Webinar Replay: How to Reflect On Your Year (and Plan for Next Year)

Webinar Replay: How to Reflect On Your Year
(and Plan for Next Year)

Jennifer O’Donnell takes a holistic approach to personal development,
offering mindfulness techniques, suggested reading, and a comprehensive toolkit.

reflect personal development

New Year’s is a natural time for both personal and professional reflection, symbolic as it is, and many people use the holiday as an opportunity to take stock of their year and make resolutions for the next. Although a fruitful 2020 is likely to be a common goal, Jennifer O’Donnell opened her webinar by emphasizing that the work she’d be talking about was a year-round commitment.

O’Donnell, a talent development leader as well as human resources and organization development executive, believes that the success of a company or team is linked to personal effectiveness. Her holistic approach aims to uncover root causes, a sometimes uncomfortable process that’s nonetheless key to enacting change.

In this webinar, conducted from her home in Paris, France, O’Donnell guides us through the benefits of reflection, how to go about it, and strategies for healthy evolution overall. Throughout the hour-long seminar, she supplies tips for getting the most out of your formal performance reviews or informal coffee dates, a comprehensive toolbox to draw from and return to, and a guided plan any person, at any point in their career, can use to leverage growth. As with all of our webinars, the real work comes as we continue to integrate these techniques into our lives.

We encourage you to make a commitment to not only watch the full webinar (available below) but also to set aside time every week to continue investing in yourself. For those short on time right now, here are some key takeaways, readings, and tools.

What is reflection?

The conscious consideration and analysis of beliefs and actions for the purpose of learning.

Always Remember:

  1. You are responsible for your own development—you don’t want to live someone else’s dreams.
  2. You can (and should) recruit help from others.
  3. Development is very personal, so check your tendency to compare yourself to other people.
  4. Both our development and our revaluation of it are continuous practices—the work never ends.
  5. If you don’t reflect, you’ll never get different results. If you want different results, you have to do something different.


Questions to Ask Before You Begin:

What results do you want from your own development?

Maybe you want to become a better listener, grow your self-awareness or emotional intelligence, or break habits formed in an old job.

What results are you getting now?

Of course, this will vary from person to person, but don’t neglect to also consider your personal life.

Where’s the gap between questions one and two?

No matter your goals, what you’re working on is closing that gap. It’s simple in theory, complex in practice.

Readings on Personal Development:

How to Conduct an Annual Life Review That Will Catapult You into the New Year
By Steve Schlafman, who recommends giving yourself a week to reflect and complete the entire audit. Use this in conjunction with: 1-10 scale.

The Disease of More and Stop Trying to Change Yourself
Both of these candid pieces are by Mark Manson, a popular self-help author, personal development consultant, entrepreneur, and blogger.

Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It)
Many leaders don’t reflect because they either a) don’t understand the process, b) don’t like the process, c) don’t like the results, d) have a bias towards action or e) don’t see a good ROI. Don’t be one of them.

The Real Reason People Won’t Change
From two organizational psychologists writing for the Harvard Business Review, this comprehensive piece includes A Diagnostic Test for Immunity to Change, a resource designed to help employees become more effective.

The Authenticity Paradox
A simplistic understanding of what it means to “be authentic” can hold you back. The only way we grow as leaders is by stretching the limits of who we are and trying on possible selves. Even if it feels fake at first, power through.

From Purpose to Impact
Also from Harvard Business Review, this piece offers a step-by-step guide to finding your true calling and putting it to use. According to the authors, “The process of articulating your purpose and finding the courage to live it—what we call purpose to impact—is the single most important developmental task you can undertake as a leader.”

Career Advice from the Active-Outdoor Industries Community

Suggested Books:

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Cleary, to be used in conjunction with the Clear Habit Journal

Elastic Habits: How to Create Smarter Habits That Adapt to Your Day” by Stephen Guise

For Your Development Toolbox:

31 Morning Journaling Prompts
Questions that will help change the way you think and move past trauma, stressors, and unproductive thoughts.

1-on-1 Meeting Guidelines
For non-managers wanting to leverage their performance reviews, O’Donnell suggests five things: request a two-way conversation, influence your boss by playing consultant, advocate and make a case for your own development, come prepared with concrete solutions, and change dynamics one question at a time.

Blank Assessment Wheel
The Wheel of Life is an assessment tool used to reflect on what is and what isn’t working in your life. This essay explains how to create your own using the attached template.

Basic Awareness about my Life
A simple, straightforward questionnaire to help you reflect.

For a more thorough guide to reflection and personal development, click through below.

Watch the Webinar

Special thank you to our sponsors, W.L. Gore and Outdoor Research, for making this webinar possible.

Formerly the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC)

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