Just like a guitar gets out of tune after a while, so do we with our goals. Personally, I seem to cling to 2 or 3 goals and lose sight of the others after a few months. I would not say they are more important; some goals need more attention and daily commitment so they are on my mind every day.
This post is to take information from Michael Hyatt's book Your Best Year Ever along with Warren Buffet's 5/25 Rule, which seem to compliment each other. If you do not know Warren Buffet's method and you have never written your goals down, my post Setting Goals (Warren Buffet, Jordan Pederson) is more for you. Michael Hyatt's method of revising/assessing goals compliments Warren Buffet's method nicely. Hyatt recommends realigning your goals every quarter and either rejoicing, recommitting, revising, removing, or replacing your past goals.
To be honest, yesterday was the first time I tuned my goals since July of last year but I feel Hyatt gave me the tools to do this the right way so I would like to share it with you:
Step 1: List Your Past Goals
Even if you have them written down somewhere else, write them down again. As you write them down, you will start assessing in your head how you've progressed on that goal, especially if it is a goal that was not being addressed daily.
Step 2: Assess How You Did
This is possibly the most crucial step. Take each goal that you listed in Step 1 and evaluate in a short paragraph whether you reached your goal, still making good progress, if that goal is still an important one to you, etc. Maybe that goal is no longer even relevant. This step will get you thinking on what you can adjust - maybe you need to take things up a notch or maybe that goal was unrealistic.
Step 3: Find Potential New Goals
This is the most exciting part, at least for me, and there are many ways to go about this. As I mentioned before, I take Warren Buffet's 5/25 and Michael Hyatt's method and throw them in a blender. The biggest difference is that Buffet's method has 5 different categories (health and fitness, career, lifestyle, relationship, and education while Hyatt uses 10. They are similar, Hyatt's categories are just more specific.
So yesterday, I started by using Hyatt's LifeScore Assessment. This 5-10 minute quiz is a great way he created to help you realize what areas of your life you are doing well in and what areas need improvement. Here is what mine looks like (ignore the Parental section, I purposely failed because I am not currently a parent and so it does not apply to me).
I took this information and realized that I should be working on the Avocational (hobbies), Social, and Spiritual areas of my life and brainstormed ideas for how I can bring improvement to those areas. For example, one goal idea was to find a gym that I enjoy going to or a club that includes one of my hobbies - this would improve both Avocational and Social. For Spiritual, one idea was to add more reflection to my morning ritual. Currently, I read the daily reading from The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday but I could add a minute or two to reflect afterward.
Step 4: Create a List of New Goals
This is where you take Step 2 and Step 3 to compile your new goals. Write down all your revised goals and all your new goals in one list. My full list included 9 goals. Half of these goals have a deadline (like the end of this year) and the rest are things that I could work on in general like re-establishing old relationships and improving the relationships I currently have (this is generalizing, my goals are more specific than that).
Step 5: Narrow and Prioritize Your Goals
It's important to take a seriously look at the list you created in Step 4 and figuring out what goals matter most. I wish that I could accomplish all 9 goals but some I had to say "maybe next year" to. Experts advise not spreading yourself too thin - personally, having 5 or 6 goals is plenty for me.
This overall process took me approximately 2 hours to complete yesterday but it was time well spent. I plan to take Michael Hyatt's advice of assessing goals quarterly - I may just do Step 1 and 2 if things are going well and I don't see myself setting new goals and do this full process at least once per year. I also decided to write down my finalized list of goals and place it in the book I read each morning so that I spend a minute to look at all of my goals each morning and think of what I can do that day to get closer to reaching them.
If you find this approach helpful, please let me know in the comments! With the COVID-19 situation we have currently, this is a fantastic time for reflecting and setting goals for your future.
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