Every Monday is Weekly Review on Zen Habits.
Five days ago, I challenged my readers to join me in setting and achieving a single goal in the Zen Habits March Challenge. Step 1 of this Challenge was to create a plan, and Step 2 was to report your progress.
OK, we're a week into the March Challenge, and this is a good time to step back and look at how we're doing. If you're not doing the March Challenge, these steps are still a good way to see, hands on, how to go about setting and achieving goals.
Reflect on your week
If you've been tracking your progress some way, either through commenting on Zen Habits, a journal, a chart, a log, or an online service, you've got a great way to look back on the last week. If not, you can still reflect on what you've done throughout the week and think about whether you're doing as well as you planned.
How are you doing? Have you met your goals for the week? If so, celebrate! If not, now is a good time to take some steps to put you back on track.
Re-evaluate your goals, and your obstacles
If you're not doing as well as you'd hoped, there are several steps you can take:
- Adjust your goals. This is my recommended solution. It may be that you bit off too much, too soon. When starting a goal program, I highly recommend you start small. Take baby steps. Go for something you know you can achieve. That way, you'll definitely make it, and feel great, and then you can move on to higher elevations. It may seem cheap to shoot for something too easy. Take my word for it -- sticking with something for more than a week feels great, even if it seems easy.
- Evaluate your obstacles, and make a plan. Why didn't you reach your goals for the week? What stood in your way? It's dangerous to ignore this reason. Did you not feel motivated? Not have enough time? Did something pop up at the last moment that made you reschedule? Whatever the reason, it's best to plan for what you'll do if that reason repeats.
- Re-focus. Perhaps you just lost focus. You need to re-commit yourself, tell the whole world about it, and find a way to maintain that focus daily. Put up a poster, or print your goal out in large letters. Put up your goal plan for everyone to see. Maintaining your focus is the No. 1 thing you can do to stay with your goals over time.
- Step up the motivation. Perhaps you didn't feel too motivated. Go back to the Top 20 Motivation Hacks, and see if there are others you can use. The more motivation tricks you use in concert with each other, the better.