• Tom Cliffe

A new year, a new me?

Updated: Mar 4

As we enter a new year, for many people this signifies a time for review and goal setting, whether it’s personal, professional or a mixture of both. I’ve noticed my LinkedIn timeline has been full of people setting themselves new targets for the year ahead.


From a personal perspective, I think the last 18 months has taught me the importance of making time to reflect. Not just at key dates, but throughout the year, and often on a daily or weekly basis. Allowing time for self-reflection and learning from situations has certainly enabled me to progress within my career.

Do you make time to reflect? Do you allocate time to learn?


For many of us our calendars can look packed with client deadlines, meetings with contacts or upcoming assignments. So, when do we find time for ourselves? One simple strategy is to build this into your routine, allocate the time and stick to it. You wouldn’t cancel a meeting with a key business contact, so why would you move an appointment which focuses on you and your development? Understanding what is working and why can highlight the opportunities for you to learn & develop. Asking yourself questions such as “What is working and why?”, “What isn’t working and what are the reasons for this?”, “What are the learning opportunities?” and “How can I develop these skills?” can really help you with personal growth. The benefits of creating time to do this don’t only relate to you, but also to your business. Many businesses will talk about developing staff and encourage them to take charge of their own learning, but often not knowing how to facilitate it.


When I set up a business, I had never run a payroll, filed accounts or completed a real life cash-flow forecast. As a former business studies teacher, I taught these fundamental business skills to my students but had never actually done them myself! So, when it came to me actually putting this into practice, I viewed it as the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, putting my knowledge into practice. And as a new business owner I immediately developed my own culture of “never having time” and “being too busy” to dedicate time to reflecting on what I was doing well and where I could do things differently.

It was only when someone commented on what I had achieved in the last 3 months, that I realised just how far the business had come. From that moment I made sure I noted down the “small wins” and the opportunities to learn, develop, and grow not only the business but myself as well. Keeping this log was, and still is, incredibly powerful and has certainly helped me develop in both my personal and professional life.


In my new role at Issured, as Head of People, Skills and Knowledge, I am delighted to offer a range of training and support services to enable individuals and organisations to thrive. If you would like to find out more, please do get in contact with me on Thomas.cliffe@issured.com

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