This is a time when our readers from the USA and Canada look forward for the short vacation during their national holidays. Enjoy your short vacation if you have one! We are also half way through the year 2017, as unbelievable as it may be, and a great time to take a snapshot of our yearly goals and see how we are doing.
But first things first. Do you have yearly goals? Because if you don’t, that’s one thing you really should start setting out every year. Since we are at the half year, you can put on paper what are three (and no more) objectives you want to achieve by the end of year 2017.
If you already have goals for this year, how are you doing? There are actually a few possibilities:
- You Already Gave Up
This can happen for several reasons:
- your goals aren’t specific enough. For example “I want to be healthier.“. How? By losing weight? Doing more exercise? Eating healthier? Doing routine check ups and taking care of any illness?
- they are not measurable. For instance “I want to lose weight.“. How much?
- your goals are not achievable. Can you name the steps that can make you achieve your goals in the given time frame (by the year’s end)? If you can’t, the goals are probably not achievable.
- they are unrealistic. Like “Without investing any money, I want to become a millionaire by the year’s end.“. Here I’ve seen the argument that a realistic goal can be a 5% increase on the previous year’s results. However, a leap will come if you strive for a 50% increase, even if you nearly miss that goal.
- you weren’t serious when you set out the goals, so you haven’t considered any of the points above
- you have too many yearly goals; three important ones are enough
- you didn’t break your goals into smaller, shorter-term goals
- you didn’t measure your goals’ progress
- you were serious when you set out the goals, and they are well defined, but an outside influence (like losing your primary source of income), set you back for a while; make sure you don’t use this as an excuse to not achieving your objectives
- you decide to completely drop a goal and replace it with another, based on new information and evolution that becomes available in time; again, this shouldn’t be done often because that means we don’t proactively take actions, but instead react to whatever the environment throws at us, or that our long term goals are not well defined
If you are behind the schedule, that means you have to first understand why that happened. Was it because you haven’t put in the passion or effort into it? Was it because you neglected it in favor of a different goal? What worked and what didn’t? After you reach a conclusion, take some extra necessary steps in the next 6 months to make up for the difference you lost during the first half of the year.
That’s great, take a moment to celebrate your half-year victory! Then consider this: if it felt easy to reach this goal, maybe you aren’t pushing yourself enough.
Wow, awesome! There are two possibilities here: you either hit the nail on the head on this goal and had exponential growth, or your goal was not ambitious from the start, in which case, maybe you can try reaching higher next time. The issue with higher goals is they can be scary. For some, you need to think outside of the box, and people rarely like to do that, because it pushes them away from the comfort zone. But for all goals that seem scary at first, the solution is to break them down to smaller goals and start working on those. I’ve done it many times: a project I keep postponing because it looks scary big, suddenly becomes a pleasure working on when I start breaking it down to pieces and focus on completing small one-day tasks.
If you keep track (hmm, this word again?) of you yearly goals, the snapshot should be easy to take and it will be revealing for your evolution.