How are you doing on your 2017 Goals? You know, those goals you enthusiastically set back in January. How have you progressed? Are you still moving forward? Are your time targets still in line with your progression?
We have entered our sixth month of 2017. This is a great time to look back over your goals and evaluate where you are in comparison to where you want to be and then make adjustments. It is time for your half-time locker room breakdown.
In basketball or football, each team uses half-time to reevaluate where they are, where they want to be, and how to best get there. They may make adjustments in their plan. They discuss new obstacles that may have come into play. Then they go back on the field to reach their goal of winning that game.
I would encourage you to schedule a half-time sometime this month. Before you start the second half of the 2017 game, evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and make proper adjustments to reach your goal. You may have experienced obstacles in these past six months that you did not anticipate back in January. If so, make adjustments to overcome these new obstacles.
Here are a few tips as you go into the locker room for your half-time:
- Make sure you distinguish between goals and focus goals.
You may have several goals for the year, but it is impossible to focus on numerous goals at a time. Pick one to four (three is better than four, two is better than three, one is better than two, and zero is better than nothing) focus goals that will get your focused attention no matter what. You may accomplish some of the others as well. The others are not forgotten, but you can only focus your attention on one to four of your goals. Without focus, you are much less likely to accomplish your goals. Do not be impressed with how many goals you have. Be impressed with how far you have come in reaching one or two significant goals. At half-time, teams do not typically discuss the whole season, they focus in on one game. I would encourage you to follow their example.
Here are three tips as you go into the locker room for your half-time evaluation:
- Get some accountability.
If you are working alone, I encourage you to find someone who will hold you accountable in reaching your goals. It is too easy to justify exceptions when we have no one to hold us accountable. Find someone who cares about you and the goals you have set.
Hire a coach. A coach can help you set goals, do more than you would have done on your own, and improve focus as to produce results more quickly. At half-time, a coach helps the team and individual players become clearer, more confident, and maximize their potential. Andy Stanley says this about coaching:
You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without outside input, you will never be as good as you could be. We all do better when somebody is watching and evaluating.
We have a tendency to measure ourselves against the people around us. They become our point of reference. A good coach will evaluate your performance against your potential. A coach helps you measure your performance against your strengths instead of against someone else’s. (2003, pp. 104, 106)
A well-trained coach can better help you identify where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there.
- Make sure you are working your goals through a plan.
It is more than just saying you have a goal. What is your process for achieving your goal or goals? Here is a simple five-step process I developed. I use the word G.O.A.L.S. as an acronym.
G: Goal-Write down your focus goal. There is a psychological effect to writing down (not just typing) your goals that makes a stronger mental impression. Write it down in a positive, present tense, and measurable format.
O: Obstacles-List your obstacles. What is keeping you from reaching your goal? Especially identify those obstacles that you have just noticed over the past six months.
A: Action Steps-List the action steps you need to take in order to reach your goal. You should have at least one action step for every obstacle you need to overcome. No goal comes true without action.
L: Little Bit Of Help-List who and what can help you reach your goal. People, books, classes, degrees, mentors, and coaches are all examples of getting a little bit of help. If you can reach your goal on your own, it is not a big enough goal.
S: Set A Date-Write down the date you will have your goal accomplished. A goal without a date is just a dream, but a dream with a date can become a reality. When will you accomplish your focus goal?
Again, I would not work all of your goals through this process. However, your focus goals need to be worked through a goals achievement process, either the one I shared with you here or another one. (You can find more information on the goals process I shared above in my book, GOALS: Godly Objectives Assuring Lasting Significance.)
So, are you ready for your half-time? Are you ready to reevaluate your game and make the needed adjustments? If so, you will greatly increase your chances of winning (reaching your goals). Then we can celebrate the victory!!!
Stanley, Andy (2003). The Next Generation Leader. Multmonah, Sisters, OR.
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