End of the first quarter of 2013 – scary isn’t it? Maybe it is something to do with age, but isn’t time just flying faster?
So, are you on track to achieve your goals? No? Have you given up on any, or even all of them at this stage? No matter what the answer is to that question, all is not lost.
You see setting your goals is the easy bit. Doing something about them is what matters – even if we have lost our way a bit.
Remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said –“ Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall”
So, if you are not on target, now is just the time to take stock, get back on the bike and make the hard yards to achieve your goals!
Bu taking stock is not just about diving in and getting busy – you will be investing time and effort to achieve your goals, so take some time now to reflect.
So, what are the questions to ask yourself?
1. Are they the right goals?
Just because they all made sense 3 months ago, would I still write the same goals today? Take each and every one of them and give them a good examination – do they fall into the category of “goals I believe I should have” or do I really mean them? Be honest – one quarter of the year is gone and you don’t want to waste another quarter messing around with a goal that your heart is not in!
2. What is the “why”?
Be really tough on yourself here – exactly why do you want to achieve them? You know, in business and in life, it does not matter so much what you do, but it really does matter why you do it. You will have much more passion and drive behind your goal if you are clear about the why!
3. What will it look like and how will I describe it when it is achieved?
Vague goals don’t get achieved, and if you cannot describe how success looks like you have little chance of ever claiming the prize of achievement! If you do not know what a bullseye looks like, it is unlikely you will hit it. Use your imagination – what will it look like? How will I feel? What will the benefits of achieving them be? What will I be saying about it? What will others say it? Envision the outcome – it will make it powerful.
4. What will the milestones look like?
In the same way as the outcome must be clear, you must envision what the different milestones will look like. Alright, it is now the beginning of April, so what exactly will be achieved for each of my goals by the end of June? I implore you to take the time to really crystalize your thinking here. If you do, you will know you are on or off track. Otherwise you wont, and your second, third and fourth quarter could be a similar disappointment to the first!
5. How often will I review?
Without regular reviews you have no chance! In the previous point I spoke about quarterly milestones and I would advocate doing, at the very least, full reviews on those dates. However, that is the minimum – I would strongly advise monthly reviews. That way, you can make changes as you go to ensure you achieve what you set out to achieve.. Waiting for 3 months to find out if you are on course is too long, in my opinion.
Staying on track to achieve your goals this year will ensure that your world will be a better place to live in – isn’t that worth a bit of effort?
John Murphy says
Aaron, thanks for your comments which I fully agree with. You must start with the “why” – everything else can follow after that.