Why and How to Review Your Goals

Anyone who knows me knows I am very focused on accomplishing goals. If I want to live the life I want, I have to take charge and make it happen. No one is going to do it for me. So I am always setting, working toward, accomplishing, and setting more goals.

Setting goals is just a piece of the puzzle. You need to work toward your goals and more importantly, review them regularly. By creating an end date (the date you want to finish your goal) – you can easily plan how you will get there. By reviewing your plan regularly and making adjustments as needed – you have a much better chance for success…. but there is more you need to do.

Whenever anyone starts something new, whether it is to lose weight and get in shape, organize their house, get a new job, etc. they set goals. For example, lets say you want to lose 40 pounds by the end of the summer. Great, now you have a goal! But how are you going to accomplish that? You break it down into manageable pieces and say, OK, to do that, I need to (on average) lose 4 pounds a week for the next 10 weeks. You start your healthy eating, fitness routine, weighing yourself every week. And if you are like most people, will just look at the scale and see your results. Sounds good, right? It’s a good start, but you need to do one more thing. You need to do is look at the scale and see your results relative to your goals.

So you continue each week and you soon realize that you are not losing weight as quickly as you had planned. Why not? Maybe you are not following the plan or maybe the plan you are following is designed so you will lose a healthy 2 pounds a week.

Now you may be frustrated, you may want to give up. You really have 3 choices here: (1) Give up; (2) Step up your game, work out more intensely, starve yourself, or do something else; or (3) Review your goals.

Let’s face it, if you give up, you failed. Is that what you really want? No. If it was, you wouldn’t have started with this plan in the first place. So choice #1 is NOT a good option.

If you start working out more intensely and starving yourself will you lose the weight faster? Maybe, maybe not. If you do lose the weight, it will not be in the most healthy way or your body may just go into a starvation mode – which doesn’t help with weight loss at all. It also may be too intense and you won’t be able to keep up that pace so you end up stopping altogether. So choice #2 is NOT a good option.

That leaves you with choice #3, reviewing your goals. If you just think back a little you will see that you actually DID lose weight at a healthy pace (1-2 pounds a week), you just didn’t lose the weight as quickly as you had planned. The problem isn’t in what you are doing, it is in what you are expecting. The answer? Readjust you goals so that they are achievable in a realistic time period.

How Often Should You Review Your Goals?
I always advise people to review their goals weekly – daily is too frequent as unexpected things happen all the time. Waiting longer than a week is too infrequent because you want to make any adjustments before too much time has lapsed.

How To Review Your Goals
When you are reviewing your goals, ask yourself the following:

  1. Are the tasks doable in the amount of time I have planned? Adjust the time needed to be more accurate.
  2. Is the end date realistic? Can you really accomplish this by your original end date or is this just a wish. Make sure your end date is realistic and change it if you need to.
  3. Is there any obstacle or anything else that can interfere with accomplishing my goal? If so, how do I adjust for this? The more you think about these and plan for them ahead of time, the easier it is to get them out of the way.

Do you review your goals regularly?

(Photo credits: pixabay/4/post_its_1434629987-e1434630074511.jpg)

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