Has reality struck yet? This time last month I was still busy refining my goals, my rewards (for meeting those goals) and cutting out pictures for my 2024 vision board. Now that we’re well into February, there’s a slight film over the whole “clear picture” that I had just one month ago. Are you feeling this too?
My keyword for 2024 is consistency. In an effort to be more consistent, I’m taking a closer look at what’s working from one month to the next and vowing to reflect, refine and reassess. According to my good friend Google, this is one way to be more successful in reaching our goals.
In this blog post, I’m digging into the importance of goal assessment and offering insights (that I gained from others who are much smarter than I) on how to stay committed and when to reassess your objectives.
The Initial Enthusiasm:
A new year always brings a surge of motivation, at least for me. It’s clear when you watch the news, see the ads and talk to others … humans are ambitious. Especially in January! Setting lofty goals ranging from fitness and career milestones to personal development. For me, it always has to do with voiceover … working with certain VO coaches, producing a new political demo … getting that big corporate client I’ve always wanted to work with. As each month passes, the enthusiasm (or maybe simply the memory of exactly what it is I wanted) wanes. February is a reality check that forces us to evaluate the progress made in just one-month time, and reevaluate our approach.
Reflecting on Progress:
The first step in goal assessment is reflection. I think it’s so important to celebrate the victories, no matter how small, and acknowledge the challenges faced. Did you stick to your workout routine, meet your project deadlines, or dedicate time to self-improvement? Looking at both our achievements and our setbacks provides valuable insights.
Refining Your Approach:
This is when it’s time to refine the approach. Did you set too many objectives initially, overwhelming yourself in the process, or make those goals too lofty? I’m always really energetic in January and set my sights on far too many goals. I’m thinking fewer goals with greater impact or meaning might be a better strategy and help me feel like I’ve been successful when the end of the year rolls around. Refining your approach might involve breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks or adjusting timelines to better suit your current circumstances.
Staying commitment to our goals requires a combination of discipline, motivation, and adaptability. I’m all about establishing routines as they help lead to consistency. If you haven’t read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, I highly recommend it. He is great at describing how to build these routines and habits to most effectively ensure that we stick with them (because let’s face it … that’s part of the problem, too). It’s well known and proven that establishing a routine can significantly contribute to consistency. Whether it’s a daily schedule, a dedicated workspace, or a specific time for goal-related activities, creating a structured environment can help you stay focused. What works for me is the creation of an “ideal schedule” on the bulletin board in front of me, that I try and stick with every day. I start with responding to agent and manager auditions that come in to my voiceover account. Then I follow up with corporate clients who may have projects either in production or on the horizon. I build in time for breaks and “rewards” (like walking my dog). Having these routines help me stick with my intentions. They’re literally built into my day.
Additionally, finding sources of motivation, such as inspirational quotes, success stories, or supportive communities, can boost your determination during challenging times. Motivational quotes are taped around my desk. Having a mastermind group and friends I can tap for inspiration and kind words helps as well.
Recognizing potential roadblocks is an essential aspect of goal assessment. What challenges have you encountered so far, and how can you overcome them? Whether it’s procrastination, lack of resources, or unforeseen obstacles, addressing these issues head-on allows you to develop strategies to navigate around them.
Reigniting the Spark:
In the midst of daily routines and challenges, it’s easy for the initial excitement surrounding your goals to diminish. February is an opportune time to reignite that spark. Reconnect with the passion and enthusiasm that fueled your aspirations in the first place. Remind yourself of the long-term benefits and personal growth that will result from achieving your goals. Visualization, positive affirmations, and engaging in activities that bring joy can help rekindle your motivation.
When to Reassess:
While February marks a crucial point for goal assessment, reassessing your goals is not a one-time event. Life is dynamic, and circumstances can change. I like to visit my goals throughout the year and in my birthday month, I do a deep-dive into what is working so far and what needs to be re-considered. External factors, personal growth, and shifting priorities may require adjustments to your goals, and that’s okay! It’s part of the process.
I’d like to say that I have this New Year goal setting down to a science, but the truth is … every year it’s a bit of a moving target that I just do my best to keep top of mind and adjust as I see necessary. February is the first opportunity to do this, but if you glance over your goals as each new month begins, it will ensure you’re still headed in the direction you intended on January 1st and at the end of the year, you’re far more likey to find yourself where you want to be. Commitment, adaptability, and a willingness to reassess when necessary are key ingredients for goal success. Remember, the path to achieving your aspirations is a dynamic and evolving process, and February serves as the perfect checkpoint to ensure you stay on course.