Ways to Reflect on Your Goals, Make Adjustments and Continue Making Progress
With just a couple weeks left to the year, we all face that moment of reality.
Did we achieve our goals successfully? Or did we fall short?
Today’s post is all about keeping perspective as the year (or mid-year) closes and we take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments for the year.
Some of us might be feeling pretty darn proud having checked off our biggest goals and a handful of smaller ones.
Others may be nodding their head, “Yep, I achieved a few goals and I’m making progress on the rest.”
And a few of us might be grimacing, not really wanting to pull out that list created a year ago.
Whichever category you fall into – relax. It’s all ok.
Life is all about ebb and flow. There are seasons for serious growth and improvement, seasons in which we make steady albeit slow progress. And we all have seasons where just surviving and hanging on by our fingertips is considered a huge success!
Before we can go setting next year’s goals, we must take a good look at the results for this year’s goals.
If you wrote your goals down, go grab that list so you can look at it as we go through a quick observational checklist.
In observing this year’s goals:
What did I achieve?
a. How big of a goal was it?
b. How long did it take to achieve it from start to end?
c. What did I do with this goal that worked really well?
d. What were the challenges I faced that I was able to overcome?
e. What tricks and tactics did I use to overcome those hurdles?
2. What goals did I just miss achieving?
a. What kind of goal was it? (Easy/Difficult? Short term/long term?)
b. Why was I unable to finish this goal? (timeframe, resources, unexpected event)
c. What could I have done differently to enable me to have achieved this goal?
3. What goals did I originally set that I later decided I would not pursue?
a. What was it about these goals that led to me changing my mind?
b. Did I try to take on too many goals?
Going through this checklist will help you figure out what worked well for you and what didn’t. When we go about setting next year’s goals we can use these observations to help us be realistic about what is possible to pursue and do in the coming year.
People often are afraid to add too many goals to their list of To-Do’s and this actually limits you in what you can achieve.
There are many factors in our control:
How we schedule our time and resources
The people we interact with
The support team we create
Deciding exactly what we will pursue and why
And there are factors we don’t always have control over (job security, health (although our decisions and actions play a direct role our health is subject to a large number of factors), available resources, other people’s decisions and actions, the weather, oddities like accidents and surprises).
When we add plenty of goals onto our list of things to do and achieve, we actually create a flexible smorgasbord of options as the year goes on.
Ex: Being in a car accident that wasn’t your fault but results in you with a broken leg will alter your plans at running that marathon. While you adjust your health and fitness goals to accommodate, you can use the down time for working towards other goals that require you to physically chill – like writing that book, taking a class, organizing your finances and learning how to invest, and so on.
Life will always toss in speedbumps here and there. Highly successful people always have alternative projects to whip out when life causes a brief detour. This allows for progress to always be made regardless of circumstances.
So we have taken a few minutes to reflect on our personal growth over the year and we are ready to decide just what we will try to achieve during the next 12 months of our lives.
Things to think about as you go about making this decision:
1. Do I want to expand upon achievements I made last year? Maybe I’m ready for the next level?
2. Did I discover new avenues to venture down? Maybe your achievements opened a few doors or expanded your opportunities?
3. Just how big of a goal can I set? How big will you believe in what is possible?
4. These were my strengths….and focusing on them would…
5. I really enjoyed ___. How can I add more of that to the new goals I am setting?
6. I just missed achieving this goal and that one. I’m going to expand my timeline, make some adjustments and get this accomplished.
7. You know, I really struggled with this one goal. I can see where I needed to change my approach and implementation for it.
That goal itself –
a. Wasn’t really that important. In that case, I’m going to allow myself to let it go and move forward with lessons learned.
b. Is something I’d still like to aim for. I will add this goal onto my list for the upcoming year and I will rework my strategy for making it happen. I will apply my strengths to it and use the methods that really worked for me in the goals I did achieve.
8. What long term goals did I have this time last year, that had to wait until I’d gained some new skills/knowledge in order to make it a realistic goal to go after? Did I gain what was needed?
9. Where am I now in terms of my long term goals? Am I ready for the next phase? What is the next phase?
10. This is what I’d like to set for goals. Now in taking a long term perspective – do these goals lead and build into my ideal vision for my life in five years or ten?
a. If so – make them a priority of focus.
b. If not – is this a “Just for fun.” Goal? If so, keep it on your list but make sure it comes after your priority goals to stay focused on.
c. If not – would keeping this goal on my list this year detract from the time and energy I should be putting into my #1 and #2 goals for the year?
It is important to maintain both a short term and long term frame of mind when creating, evaluating and adjusting your goals. We need long term vision to know what direction to head in the short run and our short term goal achievements are the stepping stones that build our visionary life.
Use these thoughts to think upon when evaluating your current progress on the year’s goals and in creating your goals for the coming year.
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