Remember back in January? The year was new, and the smell of promise and fresh beginnings were in the air. This year will be different, you told yourself. This year, you’ll accomplish a lot. So you made yourself a list of goals. Maybe you were going to learn a new technology, or move into a new position, or just accomplish workaday things that needed to get done in the office.
And then life happened. Unplanned things came up, diversions manifested or you just lost some of your earlier discipline. Whatever the cause, if you aren’t where you thought you’d be, you can go all GPS on it and recalculate the route.
To get back on track, you have to be really honest. Don’t kick yourself down, but certainly call a spade a spade. Set aside some time and go over your list of goals. Why didn’t you accomplish what you set out to accomplish? Once you know, from a root cause level, why you are not meeting your goals, then you can start to address them.
Were some of them just too unrealistic? Those are almost the best kind. Once you can concede that you aren’t Superman or Wonder Woman, you can plan accordingly. A lot of us tend to over-promise and under-deliver, not because we’re congenital liars but because we’re just too optimistic and a little short on tangible data. At least for me, this has been a lifelong challenge that I’ve only gotten marginally better at facing in recent years. I blame the Chinese zodiac.
Unrealistic goals probably point to a lack of thinking through the task to fairly granular levels. Say you want to build a fence. That project needs to be broken down into smaller parts: research, tools, materials, etc. Then those will get broken down into even smaller bits. For example, research: look online at DIY sites, visit the library or bookstore, lunch with a friend who’s a carpenter.
A lot of what you’ll find is that unexpected higher priorities crop up. That’s fine. The secret is to readjust based on the new tasks that were added to your list. That will make sure the important stuff is continually being knocked out, and less important things move to their rightful place at the back of the line.
Hope this little reminder helps. Let’s revisit again in December.