At the beginning of each year, there is an all out frenzy to set goals. We do it because we think we should, because everyone else is doing it, and because we hope it will kick us into gear for a productive and successful year. We want to reach all our goals and dream big thinking it will be easy to get there having planned ahead. But as each month passes by, our goals get forgotten, we make slower than anticipated progress, or we just give up on trying to reach them because we feel too far behind.
I’ve been there. In fact, there are several of my goals that I haven’t made much progress on and I am tempted to give up and start again next year. But I’ve learned that goals won’t manage themselves, and taking the time to proactively work towards our goals makes all the difference.
Why you should manage your goals
Like I said, our goals won’t manage themselves. If we don’t tend to our goals, they won’t grow. It’s important to plan for reaching your goals. By scheduling smaller tasks each month that will work towards your goals, you can manage each goal and its progress. Track how far you’ve come since you started and think about how much further you have to go to reach it so you know you are making progress in that goal. If we set goals and then don’t look at them again until the end of the year, they won’t help us. We won’t reach them. They just become words on a paper and dreams that never came true. Managing your goals allows you to be present with your goals all year long.
How to manage your goals
I can tell you to manage your goals all I want, but as with everything else, you need a plan. How can you manage your goals so that you continue to make progress and move in the right direction? First, you need to plan action steps to reach your goals. Whatever planning system you use, be sure to map out how you are going to reach that goal. Next, look at your goals often. Remind yourself of the big picture and what you are trying to achieve so you don’t lose sight of what matters. Last, track your progress. Tracking your progress helps you visually see that you are moving towards the end result and actually getting closer to achieving your goal.
Doing a goal check in
We are almost halfway through the year. Have you done a goal check in? Part of managing your goals is doing a big picture goals check in. It is good to check in with your goals every few months to evaluate where you are at with each goal and if it still aligns with your current season of life. There is nothing wrong with changing a goal, or even eliminating it, as you go through life. At the beginning of the year (or whenever you set goals) you might have one thing in mind that you’d like to work towards that year. But as time passes, that one thing might not pan out or seem as important anymore. Your path might take you in a different direction and that goal may need to be adjusted depending on your season of life. Check in with the goals you set at the beginning of the year and see if you need to make ay adjustments. Are there goals you’ve already reached? Are there ones that just don’t fit in the picture anymore? Are there goals that you need to focus on more or less?