It’s the end of the month; do you know where you are in respect to your goals? Many of us set New Year’s resolutions back in January and they fade away as time and life goes on, does this mean they are any less important now that the year is more than half over? We set goals on what we want to accomplish in our jobs, projects have expected benefits (goals under another name) and we have hopes for where our careers will go over time. How often do we stop and review where we are on these paths?
The time management literature tells us we should review our tasks and projects regularly, be it daily or weekly. This is very true and is important to keeping you focused on doing the things that need to be done and making sure your actions are aligned with your priorities. There is a bigger piece to this which is to stop and reflect on the priorities. If you have the goal of moving up to the next level on your organizations ladder, you need to be doing the right things to get you exposure and experience that will prepare you for that role. This is a focus on things that are down the road a ways and yet if you are not taking the right steps now you will never get there.
Another reason for doing this kind of goal checks is to see if the path you have started down is still the right one for you. New possibilities can pull you into new directions and without focusing on what it means to you can lead to missed opportunities. It’s possible that you had envisioned moving into Position A in a year or two, but you’ve just become aware of another area in your organization that has captured your attention. This was unknown to you previously and you find yourself drawn to it. Reflecting on what is drawing you to that area and what made you want to reach Position A will help you decide which path you should take.
As you get in the habit of checking your task list and project lists each day and week create the habit of checking on your goals regularly. For some this may be weekly and for others it may be monthly, just do it frequently enough that you are moving in the right direction. View these checks as the opportunity to do course corrections as you move forward in your life. Accomplishing a lot of things that don’t get you to where you want to be is frustrating and discouraging, while getting closer to your goals is energizing and makes you want to get out of bed and tackle each day.
How do you make sure you are progressing towards your goals, particularly the longer range ones? Please share your best tips.