing it for a while or you brand new to it. It’s a great resource. Made to Stick is not so much about training but it’s more about making messages/content/experiences memorable with the person who experiences them and training is all about retention. First Steps: Go to the book selling vendor of your choice and buy a book. If you’re an ASTD member, I know that they have discounts available on somethings, and of course great suggestions.
Lose Weight OR Eliminate Flabby Material
It’s possible that since the creation of some of your material, your own or your departments, that the needs of the training has changed. This might require you to do that whole ‘start at the end’ and then back to the beginning dance. The training process is a lather-rinse-repeat type thing. Once we’ve completed a cycle we look at how we did against the objectives, are they still what we need to accomplish on the next run or is there some old content that is no longer needed? Maybe some of the images or slides need to updated to reflect the current marketing images and logos. First Steps: Review all of your current content for outdated material. Review the course objectives with the powers that be, department heads, management, etc, to make sure that nothing has changed or what has changed gets updated.
Make New Experiences
I had an english teacher in grade 12 that told the class to sit at a different desk every day, otherwise we would find ourselves in a rut. Of course, by the second week of class everyone had comfortably found their respective ruts and failed to enjoy new perspectives and different experiences. This suggestion is really more for you, the trainer, than your learners. After you teach a class a few times you start to get comfortable. After 20 times, it becomes a very well polished presentation. After 100, you are bored and your learners can see it. No one wants to be bored. First Steps: Identify areas for new activities. Where you may already have an activity, find an option for a new one. If you have three different activities throughout your session and you have at least one alternative activity for each you now have 6 possible different sessions to teach that will still accomplish the objectives.
Get Fit OR Stay On Your Toes
This may be a stretch. We should always be exercising our minds and books are a good way to do it but books can be static. I have been casually taking part in a weekly Twitter chat called #lrnchat (lrn=Learn). It’s a terrific way for professionals and newbies to get together for a hour and get an international conversation going. This is truly the single greatest achievement of the internet; sharing ideas in real time on a global scale. First Steps: Get a Twitter account and find a chat for you. #lrnchat lead by @lrnchat is a great one.
Like I stated earlier, I don’t like resolutions because without a plan they become disappointments making us feel worse about ourselves. Any one of these suggestions is a good spot to start. Please share your New Year Training Suggestions below!