You’ve set your goals for the year, broke them down by month and you have your weekly and daily to do lists. But as you start taking action, it’s so easy to fall into a trap of busyness. Suddenly there are requests coming in from other people, there are things happening around you requesting your attention and there are unplanned emergencies you had no idea will happen “right now”.
The question is, how to stay on track when unexpected happens.
When life happens, you have two options. You can continue with your existing plan and keep adding more and more stuff to it as you go. Chances are that the urgent will eventually take you off track, causing you to miss your goals yet again. Even worse, you might end up in total overwhelm, causing you to lose your focus, energy, time and joy.
But you don’t have to do it this way. You can choose to pause, reevaluate your priorities, adjust your action and move forward with a re-designed plan.
If the second option is your choice, here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you do your check up quickly. This is my personal list of 10 questions that help me stay on the right track and move in the right direction.
1. What are my goals for this year and are they still relevant?
If your answer is no, do the necessary adjustments. Goals and priorities can change and if they do, you want to adjust them as early as possible. Last thing you want is to reach a goal just to find out that this is NOT what you wanted. Goals determine your focus. Keep them in front of you at all times.
If your answer is yes, move to the next question.
2. Are there any new opportunities that came up since my last check up?
Make a list of ALL the opportunities that came up and evaluate them. Is there anything you should pursue or are these just distractions? Are they derailing you from your original goals or are they aligned with what you want to achieve?
3. What are the major obstacles standing in my way?
What’s stopping you from taking action? What’s standing in your way? What can you do to remove it? Or how can you overcome it? If you’re on a tight time frame, every minute counts. What do you need to say NO to to have more time?
4. How is my progress?
Are you on track to reach your goals or are you falling behind? Are the tasks you’re focusing on helping you to reach your goal or are they keeping you stuck? What can you do differently to improve your results? Get creative!
5. How is my speed?
Is your progress fast enough? Should you speed up? Should you slow down? What can you do to catch up? What can you do to reach your goals faster? Anything that you should stop doing? Is there something you should start doing or do more of?
6. Who is in my inner circle?
Who helps you stay on the right track? Is each of these individuals contributing to your progress or are they slowing you down? Should you let someone go? Do you need to add a person or skill to your inner circle? Who’s missing? Who’s no longer necessary? Don’t get attached. Your inner circle will change as you change.
7. Have I grown?
Is there a visible progress in your life since your last check up? What have you learned? What have you improved? What else can you do to improve? What do you need to stop doing? If you set your goals right, you will need to grow and improve to make them happen. Your personal growth should always be above your goals. Life is not about what you do, but about who you become.
8. Am I happy?
Do you enjoy being right here right now? What is good about this situation? What is exciting about it? What are you learning? What can you do to enjoy this stage more? What’s missing in your life? What should you let go of to increase your happiness? In other words, what’s keeping you miserable? What should you do more of to live a happier life? What should you do less of? Reaching a goal is a short moment in time, journey toward it is much longer. It’s important that you learn to enjoy the journey.
9. Am I making a difference?
Are you just passing through life or are you making a difference? What or whom are you impacting, changing, improving? Are you using your talent to make a difference? What should you do less of to create space for what you are good at? What should you do more of to make a bigger impact?
10. What SHOULD I be doing?
Look at your goals and action plan once again.
What changes or adjustments do you need to make to stay on track? What do you need to stop doing immediately to focus on what’s important? Who or what can help you achieve your goals faster? What do you need to focus on to make a desired impact?
There you have it! Your top 10 questions to keep you on the right track. Do this at least once a month (I suggest once a week). Schedule it on your calendar, add the link to this post and choose to make the necessary course-corrections.
Are you looking for more tips to improve your productivity and efficiency? Check our Planning For Success, the ultimate guide to planning and goal setting.