The best way to make things happen is to clearly define them and ensure you constantly track them.
As we approach the first 60 days of a new year, challenge yourself to stop and notice how things are going. Ask yourself:
- Did you clearly define what you want to do, achieve or be in 2020?
- What’s working in your actions to achieve what you want for 2020?
- What’s not working in your actions to achieve what you want for 2020?
Each month can serve as a great review point to help you assess your progress. When things seem to be going well, take the time to applaud yourself for your successes. When things feel stuck or not moving as fast as you’d like, take the time to make any realignments or changes necessary to achieve your goals.
Let’s look at an example to see how you can apply this to your specific goals and actions.
Let’s say that your focus for the first 60 days of 2020 was to listen more effectively to your employees. Your specific goal was to look at the people you work with when they talk to you to get better at comprehending the information they are sharing while also improving your connection with them. You want to increase your attention by looking at them instead of trying to do several things at once. Good goal.
60 days into this goal, how are you doing?
Before you can confidently state that you’re doing well or not, create a list of what’s working and what’s not working.
Review what is working in the way you are listening. List the changes or improvements you are making and the impact on your communication with others. Why are they working? How will you keep these going?
Then, review what is not working in the way you are listening. Select something from this list and brainstorm ways to improve it. You may consider leaving a note on your computer that reminds you to stop working and look at your employee. You may consider sharing with employees that you want them to remind you when they see you are not present and listening. You may consider making it a requirement to repeat back or paraphrase what employees say to you as means to force yourself to pay closer attention. From this list of options, select one, build a plan and go implement it.
Then use the next month end (or sooner if your goal is more urgent) to review your progress.
Use this approach to check-in on yourself for any goal you identify. If you decided it was important enough to create a goal in 2020, it is important enough to create a review process to assess your progress.
Most of the time, we miss our goals is because our old habits take over. Interrupt your habits by creating a stronger and shorter review process so you are clearer about your progress and faster in your review to be able to do more of what is working or to realign if necessary.
Create a goal follow-up process to be sure you are making progress. Celebrate successes. Brainstorm new approaches to missed goals. Know your progress and you will rock your goals in 2020, whether personal or professional.
By Jay Forte
Consider reading You Can’t Improve on Something You Don’t Measure