We are entering the third month of 2018, which means, we are about to complete the first quarter. Since I’m an educator, and grew up within a family of educators, my brother and I learned the concept of quarters very early. Every school year was broken into four quarters, so, every quarter, we received grades on our job, which was school. Our parents set high expectations for us, and we were expected to deliver the results based on the goals we collectively set for ourselves. I learned about the value of setting goals, reflection, and refocusing to meet an end result at an early age through trial and error. As we close out the first quarter of 2018 my question for you is: what about your goals? What goals did you set for this year, and as we approach the third month of this year what is your grade? Whether you have set a long-term or short-term goal, it is critical that you take inventory of where you are periodically.
In this article, we will discuss four key strategies that can be used to refine our journey through the first quarter of our best year yet!!
1.) Press Pause – So often when balancing our career, and all that life brings, we are often moving so fast that we don’t even realize that life is happening right before our eyes. It’s those moments when one second it’s Monday, and the next minute, it’s Friday. When we continue to live and work at this pace, we lose sight of our goals. I love this quote:
“Practice the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.” – Unknown
We live in a society where we often feel that we have to always “press play” to keep up or to compete with someone else. The truth is, the only person we are in competition with is ourselves. We can be our own worst enemy by failing to slow down, pressing pause, and taking a moment to just reflect on ourselves. This piece is critical to being successful. If you think that you need assistance with making time to do this, make an appointment on your calendar for reflection time. Sometimes, this could be the drive into or from work. It could be when you are soaking in the bathtub; only you know when. I strongly urge you to take some time to press pause to truly reflect on your journey.
2.) Reflect & Assess Your Progress – Now that you have taken the time to Press Pause, take out a laptop, iPAD, or a notepad, and self-reflect on the following questions:
- What are my goals? Put them in categories if you haven’t done so already. Let’s start with professional and personal.
- What is my deadline for reaching my goals?
- As I complete quarter one of 2018, what actions have led to goal attainment success?
- As I complete quarter one of 2018, what actions have not helped me to achieve my goal?
- What distracted me?
- What are my next steps to do better with my goals in Quarter 2?
- Now – set the exact date and time that you will reassess your journey in Quarter 2 (*Hint – this should be a date in June).
3.) Clarify Your Vision– So, what I mean by this is, actually revisit your written version of your vision, including what each result looks like for your goal, and be specific. If your goal is to lose weight, revisit exactly what that will look like, and exactly what behaviors accompany that goal to ensure sustainability over time. For example, if that was my goal, I might write:
My goal is to lose 10 pounds by June. The evidence of achieving this goal will be in:
- Smaller size in clothing
- Living a healthy lifestyle
- Eating healthy: cooking more, and eating less fast food
- Drinking more water
- Establishing and maintaining a set schedule for exercising
Remember, the purpose of clearing your vision is to be accountable to ourselves, and to have a clear picture of what we plan to achieve. We want our goals to create a better lifestyle. By writing down our thoughts, and vision, we become conscious of our own actions so that we have a true personal blueprint on how to move towards personal greatness.
4.) Reset Your Goal-Setting Path – After reflecting on your work so far in 2018, both professionally and personally, it is important that you take the time to reset and re-align your actions with your goals. Sometimes our initial path is not the one that will get us to the goal. I saw something on Instagram that said, “Change your journey to the goal, never the goal. When plan B doesn’t work, you still have C-Z!” We often distract ourselves by thinking that we didn’t reach a goal because we had an idea of how we should get there. The lesson is in the journey. Don’t be afraid to reset and continue on your desideratum.
By pressing pause, assessing your progress, and clearing your vision, you will be able to visually see the roadmap of your personal and professional actions that impact goal attainment. By making the invisible visible, you will be able to pinpoint and perfect precise behaviors that can be replicated to create a cycle of consecutive wins in your life. Take some time today to begin this process to continue to the planning process for your best year yet!
SEE PART 1 OF THIS 2 PART SERIES.