Checking In On 2017 Goals by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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Way back in January, you set your yearly goals. January is an exciting time for many people, as it offers the chance to start over with a clean slate. You get to think about all the exciting and productive things you plan to do for the year, and put those ideas and goals on paper.

The time you spend making goals in January is wasted, however, if you aren’t revisiting those goals throughout the year. October marks the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year, and is the perfect opportunity to check in once more on those yearly goals. We’re three quarters of the way through the year, and moving into the home stretch on accomplishing our goals. Here are some tips on conducting your check in.goal

  1. Be honest. When you review your progress, don’t skip over anything. Take a hard look and what you said you would do compared to what you’ve actually done.
  2.  It’s likely you’ve met some of your goals, and can clearly see that you’ll meet others by year’s end. Take the time to celebrate crossing the finish line on goals and being on track to complete others.
  3.  Track what got in your way. You may find that you haven’t reached, or are not on track to reach, some of your other goals. Take a look at the obstacles that kept you from being where you wanted to be as you move into the fourth quarter. Some of your obstacles may be self-inflicted, while others may be completely out of your control.
  4.  Make adjustments for the final quarter. Where you’re lagging behind, evaluate the adjustments you should make to make up for the lag. If you find that it isn’t possible to meet the original goal, adjust the goal so that you’re still striving for improvement. Press the reset button and accomplish the most that you can for the remainder of the year.

Don’t give up on your goals. Even when you see that you can’t meet your original goals by year end, it’s unwise to totally scrap the goal. If you’ve found that a goal you set at the beginning of the year is no longer relevant to your success, replace it with a more relevant goal and keep moving forward. If you can’t accomplish all that you wanted for the year, make the most of the time you have left and do the very best you can. If you’ve given a goal all your effort, you still have plenty to celebrate at year end.

The First Quarter Check In by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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Time flies when you’re having fun, and the first quarter of the New Year has flown! Can you believe that you’re already one quarter of the way through 2017? images

The end of the first quarter means it’s time to check up on the goals you set at the beginning of the year. By this point, you should be able to see measurable progress toward the results you desire.

Take the time to really sit down and go over each goal, as well as how you’ve progressed toward meeting these. If results are where you would expect these to be, take the time to celebrate.

However, if you haven’t made as much progress as you had hoped, it’s time for some evaluation. Measure the difference between where you hoped to be at this point in the year and where you are. List the obstacles that got in your way, along with solutions for how you will overcome those obstacles in the remainder of the year.

Each year is divided into perfect quarters, but progression toward our goals rarely follows this exact pattern. If you’re behind, you have time to catch up, and there may even be reasons why you would expect to be less than one quarter of the way to your goal at this point. If that’s the case, you know you must be prepared to pick up the pace for the rest of the year.

If appropriate, remember to share the progress with your team members who contribute to the goal. Keeping them informed of where you are, and offering suggestions on how to move forward as needed to make the goals can keep the momentum going throughout the year. Have them share their ideas and the obstacles they see, along with how they’ll be prepared to overcome these. It’s easy to lose sight of yearly goals if you aren’t regularly documenting progress and talking about how to keep moving forward.

Monitoring progress is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you meet your goals. Never lose sight of the progress you’ve made, and never fail to plan for what lies ahead.

The Importance of Metrics by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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It’s that time of year! Everyone is back at the gym, and making all sorts of resolutions about how they’re going to change their life in 2017. Resolutions are great, and a new year does offer all of us the chance to hit the “reset” button by setting some new goals and making some much needed changes.

However, we’ve all seen resolutions broken and new plans abandoned sometime in February or March. One of the best ways to help ensure your goals for the year don’t get thrown by the wayside is to measure and track your forward movement. We often get discouraged about meeting our goals because we don’t see progress. Here are some ways setting up metrics can help you.index

  • Metrics let you know where you started. In order to track your progress on any goal, you must make note of your starting point. When you feel discouraged about your progress, look back at where you’ve started for reassurance.
  • Metrics help you set intermittent goals. Small goals that add up to big goals can help you stay focused and prevent burnout. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, set milestones of 10 pounds, for example. When you reach each ten pound goal, you feel energized to keep going.
  • Metrics pull you back on track. If you set goals and appropriate measurements to follow, you’ll see when your efforts are not where you expected them to be. By taking an honest look at the metrics, you can see how to get back on track.
  • Metrics give you reason to celebrate. How can you know when you’ve done well if you don’t measure your efforts? Metrics let you know when you have reason to celebrate, helping you stay motivated and ensuring you feel good about your efforts.

So, as you’re busy setting goals for the New Year, remember to set up some ways to measure your progress against those goals. Don’t forget, as well, to set some reminders so that you remember to take regular measurements. Tracking your progress as you move toward your goals is the easiest and most effective way to keep yourself on track as you work to meet your 2017 goals.