What changes have you been experiencing lately? For many of you, besides the day to day challenges, you are also experiencing the end of a business quarter, a new season, and daylight savings time.
With all these changes now is a great time to take a step back and acknowledge the progress you are making with your goals and adjust them, if needed. (See post R&R: Reflect & Regroup.) Pausing periodically on the path to achieving your goals provides you the opportunity to see what’s working and what’s not.
As you work towards a goal, you develop discipline, learn to overcome obstacles, and gain insight into your personality and your vision. Not taking time to reflect as you make progress will cause you to miss out on valuable insights about who you are.
When considering the progress you are making avoid giving yourself a simple pass or fail on your goals, dig deeper. Schedule some quiet time when you won’t be interrupted, and ask yourself open-ended questions to get clarity on how you’re really doing. Here are some questions to get you started:
- What have you been doing (or not) to actively work on your goals?
- What tools or skills did you use or do you need to get the desired outcomes?
- When you stop working on your goals for a while, what stops you?
- What excuses keep you from taking action?
- What skills or talents do you have that will help you move towards your desired outcomes?
- What skills or talents need to be improved if you want to achieve them?
Write your responses down, and be as brief or as wordy as you want. Don’t overthink it. The important part is to uncover opportunities that you may not be aware of. When you’re done, read back over your answers. Better yet, wait a day or two before reading your answers.
Once you have a clear picture of how you’re progressing, look for areas where you may need to change strategies. Brainstorm ideas of how to make those changes, seek input for your mentor, and formulate your new plan.
Then – and this part is just as important – celebrate your victories. No matter how small. Give yourself a pat on the back or call someone who will gush over your accomplishments with you. Making changes is hard, and you should feel good about every single step you take toward them.
If you did not make the progress you were striving for, here are some things to think about:
- On days when you don’t make progress toward your goals, what’s holding you back? Is it truly a time constraint or is it about your priorities?
- When do you find yourself most motivated? How about discouraged?
- When are you most energetic? What distracts you from your goal?
Asking yourself these questions and taking stock of your feelings and tendencies will help you:
- Adjust your goals and plans.
- Provide insight into your strengths and opportunities.
- Continue to learn and grow as a person.
Today is the day, schedule time to consider what progress you are making and what you have learned from your past experiences so that you can create the future you want.