Hello LTEN community and happy October! I hope that this month’s LTEN Focus On Training magazine finds you healthy and happy, and that you are enjoying the start of a beautiful fall season. (If you’re not feeling healthy and happy, we have two wellness-related articles in the following pages that can help get you there.)
We are wrapping up the first quarter of the school year in our home, and it has been entertaining and exhausting (and I’m certain that many of you can relate).
As I have been preparing my kids for the upcoming quarter, I have found myself challenging them to consider what it will take today or tomorrow to get them to where they want to be in their next season of learning and growing. Their responses are always amusing, but they’re getting to an age where those responses don’t end the conversation.
My daughter Sophie recently pushed back to my question with her own: “Mom, where do you want to be in six months?”
Six months!? There are times that I struggle with understanding where I want to be in a week or even a month!
As decision-makers, whether at home or in our careers, there are a number of factors that we have to consider as we plan for the future. It’s a balancing act between short-term planning – acknowledging the immediate impact of our decisions and understanding the consequences they bring – and longer-term planning, such as addressing budget considerations and defining our strategic direction.
Short-term planning often feels like navigating a maze with unknown twists and turns. It’s about addressing today, understanding the impact of our choices and making decisions that benefit us in our current environment. In the world of training and education, this means responding to the ever-evolving needs of learners, adapting to the latest technologies and ensuring that our curricula remain relevant.
At home, short-term planning involves managing routines and schedules, dealing with unexpected phone calls from a teacher or nurse and making quick decisions that impact our current environment. It’s like steering a ship through choppy waters, making course corrections to ensure we stay afloat.
On the flip side, I think of longer-term planning like setting sail on a voyage. It involves defining the destination, charting a course and methodically preparing for the journey ahead. For trainers, this involves crafting a strategic vision that aligns with broader organizational goals, curriculum development or adjustments, and even budget planning at certain levels.
At home, I consider longer-term planning to be the decisions we make on saving for retirement, setting a career goal or even building a family home. When we plan, I liken it to creating a map that guides us toward our goals while considering the resources and time required for the journey.
Here are my questions for you:
Finding the right balance between short-term and long-term planning is essential. LTEN has many resources to lean into and utilize in the development of your professional map, and I would encourage you to reach out if you have questions or would like more information.
And, finally, remember that as you navigate your journey, it’s not just about reaching your destination but also about enjoying the trip itself.
Lauren Harbert is executive director of LTEN. Email Lauren at