2017 came on strong. You set new goals, discussed them with your team for input and maybe even captured them somewhere to help keep you accountable. So there you are, full of energy and ready to shoot for the stars.
But then, reality sets in and it’s time to focus on the rest of your to do list. The middle of February rolls around and you’re asking yourself what those goals even were. Then come April and you try recalling some successes that show some of the progress you’ve made. August hits and your thinking you might need to make some revisions on those goals because “somethings have come up.” And by November, you’re just hoping you got lucky on some of it and maybe no one will notice. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.
Identifying and writing your goals is the easy part. Staying focused on making progress throughout the year…not so much. Why you ask? It’s something Franklin Covey refers to as “the whirlwind.” The day-to-day work. The tyranny of the urgent. The demands of the things we think we must act on ‘right now’ only to sacrifice the important, non-urgent actions like our own development.
Unfortunately there is no silver bullet for executing in the midst of the whirlwind. It takes intentionality, planning and discipline.
As Full Potential Coach, I’d like to offer four steps to help you stay on track with your goals throughout the year. They are based on The 4 Disciplines of Execution® by Stephen Covey.
- Focus on the Wildly Important - choose only 1-3 goals. These items are so important that if you don’t do them, nothing else really matters thus “Wildly Important Goals” or WIGs. Not to be confused with “Pretty Important Goals” or PIGS!
- Act on the Lead Measures – identify key behaviors that if done daily, weekly and monthly will most likely lead to the outcomes you desire. These must be behaviors and actions that YOU can influence on an ongoing basis, preferably at least weekly.
- Keep a Compelling Scoreboard – create a visual representation of whether you are winning or losing the game of goal execution. You should be able to see at a glance how you are making progress (or not) on a weekly basis. Anything that serves this purpose can work. Create something that inspires YOU to stay accountable on a weekly basis and share your ideas and success stories with the rest of us.
- Create a Cadence of Accountability – Set up a time every week during which you take a step back and evaluate your performance towards your goals from the week before. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What did I say I was going to do last week to move towards my goals?
- Did I do those things? If no, what got in the way? If yes, did I get the result I wanted? What have I learned?
- What are the 1-3 MOST important things I need to do this week to move the needle?
I want to encourage you not to let “the whirlwind” throw you off the path to your full potential this year. Be intentional, have a plan, and put the accountability structures you need in place to help you stay disciplined to execute what’s wildly important to you. Commit to #beEVENBetter this year by getting serious about keeping score on your goals. I’ll be cheering for you!
About the Author
Tara serves as the Full Potential Coach at HORNE LLP where she helps team members navigate through various stages of career and personal development to reach their full potential.