By Randy Hain

I found myself in a reflective mood as I sipped coffee in my home office in the wee hours before dawn this New Year’s Eve. I always endeavor at the end of every year to recall the highs and lows of the year, the lessons I learned and practical ways to continue growing as a husband, father, friend and business leader. This helpful annual practice often leads to advice I humbly offer my network on ways to continue their own growth and encouragement to better serve those around them. This reflection time led me to two distinct and simple “investment” challenges that I hope you will consider taking on in the coming year.

Invest in Yourself

How will you develop yourself professionally this year?

  • What helpful books are on your reading list?
  • What helpful podcasts will you listen to?
  • Is there training or development offered by your company or externally that will help you enhance your business knowledge or leadership skills?
  • Have you considered asking for formal mentorship from leaders you respect and admire?
  • Who will you seek candid feedback from regarding your current performance and areas to improve?
  • Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone and take on new professional challenges this year?

How will you grow personally this year?

  • Have you identified what you want to get out of life? What are your personal goals and are you on the right path to achieve them?
  • Do you have your personal and professional priorities straight? Are they in the right order?
  • How will you better practice self-care? How will you commit to a reasonable and doable plan to take better care of your mental, physical and spiritual health?
  • How will you invest more time in developing and nurturing relationships this year?
  • How will you focus more time on the people and activities that bring you joy, happiness and fulfillment in the coming year?
  • Are you self-aware? Do you know how you are showing up to others and how they may see you? Who can help you gain this candid insight and what changes do you need to make?

Invest in Others

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about a mindset I encouraged my network to adopt in the coming year and beyond that I learned from author Andreas Widmer. He taught me the Italian phrase “Ti voglio bene” (tee vo-lyo beh-ne) which means “I want your good”. As we ponder the powerful simplicity of these words, consider the coming year as an opportunity to look around you at work, at home and in your community through this lens. If we truly seek the good for others, we will do our best to serve and help others in all areas of our lives.

  • Who can you mentor and help grow at work? How can you help them identify and maximize their talents?
  • How can you contribute in a more meaningful way to helping produce a better product or service for your customers?
  • What causes can you serve to make your community and the world a better place?
  • How will your family and friends experience the best of you and know you truly have their best interests and well-being at heart?

Who is this post written for? Everyone, regardless of your title or experience level, can benefit from making these two types of investments throughout 2024 and beyond. I intentionally offered thought-provoking questions for you to reflect on instead of my version of the answers because we will all have very different ideas and solutions. Thoughtfully developing our unique responses and implementing our action plans adds to the richness, value and impact of the process for true growth. Because most professionals I know deal with significant time management challenges that can make this type of post feel somewhat overwhelming, I am directing you to this older post of mine that is filled with helpful time-management best practices: Living Life in Real Time (Advice for Busy Professionals).

Invest in yourself and invest in others…let’s keep it simple in the coming year and have a shared goal of looking back at the end of 2024 with gratitude for how much we have all grown and the positive difference we made in the lives of those around us. The ripple effect of these actions will make a significant favorable impact on us, the people we encounter each day and hopefully on a world that needs to get back on track. I look forward to doing the journey with you.