Have you taken time to Review Your Progress?
The arrival of October heralds the gateway into the final and decisive quarter of the year for individuals, organisations and communities. With three months remaining in the season, the pulse of time seems to race faster and often fails to match up to tasks that remain untouched or partially completed. For many this can be a nerve wrecking period of anxiety as they make concerted efforts to cramp in everything that escaped completion in the foregone nine months of the year. Coupled with these frantic efforts are often substandard performances and rash decisions made without thorough processing. For some individuals, this season is punctuated with high stress levels as pressure mounts on them to deliver on projects and various forms of expected deliverables. On this part of the hemisphere, in the sweltering African heat, fatigue sets in quicker and slows down many ambitious efforts.
Various studies have found that improvements in well-being, satisfaction and happiness can come from making progress towards your personal goals. So how do you adequately prepare yourself for the end of the season? How do you wrap up a year with the satisfaction that you gave it your very best? How do you effectively manage and organise yourself to perform against your set goals for the year? Is it ever possible to not only achieve set goals and targets but to exceed them and excel in this prevailing environment? It is often so much easier to blame unmet goals on the environment whilst further pushing targets to future dates in the hope of an improved operating environment.
Reviews are really personal, and they need time to evolve into something you find beneficial for helping you track your progress. Ideally our personal goals should have a mechanism where they can be reviewed daily, weekly and monthly. Due to the busyness of our schedules we often fail to find time to focus on how much of what we have planned to do has actually been achieved. There is often justification for a haphazard entry and exit into days, weeks and months of the year. We often console ourselves and forge ahead without taking time to review our progress on what we have set to do. The temptation to conquer new challenges that come our way every day often overwhelms us to a point where we do not evaluate what genuinely needs to be tackled by ourselves, what we can delegate and what can be re-assigned. It is not unusual that we accomplish the goals of others more than we keep track of our own. Sometimes we lack the assertiveness to express our needs and as a result we have overflowing plates full of tasks that are not related to our ultimate goals.
Going forward, it is important to review our daily goals because this helps us to get an overview of our day personally, to see how productive we have been, as well as share with key people what our daily progress is on each of our tasks and work goals. Having our progress shared publicly helps to motivate us to get more done, and inspires us to outdo our previous best accomplishment. It is meaningless to set a goal if you will never know whether you were successful or not. To determine the level of success that you achieve, you must be able to measure your progress. When you measure your progress you can see how you are coming along, which motivates you to hold onto the goals. If you are making good progress, your confidence grows along with your motivation. When you measure your progress, it gives you a realistic picture of the situation. If you are not making the desired progress, you are able to see this before you fall too far behind. You can then identify the changes that need to be made and implement them.
How important is it for you to achieve your goals? How committed are you? If you are all in, then you need to review your goals frequently. The more often you review your goals, the greater your opportunities for success. Each time you review your progress, you intensify your focus embedding your goals more deeply into your subconscious. Reviewing and rewriting your goals often is your journey towards a goal. Short written reminders are great for remembering your goals. As you review your progress you may need to adjust your goals depending on what has happened and what you have learned so far. Failures can be useful to learn something about yourself and the world. If you review your failures, you can get an idea of where your weaknesses lie. If you identify such weak points in yourself, you can be prepared for when they may strike and lessen the blow.
Some goals by their very nature take a while to achieve, so it is important to review your goal progress from time to time to make sure that you really are progressing and not just going around in circles. Goals need to be able to be measured so you can monitor progress. How you measure your goal should be established at the start of the goal setting process, along with your starting measurement. By determining your current measurement and comparing it with your starting point, you will be able to see whether or not you have progressed towards your goal. If you are not on track, you need to identify ‘why’, as this could undermine your whole goal setting and achievement process.