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Outstanding Professional Development Every Day

The Daily Dot is a daily post aimed to give the reader an edge in business and professional development in 2 minutes. It's purpose is to provide interesting, thought provoking and informative content through ideas, up-to-date information and advice focusing on achieving ‘outstanding results’ within a professional context.

Thursday 26 Nov 20

The Takeaway3 Steps to Starting 2021 Right

Reflect, Reset, Return

Now that 2020 is slowly coming to an end, it’s time to think about 2021 and begin planning for the new year.

This year has thrown many obstacles our way both in our personal and professional lives, but how can we use the chaos of 2020 to make 2021 better?

Here are three steps you can take to ensure you start 2021 as you mean to go on; positive, motivated and prepared.


The first step is to take a look at what has happened this year and reflect on it.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • What has happened in both my personal and my professional life this year?

  • What have I achieved this year?

  • What didn’t I achieve this year and why?

The key to reflection and learning from the past is self-awareness and honesty. Before we can learn from experience, we must be able to admit our own mistakes.


Often when we think about the things we didn’t manage to do or things we wish we’d achieved, it can be rather demotivating.

However, in order to use these experiences in a positive way and to better ourselves, we must learn to see challenges in a positive light.

“Problems aren’t problems, but rather opportunities to improve”

The key to using past experiences to improve is having a growth mindset.

Having a growth mindset means:

  • Believing that skills are built over time and there is always room for improvement

  • Having the capacity and willingness to learn and grow

  • Inviting feedback to identify your areas of improvement

Once we have a positive mindset, we are much more likely to feel motivated and excited for the new year as instead of thinking about everything we’ve missed this year, we will be focused on everything we want to achieve and work towards in 2021.


Now that we know what we want to achieve in the new year and we have the right mindset, we need to create an action plan or a Professional Development Plan for when we return to work in 2021.

Professional Development Plans (PDPs) are used to document your career goals and set out a strategy on how you plan to achieve them.

Having a PDP can also be extremely motivating as, when done correctly, it can make goals feel much more realistic as it breaks them down into smaller, more achievable steps.

The most important thing to remember is that with a new year comes 365 days and 365 opportunities to learn, grow and improve.

“The only limitations in life are the ones we set ourselves.” Nile Wilson


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