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“A day without learning is like a day without breathing.” – Robin Sharma
It could be down to my age, but as I write this post and reflect on 2017 I can’t help wondering where on earth this year has gone!
Is it just me or do you also feel that 2017 has been a whirlwind of a year? One minute I am ushering in the new year with excitement and trepidation and the next minute I am wrapping it up with this post.
What’s 2017 been like for you? Challenging? Disappointing? Satisfying? Fruitful? 
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Listen to the post

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Did you start the year with certain goals you wanted to achieve? How did you do? Did you achieve some or all of the goals you set? 
Or did you, like 92% of the population (according to research by the University of Scranton), fail to achieve them?
If the answer is you failed, have you asked yourself why? What happened? 
  • Were they unrealistic goals?
  • Did you underestimate the time it would take to complete your goals? 
  • Did you set “other people’s” goals? 
  • Did you fail to review your progress
  • Did you set yourself negative goals
  • Did you try to do too many things at once?

And more importantly, how can you change things for 2018? More of this later.

Lessons learned in 2017
Whilst goal setting is important for us both professionally and personally, it’s equally important to take time to reflect on the lessons learned in the past year.
Let’s be positive and focus on your successes first. So often, we focus on our failures and forget to take the lessons learned from our successes. Our successes have as much to teach us as our failures.
  • What went well? 
  • Why did it go well?
  • What lessons did you learn from the experience, project or challenge?
  • What would you repeat next time?
  • What would you do differently next time? 
It’s tempting to repeat a successful project but it’s always worth trying new angles. There’s a saying in English that says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” which means don’t change things if they work. 
However, if you look at every single successful entrepreneur, they never accept a success as the end. They’re always trying to improve each time. And if you’re going to grow as an individual and professional, you need to adopt a growth mindset.
Now turn to your failures and ask yourself the same questions:
  • What went wrong?
  • Why did it fail?
  • What lessons did you learn from it?
  • What would you do differently?

The key here is to not give up but to try again until you succeed. 

As Aristotle said 2000 years ago: 
What were your Business English learning goals in 2017? 
As readers of this blog, I am assuming you are Business English learners and hence the above question. Did you set your learning goals for 2017? What were they and what steps did you take to achieve them?
The steps could have been:
  • signing up to some free English resources like blogs, podcasts, You Tube channels.
  • creating an action plan on how to incorporate these resources into your daily, weekly, monthly schedule 
  • investing in your learning, for example, buying e-books and e-courses, booking coaching sessions, attending group classes
  • monitoring your progress and celebrating small successes along the way.
One year on, how’s the experience been? 
  • Has it been successful?
  • Have you achieved your goals?
  • What worked and what didn’t?
  • How do you feel about your achievement and progress?
  • Would you do anything differently?
  • What can you do now that you couldn’t do in January 2017? For example, talk about yourself in a job interview, write a persuasive email, give a memorable talk in English, talk comfortably about your favourite topic.
Focus on BOTH the positives and negatives by asking and answering the questions above (in lessons learned).
What’s next for 2018?
Armed with the answers from above, it’s time to set new goals for 2018. And this time I am going to help you set your goals and help you achieve them.
In February, you will have your very own EWAT planner that will act as your guiding light throughout your learning journey. A planner that will help you:
  • set clear, motivating goals, 
  • set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound)
  • put it in writing
  • create an action plan 
  • track your progress as you make your journey
  • celebrate your successes along the way
  • stick to your plan
In January, I will share with you more ideas about how to set clear, motivating and above all, SMART goals. That way, by the time the EWAT planner is ready, you will be ready to take your first steps towards confidence and success. 
Remember what Confucius said:
Thank you for being such loyal EWATers. Have a wonderful end to 2017.
I can’t wait to accompany you as you start or continue your learning journey to confidence and empowerment in 2018.
Ciao for now
PS: I am taking a two-week break over Christmas and will be back on 12 January 2018 for some Small Talk To Go! Keep your eyes peeled.