How to Review Your Goals
In my post last week, I talked about how to set and accomplish your goal. In it, I covered how to identify the goals that you are passionate about that you’ll want to work towards them past the second week of the year. I also talk about how I set goals and make them SMART and how accountability makes all the difference. I also have a workbook I am a Goal Digger all about it. You can get it here.
In this post, I want to talk to you about the importance of reviewing your goals, and as an example, I’ll show you how I review mine. But before I start with how I want you to take a moment and consider why is it required in the first place. Why should we review our goals?
Many of us set goals at the beginning of the year and somewhere down the line we change, things change, life happens, and before you know it, we are staring at the goals at the end of the year and are surprised at how different it all looks. Some goals are entirely forgotten, and for some, we are far from ever achieving them. I think that’s another reason why many of us fail and many of us don’t set goals altogether. It’s all too much work.
Well, let me break it to you. If you want to achieve anything, it will require hard work. There is no escaping it. What can be done about it is taking it one step at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Sometime you will fall behind, and someday you will feel overwhelmed, and that’s okay. Take some time off, reassess and get back on the horse, so to say. And this can be done by regularly staying in touch with your goals.
So, how often should you be reviewing your goals?
I review my goals daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. That may be a bit much for some of you, but it works for me. And that’s what’s the point. Review your goals as often as it works for you.
I feel energized by reviewing my goals often. The power and effect of making progress towards my goals fuel me to keep going. I love looking at the progress and knowing that what I am doing each day is adding up and nothing is in vain.
So, here is how I review my goals:
In my post how to set and accomplish your goal I shared with you how I set my goals so you know that I have my goals neatly put in the buckets under 0-24 months, 2-5 years, and 5+ years categories and further dive into 0-24 months 90 days, 120 days, and 270 days based on the time the goals will take. I then look at the goals and reverse-engineer them into daily micro goals and daily tasks.
At the beginning of the week, I have my goals laid out and the what I need to do each day. At the end of the day, I look at how much I was able to do, what needs to change and move things around if needed.
I spend about 15 minutes at the start of the day and 15 minutes at the end of the day on this activity.
At the beginning of the week I set the micro-goals for the week, and at the end, I see how much was done and if I can take up more or I need to back up a little. Doing this is possible because I have the big goals laid out in front of me and also allows me to change and pivot if I need to.
At the end of the week, I spend about 30-40 minutes to take stalk of what was and what is and to plan the next week.
This follows more or less the same pattern as the weekly review. At the monthly reviews I spend a little more time and also take into account the things that are not working or if some goals need to be dropped or some need to be re-arranged. It’s nice to do this on a monthly basis because if there is something that needs to be cut or changed I can do it at this time and not be surprised or disheartened at the end of the year.
At the end of the month, I spend about 45-60 minutes to take the big picture and each micro-goals. Look at what happened and what needs to happen in the next month. I also take this time to chalk out the weekly and monthly goals for the next month during these sessions.
This again is more or less just like the monthly review, but here I am looking at three months at a time. Rest of the review process stays pretty much the same, but the vision is broader.
At the end of the quarter, I spend about 60-75 minutes on the last quarter and the next quarter. Here is when I make significant changes to my goals. If I feel something is not working out, I will drop it, and if there is something new that needs to be done, I’ll add it to my goals. I am very particular about my quarterly review sessions because over a period I have seen the importance of this review session. I have saved myself from major setbacks by taking stalk of things during these sessions and pivoting.
This is the session where I sit back and look at how far I have come. I spend a lot of time looking at things that worked and the things that didn’t. I also like to see the why behind what worked and what didn’t. It helps me avoid any mistakes while setting the goals for next year.
At the end of the year, I spend around 4-5 days reviewing my goals. That is not to say I spend all day on review only. I spend a few hours each day for 4-5 days reviewing goals and making new ones for next year.
I schedule every review - daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly reviews in my calendar with a reminder and this time is non-negotiable. I am very particular about it and treat it as a meeting I would have with a client or a manager. I do allow rescheduling because let’s be honest life happens but canceling them is not an option.
So what is it that I actually do in each of these reviews?
I have a set template that I use at each review session which looks something like this:
- A report on the progress.
- Notes of what worked, what didn’t, if I tried something new, etc.
- What worked/what I am proud of and what needs more attention.
- Goals for next day/week/month/quarter/year along with 1-3 focus points/goals.
- Notes on goals that are far stretched, i.e., 2-5 years, and 5+ years categories but I am working on them.
This is just the way I review my goals. I invite you to try it and finetune it to suit you and your requirements. If you don’t like something this formal, you can do this in your journal, and that works too. The point is to look at your goals frequently.
I find that when goals are aligned to the core of our innermost desires, we are far more likely to achieve them verse when they are set by others. So, it’s important to stay connected with your goals.
I hope this helps you a little if you are looking to make some change in your life and you want to go after what you want.
Next, in this goal series, I will share how I set my to-dos.
Meanwhile, I’d love to hear from you, do you review your goals if yes, what is your process? Leave me a comment below and let's get the conversation started.