by David Bohl
Setting your goals on January 1 is a great way to start your new year with direction and motivation. Of course, you can set goals any time of year. However, after you set goals, your next step is to take action. And, then you need a goal setting checkpoint to monitor your results.
As you take action on your goals, you will most likely encounter obstacles, resistance, and detours, as well as small and large successes. The challenges will force you to make adjustments, and maybe even change the goal or take new actions. The successes need to be celebrated and new goals established to replace the ones achieved.
In order to assess your progress and make the adjustments, you need to review your goals from time to time. When I ask my coaching clients how they’re doing on certain goals they sometimes tell me they forgot about that goal. Sure they had good intentions when they said they would exercise three days per week, and then they got bogged down at work and exercise fell to a low priority.
So if you want to know how you are doing with those plans you made when you set up your goals, you need to schedule periodic check ups. Reading your goals every day is optimum. Once a month would be great, every three months would be fine, once a year is not enough! What you will do is to take out your list of goals and action steps that you’ve written out, and look at where you are with each goal. Check off the ones you’ve accomplished first. Decide if you want to set up new goals to replace them. For example, if you set a goal to lose 10 pounds and reached that goal, you might set a new goal to tone up your body.
For the goals you haven’t achieved, examine why you haven’t reached them. Are you doing the actions you said you would do? If not, why not? Did you take the actions, but they didn’t help you to reach the goal? What action can you take instead? Did you get stuck in figuring out what action to take, or in knowing the next step? Ask for some support to get unstuck.
Can you see how a quick periodic review can really help you stay current with your goals and become much more effective? Here’s a summary of how to establish your goal setting checkpoint:
1. Review goals periodically.
Many successful coaches, consultants, authors, and speakers advise people to review their goals every day. An ideal situation would be to awake each day and read your list of goals. Then do a visualization where you see your goals achieved. You can do this again at night. You can work on one goal at a time or several. By doing your visualization at night, you implant your desire in your subconscious mind which will help you attract what you want. Reading your goals each day keeps them forefront in your mind. Reviewing them monthly or quarterly allows you to make necessary adjustments as needed.
2. Make adjustments.
After you’ve reviewed your goals, you need to assess your progress. How are you doing? Are you consistent with the actions you need to take for each goal? Are you using your time wisely so you have time each day to work toward your goals? Is this goal still important to you? Is it consistent with your values? Does it conflict with any other goal? I know these seem like hard questions, but if you’re not reaching your goals, you have to ask yourself why? These types of questions will help you reveal your patterns of avoidance, resistance, procrastination, or other actions that are not supporting the achievement of your goals.
You’re the best one to find out what’s going on and then make the necessary adjustments. You may have to revise a goal as circumstances change or your needs and desires shift. Don’t consider it a failure, just an alteration or a change in direction. If you’re not exercising three times a week, is it really because you’re too busy, or is it actually because you don’t enjoy exercise? Great. Now you can look for a form of physical activity you will enjoy, and therefore, you will do it! Also make sure that for balance, you have goals in all areas of your life that are important to you (family, spiritual, financial, physical, social, mental…). This way you won’t feel like you’re leaving anything out.
3. Get feedback from others and ask for support.
I always believe in following in the footsteps of those who’ve come before me. If you know someone who has been successful in accomplishing a goal you’ve set for yourself, find out how they did it. Ask them what you can do differently. Get a goal buddy and check in with each other once a week. Work with a coach who will support you in committing to the actions necessary to achieve your goals and will provide accountability for your goal setting check-ins. Do whatever it takes to make your goals happen!
4. Celebrate successes, appreciate efforts.
I love to celebrate. Too many people I know check off the goals they achieve, then move on to the next one. If you’re going to take the time to review your goals periodically, then start congratulating yourself, not just for your successes but also for your efforts. So many people do not do what they say they will, so if you are at least making the effort, you should celebrate! The more you offer yourself positive reinforcement, the quicker you will reach your goals!
Get Clear on Goals… The Goal Book Shows You How!
Personal Coach David Bohl is the author of The Goal Book, which is Part 3 of his Slow Down Fast Happiness Trilogy. The entire trilogy is now available in instant downloadable format. Visit this page for more details!