A third of the year has gone already!

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Time to check in with your goals

It’s hard to believe it, but the first third of the year has already passed – and I thought the year had only just started!

So, the question is … how are your goals going for 2015?

The 1st third mark of the year is an excellent time to take stock of your goals for the year – it’s just enough time to be able to see where you’re headed, how much progress you have (or haven’t) made and to evaluate whether your goals were the right goals to set. But with only a quarter of the year gone, it’s not too late to make changes to your goals and plans if you have to.

So here’s a thought for you, “If at first you don’t succeed” …. well you know how this one ends.

And it’s good to keep this in mind at this stage of the year – if you have failed to make progress on your goals, don’t give up! Review your goals, review your plan and try and try again – if, of course, you think this goal is really important to you. After all, it took Edison over 2000 attempts to design the incandescent light bulb, so imagine where we would be if he had given up after his first or even 1000th failure!

The message here is don’t give up. NEVER. EVER. Just look for a better ending.

So if at first you don’t succeed - analyse, review, plan and re-try. Don’t keep trying the same old thing if the same old thing doesn’t work. Look at why your first attempt wasn’t successful, review your strategy, plan how to do it better and try again.

This process of ‘analyse, review, plan and re-try’ can be done over and over again (2000 times in the case of Edison and his light bulb) until you succeed.

So there are 2 FREE tools I’m going to share with you that can help you on your way – the “Success/ Failure Analysis” tool and the “Goal Progress Review” tool. These are both freely available on our website – or follow the links below.

The Success Failure Analysis

The ToolBOX on the website contains FREE forms, templates and worksheets for all your goal setting needs. In the ”Life Planning Workbook” you’ll find the ‘Success/ Failure Analysis’ tool.

This tool consists of 3 pages.

The first page of the tool is a template for performing a detailed Success/ Failure analysis for a particular task or event, and you can use this page in a couple of different ways.

  • You can record the details of 2 tasks on this page – one success and one failure.
  • Or you can just use one page per event being analysed and chose the relevant column to complete, whether the task was a success or failure.
  • Or you can use one page per event being analysed, and use both columns if some aspects of the task were a success and others were a failure. This is a good approach if there is no definite success or failure status for a particular task.
It doesn’t matter how you use this first page, the important thing is to use the prompts to get down all the relevant information on why the task was a success or a failure. The second page of the tool is a summary page. This is where you write down all the lessons learnt from all your successes and failures. This page shows you YOUR pattern of success – and this is the pattern you need to follow. This page also shows you your pattern of failure – the actions you need to avoid if you want to succeed.

The third page of the tool offers a great explanation on how to complete Page 1 of the tool [the detailed analysis] and includes some trigger questions for you to get to the heart of WHY you succeeded or failed.

The one thing this page doesn’t trigger though is the issue of ‘blame’ – it wasn’t MY fault!

If you want to blame someone or something, then blame them! [not actually to their face though]. BUT, always realise that even if you think someone or something else is to blame for your failures, YOU are still the only person in control of what YOU do. So instead of thinking, “It’s not my fault”, start thinking “How could I have managed that situation better?”.

People who fall into a pattern of blame will also fall into a pattern of failure. But like failure, LEARN from you tendency to blame and learn how to recognise when someone is going to let you down. Ultimately, YOU are the some responsible for your success or failure.

Conversely, during a Success Analysis, you also need to be honest about people who were instrumental in your success and what you can learn from them. For more information on reviewing progress and past performances, refer to the “”How to Achieve” tab on the NavBar, and read through the sections on monitoring goal progress.

Goal Progress Review

In the ”Life Planning Workbook” you’ll also find a Goal Progress Review.

It’s important to review the progress of your goals for several reasons:

  • To see whether you are achieving the deadlines on tasks required to achieve your end goal.
  • To make sure you’re still actually heading in the right direction towards your goal.
  • To make any necessary adjustments to your action plan so that it is still achievable.
  • As motivation – to see what you’ve achieved and that you’re that much closer to achieving your end goal.
It’s also a great way to learn from any mini-successes and failures you may have encountered along the way!

The Goal Progress Review provides a number of prompts to trigger your thoughts on how you are progressing. Now, we adopt the “SMARTer” goal format for setting goals – so our Goal Progress Review tool gets you to review each of these elements to guarantee that your goals stay smart.

So first of all, measureyour goal progress - goals need to be able to be measured so you can monitor progress. How you measure your goal (eg ranking system, actual measure such as weight, etc) should be established at the start of the goal setting process, along with your starting measurement. By determining your current measurement and comparing it with your starting point, you will be able to see whether or not you have progressed towards your goal.

Secondly, are you using your Action Plan - your action plan is your road map to achieving your goal, which is your end destination. If you’re not using your map, how do you expect to get there? Think about how you have set up your action plan and whether there is another method that will suit you better.

You also need to look at whether you’re achieving the deadlines on your action items – if not, why not? Deadlines are there for a reason – to keep up momentum! Perhaps your deadlines were unrealistic (don’t worry, this is common!) or your time has been directed to other more urgent activities – either way, think about why so you can adjust your action plan.

Thirdly, is the goal still relevant - Goals are established based on your situation at the time of setting them. If there has been a significant change in your life, you need to consider whether you are you still able to achieve this goal – or whether you still WANT to. Remember, goals MUST be relevant otherwise you won’t have the motivation to achieve them. Remind yourself why this goal is really important to you, and ask whether this is still the case.

And finally, consider your resourcing - is your level of resourcing (money, time, information, support) adequate? Identify any additional resource needs and where/ how you might find them.

For more information on progress reviews for your goals, refer to the “”How to Achieve” tab on the NavBar.

There are also some great commercial programs you can use to help you keep track of your goals – and if you really have trouble trying to juggle career, family and life in general as well as trying to remember to work on your goals, then I recommend you try one of them.

Anyway, remember that goal setting is a real process that can help you achieve what ever you want to achieve. So take the time to analyse, review and re-plan (or keep your plan on track) – and achieve those goals.

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