Once you’ve reviewed, with absolute honesty, your progress against your goals, the next step is to write down everything. And I mean everything. The act of writing connects you even more to your goals, your actions, your commitment. Spend the time to detail what action you’ve taken, the impact it has had and how it compares to where you thought you would be.
Write down your discoveries, your epiphanies and any thoughts you’ve had about changing your goals. Invariably what you want after a month of success will be different to what you wanted when you just started creating and writing down your desires. You may have been extremely optimistic when you set your goals and now want to be a bit more realistic. You might well have underplayed your abilities and now want to set yourself something a bit more challenging. Both scenarios are fine as long as you deal with them. Continuing to be be impractical will absolutely harm your chances in the long run and being too easy on yourself will create goals that do not inspire you and won’t drive any growth.
Once you get about a month in, or a few review sessions, you’ll start to notice some things happening. The first thing of course is the completion of part of your goals, or if they were very short term, the whole goal, but that’s not exactly what I’m referring to here. Planning and executing very specific plans for your life makes you into a creator. You are literally creating your life. Rather than just being along for the ride, you are directing the journey. Once you start experiencing that, it’s an incredibly liberating and exciting revelation. It starts making you feel like anything is possible, as indeed it is. When this feeling strikes you, you might be tempted to supercharge your goals and aim higher than before, higher than you ever thought possible. And I say, “Go for it!”
Let’s look at an example of recording and growing.
We’ll use an example of a small business that you want to set up as a side hustle. You are an amazing artist and have painted some very detailed and beautiful scenes on the walls of your children’s bedrooms. Some friends have seen this and you’ve done the same for them, for free; you didn’t want to charge your friends. You’ve decided though to see if you could sell this skill and because you’re so good at it and will do an amazing job every time, you’re going to sell it at a premium price. You set some goals around practicing your art and getting one job a month over the next year. Your goals are extremely strict and you’ve managed to put all the time into practicing that you wanted and you’ve done the right amount of marketing you wanted to do, but you’ve managed to land yourself three commissions. Where you miscalculated is that you didn’t quite know how much demand there would be for this sort of service. In fact there’s more demand than you thought so when you review your progress you realize that you’ve met all your targets consistently and have landed triple the business you expected. You record in detail the types and amounts of marketing you’ve done and marvel silently for a while that you’ve managed to pull in some extra cash for doing something that you love and you’ve materialized all of this out of thin air.
When you’ve finished patting yourself on the back you decide that you can do more marketing, spread yourself a little wider and can easily complete three jobs every week, estimating that your longest job so far might be the average length of any other job. So, you’re going to quadruple your marketing efforts, which may or may not bring in twelve clients over the next month but you don’t see why not and it makes sense to attempt to scale your business.
You never know what can happen once you start putting your mind to creating new opportunities for yourself, but I’ll wager that you’ll surprise yourself.
I find recording my progress in everything extremely important. In fact, one of my carefully managed habits is to record my day at the end of my day, at the same time planning my next day. I also plan my week, month, year, whatever I can and regularly review those plans to ensure I’m on track. All my plans are monitored to ensure that they are aligned to my overall goals. This ties in incredibly closely to what I term, ‘Automatic Living’. This can help you double or triple your output as it drives real efficiency. Planning your day allows you to move seamlessly to the next task without wondering or dithering or being indecisive. Essentially, by reviewing and tweaking your goals, this is what you’re doing. The more you plan out, the better. The more precise, the better.
These acts of introspection, self analysis and deliberate learning from your actions and results will make you a powerhouse of achievement.
Next up the final step to Goal Setting Mastery.