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Instructional Design Consultant Tips: Changing Yourself like You’d Change a Business

I am intrigued by change, a position I come by honestly as an Instructional Designer. The challenge and thrill of designing solutions that influence businesses, people, and processes for the better brings me to work each morning. So why is it that when I switch from work mode to personal mode that my aptitude towards change switches too? It isn’t that I despise change in my personal life; I’m just much less adroit at making it happen in significant and lasting ways.

During my time at Allen, I’ve worked with large companies, designing corporate trainings with the lofty aim of redirecting the way these companies work. I’ve seen how critical a clear and measurable business goal is, and I’ve seen how the right activities derived from the right objectives can work as a powerful rudder on a mighty stubborn ship. I’ve also seen how training initiatives can flounder without a business goal to steer towards, and I may have even expressed my amazement that a company dare take on the waters without a specific destination in mind. Obviously a business will struggle to achieve success if it has no definition of what success looks like!

That’s me at work, incredulous. But outside of work, the lack of a clear business goal is much easier to believe. I’m accustomed to mooring in pesky habits while I try to get my life map sorted out and readable enough to plot a path. I don’t think twice about launching into personal “training campaigns” to eat healthy, exercise more, or save more money, though I rarely take the time to articulate my end goal.

I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am to see my change efforts start with a bang and slip away with a whisper, leaving me as unhealthy, inactive, and empty-pocketed as before. But I think I’m on to something, leveraging my instructional design skills to make my own life more productive and successful, and I know where to start. My sketchbook is a draft zone for trying out different life business goals until I find one that sticks. For now.

Can you relate? Are you under-utilizing your professional skills in your personal life, or do you prefer to keep the line between work life and personal life drawn?

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