October Surprise: A Reality Check for Your 2012 Goals
There about two months left in 2012, and I need to ask: Are the goals you set at the beginning of the year on track for success? The other day I was on the phone with one of my mentors and he stopped talking for a moment. It was actually a little uncomfortable as a break in the conversation can sometimes be. Then he stated, "You need to build more pauses in your life." His point is that sometimes we get wrapped up in the craziness of running to the next item on our calendar and forget to take time to focus, or re-focus, so we can achieve what we stated we wanted to. So with 2013 looming fast, it's time to pause, and see where you are in your plans for 2012. Are you on track to achieving your goals?
We all know goal setting is important. There are books, articles and classes to help you set well-thought out, achievable goals. However, for goal setting to serve its purpose, goal achievement becomes critical.
So how do you vastly improve your odds of achieving goals? One of my favorite tools is what I call the "Weekly Debrief." This one simple, straightforward process has significantly enhanced my goal achievement, and serves as one of the planned pauses in my work week. For me this pause happens on Thursdays. Every Thursday morning I stop for 60 to 90 minutes to look at my week so far. Are my efforts for the week on track? What have I worked on so far this week compared to what I planned? How is my network supporting me, or not? I even look through my "sent" emails to see what actions I've taken during the week and to trigger what I may need to follow up on. During this review I take notes on what I need to improve, continue, accelerate, or remove from my list.
With this historical snapshot in place, I'm ready for the next critical part in the Weekly Debrief. Now is the time to look forward and review the upcoming eight weeks, a review of the next two months out. During this review I double check what's on my calendar including meetings, speeches, events, and travel I have coming up. I reflect on how to prepare for these events. Again, quick notes focus me on goal achievement two months out. . . starting now.
My last forward review highlighted two triathlons I currently have scheduled. Knowing this, seeing these competitions on my schedule immediately gives me motivation to stay with my training, to step up where I might be falling short even now, two months early, increasing my motivation to take action now so I can achieve success later.
The Weekly Debrief review helps identify where you can take action now so you can experience success and goal achievement. Adding this weekly pause into your schedule allows you to keep your goals on track so you can experience your best efforts and achieve exactly what you want to now and in the future-an opportunity to pause, reflect, stretch, and think even bigger. Celebrate your successes and anticipate even more in your future -- two months out and beyond.