Monitoring progress towards your goal is not a one-off step but a continuous process. I mentioned in step 6 that there are a few important things that you need to bear in mind and apply alongside the big shiny goal process if you want to succeed. These aren’t strictly part of the process but they are crucial if you want to stay on the right path, not waste time or fail:
- Evaluate: You must keep reviewing, assessing and monitoring your progress as I wrote about in a previous article: https://www.pamwarren.co.uk/personal-blog/assess-like-the-ancient-egyptians/
It’s no good reviewing every few days, or even weeks as that won’t be long enough to show results and may well dishearten you. I think 3-6 months is a good period – 3 months to check you are on track and make tweaks if necessary, 6 months to evaluate what is working and what is not. Monitoring progress should become a natural part of the process of moving towards your goal.
- Stay focussed. New ideas will come along all the time or other people will proffer advice about what you should be doing. Do not get distracted.
By all means, if something new crops up consider it but make sure you go back to all your lists to see if it really fits in anywhere. Don’t try to make it fit, if there is no natural place for it then it’s probably not going to help and is just taking up your time.
With ‘people advice’ remember they are not you. You have worked out your own big shiny goal process based on your inner most thoughts, beliefs, priorities and views on your own life. They are not privy to this so their advice should only be considered or adopted if it truly resonates (makes you sing) with what you have discovered about yourself.
- Don’t beat yourself up. To err is human. If, when you are evaluating, you find you’ve taken a wrong path or some of your actions turn out to be the wrong ones or, even if you’ve changed your mind don’t berate yourself or the process.
I thought I wanted to be an events manager until I got there, I then thought I wanted to be a project manager until I got there too. It has taken me all these years to change my own processes (and a lot of deep soul searching) to get on my right path which I now know it is as it excites me all of the time.
Either go back through all of your steps/lists and amend them or acknowledge and own where you have gone wrong and start again. This part of monitoring progress is about staying true to your values but not being afraid to change direction if needed.
- Celebrate the small stuff. If you refuse to acknowledge even the smallest steps you take towards your big shiny goal the process will become very dull and monotonous. Every time you achieve something, however small, stop, congratulate yourself and even treat yourself (mine is a mille feuille or champagne dependant on how big the success is).
- This is a Life Work. Not your big shiny goal if it was something tangible – you should achieve that if you strategise and take action correctly. However, there is no such thing as perfection and we will always have a bit of discontent in our hearts even if we are hugging our big shiny goal in our arms. It’s human nature that we need something to always be striving towards otherwise life loses its lustre.
This is again where evaluating comes into play – look back and appreciate what you do have. Then, fine, work on improving it or yourself. As you’ll have worked so hard and long with the big shiny goal process I suspect, as it has with me, it will have become part of you and you’ll do it without turning yourself inside out again and laboriously making lists but it’s still there.
- No Time Like Right Now. If you have been following this series of articles it will have been because you are not happy where you are right now, you want more, you want a better quality of life. Well don’t just sit there get on with it. Banish procrastination from your life – what are you waiting for? Don’t think about it just start doing it and transform yourself.
Though they will not directly affect the big shiny goal process there are another set of life skills that will help you with it and will have an impact on other areas of your life. These I’ll move on to in my next series.
Meanwhile, if you want to check back over this process- read all the articles on achieving purpose and your big shiny goal, here.