The beginning of a new year typically represents new beginnings in our lives. We clean the slate, set new goals, and aspire to accomplish something meaningful. To leverage this time of the year, I suggest that you ask yourself four questions:
The fourth question is, When and How Will You Evaluate Growth Progress? Evaluating progress is essential to reaching your goals. Without the evaluation process, we wake up in 12 months wondering where the year went and why we failed to reach our goals. Here’s a few thoughts to consider when evaluating growth progress:
1. Develop a Clear Timeline – Every growth goal needs a deadline. Goals without deadlines are procrastination waiting to happen. Therefore, the first key to evaluating progress is to ensure the action steps in your growth plan have a clear timeline–is it a yearlong goal, 3-month goal, 30-day goal? Without a timeline, everything will stack up in the month of December and make your goal virtually impossible to reach.
2. Enter Your Growth Plan Into Your Calendar – Once your growth plan is complete, enter each specific action step into your calendar. Once each step is on your calendar, it gives you permission to forget your growth plan without forgetting to grow–your calendar will automatically remind you when it’s time to get started. This will also help you space out your growth steps to ensure you’re not trying to do too much at one time.
3. Involve Your Accountability Partners in Quarterly Check-Ups – While accountability partners provide regular support, a quarterly growth check-up can serve as a more intensive evaluation step in the process. It can also provide greater perspective and help you catch shortcomings and make mid-course corrections before the end of the year arrives.
Questions: Have you answered the four growth questions to start your new year? In what areas do you want to grow? How do you plan to grow? Who is holding you accountable to grow? When and how will you evaluate your progress?