September has always seemed to me a time of beginnings.

That feeling is no doubt a remnant of many years’ experiences with starting school, and it’s also the feeling that accompanies transition from summer to fall (my favorite season!). It’s a time for new backpacks, new sweaters, and new books (not-beach-reads), and a time for gearing up for that last quarter of the year. Plans made on long beach walks need to be put into action.

At least that’s the view from my part of the world.

In the spirit of the new school year, perhaps it’s a good time to take stock of your professional development goals and plans. Look back on 2022 and check off your professional growth accomplishments (both planned and unplanned). Figure out what you’ll work on through the end of the year, and start to think about where you’re headed for 2023.

Here are suggestions to help you refresh your development plan and reenergize your commitment:

  • Keep an eye out for trend analyses and prognostications from valued thought leaders. Sift through them for what feels relevant for your context and career.
  • Set up meet ups with your favorite people – lunch dates, coffee catch-ups, virtual chats, happy hours – and maybe attend a local professional organization meeting.
  • Tidy your bookshelves to find those books that you meant to read and make room for the new ones that are coming to the top of your list; set aside time to read (note to self!).
  • Find creative inspiration in local museums, streaming documentaries, your children’s lessons, and new movies, shows, and arts events.
  • Identify new podcasts to take on your run/walk or to listen to as you do some fall cleaning.
  • Plant bulbs for the spring, both botanical and metaphorical.
  • Cut back what’s become overgrown, in your garden and in your life – make room for new seedlings that excite you.
  • Take long walks in fresh air – in town centers, vacated beaches, and woodsy paths. Breathe in nature and listen to its sounds, and tune in to your inner voice to plan whatever needs planning.
  • Compile a themed playlist that is guaranteed to get your energy up.
  • Start collecting photo snips, graphics, phrases, and quotes for a new vision board, see what you get drawn to over the next several months.

I hope 2022 has been a good year for you thus far. September and January are terrific waypoints for taking stock and starting again. Let me know how I can support your work and your professional development.

This post is reprinted from my September 4 Your Development newsletter. Subscribe here.