I hope you have been squeezing the most fun, passion and challenge possible out of each of YOUR 365 so far this year – I know I have! Now that it’s the end of January, it’s time to stop and take stock of the progress you’ve made and make course corrections if necessary. 8.5% of YOUR 365 has passed, but you still have 91.5% of the year left to climb your personal mountains and reach the summit of your achievements!
If you used SMART goals (and I hope you did!) in setting your plans in motion, the T is of course “time sensitive” – so here are some tools to use to evaluate your trip so far.
Monthly Goals: If you made individual monthly goals for yourself, make sure that you take a good amount of time and clearly evaluate your wins and losses in January. Chances are you were not able to click off every item on the list, but put giant, bold and happy check marks next to every specific task or goal you achieved. Next, reward yourself! If you achieved more than half of your goals, have a nice lunch with a friend soon. If you achieved more than 75% of your goals, take your spouse or significant out for a great dinner. If you have check marks by everything on the list – Wow! Take an afternoon to go to a spa, take your family to a theme park, or go hiking somewhere you’ve always wanted to go! One of the best ways to continue positive results is to reinforce the behaviors you exhibited in January by linking those acts with some fun on the other end – rewards are important! After you take in your success, take a deep breath, and start again renewed in February with your goals clearly in your sights!
Quarterly Goals: If you set up quarterly mile posts, now is the time to take a look at your progress closely. You should be at least 33% down the path on your mission. If you are ahead – great! Make sure you understand why you are ahead (accidental or intended) and either continue your behaviors (if everything worked as planned) or modify them slightly (to account for the unexpected situations that helped you stay on course). If you are not at 33% yet, you must modify your behaviors very soon. Each day you wait puts you further behind the curve. This is a real DANGER ZONE! The biggest criminal in goal achievement is the feeling that “I will never be able to make it – I don’t have the time to make up the ground I’ve lost!” Those feelings of negativity will take hold quickly if you let them. Remember that YOU are in control of YOUR 365 – let nothing dissuade you from your path – you are the windshield, not the bug! Make course adjustments quickly and keep your hands on the wheel!
Annual Goals: Annual goals are deceiving…sounds like you have plenty of time to get there…no problem, right? Don’t fall into this trap! You must be 8.5% toward your goal minimum – preferably 10% toward it. Why? Because as you climb your personal mountain the “mountain goats” will start to appear and try and knock you off. These nasty critters come in many forms – unexpected setbacks, waning seif confidence, low energy levels, changes in work or personal situations. Any or all of these will come up during YOUR 365 – be ready for them and plan to defend yourself against the mountain goats. The best way to keep them at bay is to stay AHEAD of your planned timeline, not behind. If you are doing well in January and are on track, DO NOT take your foot off the gas! Get as far ahead of your plan as possible because trouble is just around the next bend of your mountain. If you are prepared, the goats will be a nuance instead of a hindrance to your success.
Continue to focus on maximizing each of YOUR 365 – each day is precious and a tiny piece of the puzzle of your goal plan. You have the power and the ability to do this – believe it! Make this year the one you’ve always wanted – it’s up to YOU!
If I can be of help, don’t hesitate to ask!