The benefits and how-to of reviewing your goals
Did you know that that 85% of people’s goals are never achieved?
Did you know I completely made up that statistic?
Ok, yes, I did make it up. But I know from my own experiences, and those of my family, friends and colleagues, that so many of our goals are never realised.
The thing is, we can’t put a figure on how many of our goals are achieved or not achieved unless we check-in and review our goals.
We are just past the half-way mark of the year. Now is a good time to stop and review your goals for 2018.
Don’t have goals for this year? That’s ok. It is worthwhile to review any goals you have, whether they are year-long, month-long or life goals.
Why Don’t Goals Work?
There’s many reasons why we sometimes fail to achieve our goals.
Here’s a quick brainstorm of reasons why I haven’t been able to achieve goals that I have set in my life:
- The goals were not specific – I didn’t define what I was aiming for
- I didn’t commit – I had the initial inspiration, but failed to follow up with action
- The goals were too difficult – I set myself up for failure by trying for something too big or outrageous
- The goals weren’t really goals – they were more dreams without a plan
- I let self-doubt get in the way – I wanted to do something, but didn’t believe I could, I lacked the confidence to take action
That is just a very quick list of why some of my previous goals have failed.
Each of these reasons could be addressed with its own strategy to overcome the issue. However, there is also one consistent strategy that could improve each scenario…
I could have reviewed my goals.
Reviewing Provides Necessary Information
Reviewing our goals gives us the knowledge to understand why we are not progressing as we initially thought we would.
It is a form of assessment and diagnosis.
When we know what we are facing, we can take the necessary steps to address. Then we can be back on our way to realising our goals, and our true potential in life.
Reviewing Can Be Encouraging
It is not just about identifying problems either.
Reviewing can help us see where we are going well and is a form of recognition for our efforts.
When we take the time to acknowledge how far we have come, it serves as a confidence boost to keep going. It confirms that we have what it takes. And we will get to the end and reach our target.
Reviewing Helps Us Readjust
A review of our goals helps us to see whether we are where we thought we would be or not.
It may be that we have made some progress, but we are not as far along as we thought we would or should be at.
This information can help us adjust where needed.
Either we can reset our timeframe or reaffirm our commitment to the goal. Or it may be that we change our goal altogether.
It could be that we have progressed, but we are realising that our needs and wants have changed. It may be that what we thought we wanted to achieve is no longer relevant or fulfilling to our life.
The act of reviewing our goals gives us the opportunity to readjust or reset as needed.
Reviewing Goals – How-To
There’s many ways we can do a review of our goals. There is no right or wrong way to do this. What I suggest is that you try at least one of these ways and see how much of a difference it makes to your goal’s progress and outcomes.
You could use your journal to note down your thoughts, feelings and observations about the progress you have made towards your goals.
In fact, the simple act of writing about your current situation helps reinforce in your mind the importance of what you are working on. It serves a dual purpose – you can easily review where you are at, and where you need to go, while reminding your mind why you set out to do this in the first place. This sets you up with the right mindset to continue on your way.
You can have a coffee catch up with yourself.
Head to your favourite café or coffee house. Give yourself the time out of your regular routine to sit with you and your goals.
By giving yourself this time, you create the conditions to free yourself from thoughts about your daily demands. You can stop, take a breather and enjoy this time to do something positive for your life.
Enjoying a cup of your favourite coffee while doing so is a nice bonus too.
Discuss with a Loved One
Find a trusted friend or family member and talk about where you are at.
The benefit of speaking with someone who you trust and who loves you is that they have your best interests in mind.
This can be especially helpful if you need some encouragement and close support to help you get back on track, or to stay accountable to your goals.
Get a Coach or Mentor
Find someone who is outside your regular group of close people. You can discuss your progress with them.
A coach or mentor are skilled at asking reflective questions to help you get to the heart of any issues. They can also see where you have instances to celebrate. Their objectivity may also help you see blind spots that are blocking your path.
This outside perspective can be really useful to sort through any emotions or judgement you carry about the progress towards your goals.
What Should I Review
Here are some questions you can consider as part of your goals review:
- Do I know what I want to achieve – am I clear on how things will be different by achieving this goal?
- Have I got a deadline for the goal – is it still realistic, do I need to bring it forward, or give myself longer?
- Am I working towards the right things – is this still a priority in my life, or should I be working towards something else?
- How is my commitment – am I being true to myself, am I taking the necessary steps to achieve my goal, or have I lost focus?
- How have I gone so far? What’s worked well? What hasn’t worked well? Can I do something better? What lessons have I learnt that will help me continue?
- How am I feeling about my progress to date? Am I happy and proud of my progress, or am I feeling ashamed that I haven’t given it my all? What can I do to feel better about my situation?
- How does the thought of achieving my goal make me feel? Am I still excited and energised at the thought of this goal? Is there anything I can do to raise my motivation and keep me going through the tough times?
Final Thoughts on Reviewing Goals
Goals can be a great tool and guide in our quest to live our lives confidently. To live to our potential.
However, while we can be pretty good at setting our goals, we often forget one really important thing…
Reviewing our goals!
Reviewing our goals gives them a fighting chance to be achieved. To turn our dreams into a reality.
It is time we stop, review and refine our goals, then continue on our way towards achieving them.
How do you like to review your goals? Leave me a comment below and let me know what works well for you.