December 31st, 2020
Every New Year I take the time to reflect on what our Lodestar Solutions team accomplished, what we learned, and then set goals for the new year. This year I thought it would be fun for some of our team members to share their experiences and would love to hear yours too!
Heather Cole -
Biggest Accomplishment 2020 –
Personal - On a personal side I have to say my biggest accomplishment was having one of the first Zoom Weddings. Gary and I were returning to the US when the world shut down. He is English and was scheduled to head home to the UK when his flights were cancelled repeatedly. The realization that if he left, we had no idea when we would see each other again was just the nudge we needed. Since we have family and friends all over the world it was perfect as everyone could attend.
Work Related - I have to say my biggest accomplishment was figuring out how to pivot to better serve our IBM Cognos clients in the new COVID world. Lodestar Solutions worked hard to help clients do more with the resources they had and software they owned. We revamped our user group to be virtual. We got creative and found new ways to help clients save money on their support renewals and licenses.
Learning Experience – This might be more of a reminder then something I learned about the power of reaching out to people and just showing you care. I started sending more cards in the mail and calling people that popped into my head just to say hi. The add by ATT to reach out and touch someone should be recycled. Everyone is missing the personal connection, so it is even more important to get on camera just to say hi.
Goals for 2021 –
Say No More - For 2021 I am going to say “no” more, and only say yes to things that are in alignment with who I strive to be.
Volunteer More - I am committing to leading at least 3, Ready for Jobs programs where my husband and I teach youth that age out of foster care how to map out their future and interview for a job. We are always looking for job coaches if you want to join us.
Random Act of Kindness - At least once a week I will do a random act of kindness. It can be something as simple as paying for someone’s coffee at Starbucks or leaving flowers on a neighbor’s doorstep, because the world can benefit from even a little more kindness don’t you think?
Automate more – As for a business goal, I want to automate more processes, so Lodestar Solutions runs even more smoothly. The first thing I will overhaul is our partner program and contract process. Think about your life. Is there a repetitive task you must do that could benefit from automation?
Mike Bernaiche -
Biggest Accomplishment 2020 –
Personal - As I thought about this one, my thoughts went to, “what a year!” As March hit and COVID started spreading to the US and shutdowns started, life changed in many ways for many people. Me included. However, I look back and think it was a blessing in disguise to spend more time with my family, to slow down and be thankful for what I have in my life. Yes, I missed out on playing softball, coaching basketball, and going on vacation. All things that are very important to me. Yes, I struggled some days but honestly, I am just so thankful to work, have an amazing wife and family and slow down and re-prioritize my life. This pandemic will end and so many in the world will have lost so much. I think it is important to step out of your own mind and see the big picture.
Work Related - In the COVID world I had to learn to be as agile as possible. Learn to shift and add more value to our wonderful Lodestar Solutions clients. I shot videos to provide more info, we created a virtual user group that has been extremely well received and I tried to provide more and more value.
Learning Experience - I think my learning experience is a combination of personal and work related. Things in my personal life that I thought were “everything” are just things I did. They were not everything. I do look forward to playing and coaching again but now I believe those things will be a part of my life, not my life. From a work standpoint, adding more and more value is what matters.
Goals for 2021 -
Learn from Lessons Learned – It is one thing to learn the lesson, it is another to continue to grow based on those lessons and not step backwards. I am committed to striving to add value and prioritize my work and personal life in 2021.
Senior Year – My middle child is a senior this year. Her year has been rough starting in March due to COVID. She is in virtual school, missing out on sports seasons and senior type things like homecoming, football games and just hanging out with friends. My wife and I have committed to making this best of this year for her. It is tough and I feel awful for her, but we must stay positive and make it the best we can.
Random Act of Kindness – I am going to steal from Heather on this one, but I feel it is so important. In this very divided world, I think it is more important to show kindness, compassion, and love. I will commit as Heather did to a once-a-week random acts of kindness. I will ask Heather to keep a journal of hers and I will do the same for mine. Check back towards the end of next year to see all of our random acts of kindness!
Christina Vandeveer -
Biggest Accomplishment 2020 –
Personal – This last year has gone by so quickly and yet so slow at the same time. Due to COVID I had to adapt many things for my family. Childcare was shut down, and my husband (works for UPS) went to mandatory six day work weeks. For several months it was just myself and our two boys, ages 1 and 2 at the time. I had to learn how to create a sense of normalcy for them when everything had changed. That didn’t stop once summer came, it really has continued through this whole year. It has been a struggle, however I am proud of how I have grown as a wife and work from home mother during this last year.
Work Related – Working for Lodestar Solutions has been one of the biggest blessings of 2020 for me. It has allowed me to still contribute to my family, while being able to stay home with my kids and raise them. While I have missed having childcare, I haven’t missed a moment with my kids and that is a huge win! I am happy with how I have been able to juggle learning new ways to help out clients and new ways to juggle work and home.
Learning Experience - I have learned a lot about myself this year. I am a very social, active person and those were all the things that had to stop in 2020 with COVID. So, I learned to adapt. One of the biggest things I discovered is if I am happy and whole, I am a better mom, wife and employee. So, I stuck to my daily exercising as much as possible. I found accountability in my gym/coaches and neighbors. We made goals and stuck to them. I learned that if I really focused, despite all the negative in the world I was happier.
Goals for 2021 -
Family of 4 to Family of 5! – Our family is expecting a little one at the end of May 2021. We are excited and slightly terrified but so filled with joy for this blessing! Looking forward to growing and adapting even more as a mom of three. #teamgirl
Love in Action – One of my love languages and strengths is acts of service. I feel the most alive and closest to God when I am serving others. Just because the year flips from 2020 to 2021 doesn’t mean the struggles of today won’t be here tomorrow. My goal is to face those challenges with hope, and to make sure I find ways throughout the year to do what I know fills my cup. Plans I have are to continue to serve on my church’s mission board and run the youth basketball league for kids in 1st-12th grade.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. We here at Lodestar Solutions hope it will encourage you to leave 2020 with hope for 2021 and be ready to have your best year yet. Remember, if you need anything in regards to software licensing we are here to help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay up to date on all our blogs click here. You can also subscribe to our mailing list by clicking here.