2016 Winter Storm Jonas reminded me of our professional development goals.  As someone who grew up in Western New York, I wondered why all of the fuss.

Surely, the Buffalo Blizzard of 1977 was more impacting than Jonas, but because Jonas affected a larger area and population than perhaps any other storm, it received so much attention.

The affect that the Blizzard of 1977 had on me reminded me that achieving our professional development goals is a sustained effort over time.


Professional Development Goals

There is no one GIANT step that does it, it’s a lot of little steps.

~ Peter Cohen

The Blizzard of 1977

To be sure, it wasn’t a single snowfall that earned the Buffalo Blizzard of 1977 #2 on the list of Biggest Snowstorms of All Time. Instead, it was the foundation formed through consistent snowfall, sustained low temperatures, and a nearby lake covered with light, fluffy snow, all topped with intense winds for five days.

When I looked at snowfall records in Western New York during my youth, was surprised that there were no 24-hour periods where I could find that we ever received 30 inches of snow. How could that be?


During a Facebook exchange, a high school classmate recalled that school was closed for two weeks, so I decided to explore. In fact, we only received 12 inches of new snow during the blizzard. (See – Blizzard of 1977.)

  • Again, how could that be?

The worst part was wind, the constant wind.   Some places had snowdrifts 15 feet high. It wasn’t five consecutive days of new snow from January 28th through February 1st, but the wind and the added gift we received from Lake Erie.

2016 Winter Storm Jonas

Starting in Texas, 2016 Winter Storm Jonas dumped more than 30 inches of snow in at least 6 states as it worked its way Northeast before moving out to sea.

Again, I wondered why all the fuss, but after seeing pictures of my in-law’s freshly dugout driveway in the Washington, DC area. To be fair, they did not have the same snow removal equipment as the Buffalo area.

Fortunately for the DC area, they did not have the same sustained cold temperatures and winds. Comparatively speaking, the snow from Jonas melted away quickly.

Setting Long Term Goals

At the beginning of every year, we become committed to achieving a New Year’s resolution and we read articles about how to achieve our performance goals. I felt several of articles (listed below) had particularly relevant messages and posted them at each of my social media sites.

Here are a few:

(see also – 3 Tips for Setting Employee Performance Goals)

Achieving Short Term Goals Means Sustained Efforts… and Developing Good Habits

Back to the Blizzard of 1977 — I know that shoveled at least one or two feet of snow for days on end; I distinctly remember an 8-foot drift of snow closing the road near our home; and I remember my lack of appreciation for the drifts that formed in our driveway, requiring me to clear it least twice a day.

Just as setting performance goals is important, we need to take action consistently to achieve our goals.

(see also – 7 Tips for Achieving Your Employee Development Goals)


For more insights, click below to get these professional development articles: