6 questions you can ask to stay motivated, in control, and on track to excel
We often spend time and energy crafting/aligning on goals and priorities, but then lose track in the intensity of getting things done. Which describes the status of your goals?
- Don’t have any (yet) (don’t give up – it’s not too late!)
- I forgot what my goals are or where to find them…
- My goals aren’t relevant anymore
- My goals are top of mind and guide my work
Regardless of where you are with your goals (I’m hoping for answer D), mid-year is a great time to check in and see how you are tracking. I do it to make sure that I am focused on priorities rather than getting swept up in those urgent unplanned fire-drills and constant allure of in-the-moment problem solving. If you haven’t created goals, consider your big projects and tasks and make a quick list of the biggest priorities on your plate for 2019.
I use these 6 questions to stay motivated, in control, and on track to excel:
- 1. PRIORITIZE: Are my goals ranked so that I’m working on the most important thing first? (Consider re-ranking and/or renegotiating as things change)
- 2. PROGRESS: What progress have I made so far? I set up meetings with myself across the year to review goals status. I love jotting down a few accomplishments no matter how small they may be.
- 3. PLAN: What upcoming milestones or deadlines should I set for myself to stay on track? What has changed, and do I need to adapt my goals?
- 4. PITFALLS: I note any obstacles I foresee with my goals (e.g. resources, timing, budgets) and solicit input to take ownership of issues before they happen. This has helped me re-negotiate deliverables OR find the help and resources needed in advance.
- 5. PRODUCE: Are there any goals/deliverables I have already achieved? Congrats to me! I jot down some notes about how I was able to complete these goals and let my team know. (Sometimes this achievement creates space and energy for a stretch assignment…yay!)
- 6. (Out) PERFORM: With a few months left until the end of the year, I ask myself: what new actions/steps could take my performance from MEETS to EXCEEDS? Then I take ownership for driving that.
I used to treat goal-setting as just a pro-forma exercise to get through…but now I know it can be an essential mechanism for personal drive, engagement and plenty of high-fives!
Tres Jiménez Fontaine