Once the objective has been clarified, the established action has been plan created and put into practice, what guarantees the achievement of the objectives?
The process of achieving a goal goes through 4 phases:
- Clarification of the objective (Design)
- Setting intentions on how to achieve it by creating an action plan (Make it Real);
- The realizations of intentions after day, week after week and month after month (Plan);
- Monitoring (Review the Target).
Monitoring your progress facilitates the achievement of objectives
It has been shown in fact that the formulation of the intentions of the objective alone is not sufficient to guarantee the achievement of the same. This “void” between intention and action (Sheeran, 2002) has led researchers to investigate the decisive factors between the definition of an objective and the achievement of an objective. One of these is to monitor progress.
Why it is important to monitor progress?
Seeing where we are, what we have achieved during the work is fundamental to achieving the objectives:
1 – The results of research show that monitoring progress frequently is an effective self-regulation strategy that promotes change (shift) and increases the chances of success towards achieving the objectives.
It serves to identify the discrepancies between the current state and the desired state, and therefore allows to recognize when further efforts are needed, if it is necessary to change slightly course or add other resources;
In a study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin, Benjamin Harkin, PhD, of the University of Sheffield, argues that “it is a crucial process that comes into play between setting and achieving a goal, ensuring that goals are translated into action”
2 – “Zoom in” and remember the big picture. When we are focused on implementing a plan we are so focused on the detail that we forget the general plan. Enlarge the lens we look at.
3 – To become aware that planning does not mean sculpting steps on the stone, but rather to lay the foundations for a journey, a process, a continuous work in progress during which unforeseen circumstances or unforeseen opportunities arise. The skill lies in seeing and seizing opportunities and facing the unexpected by constantly having the end in mind.
Taking stock of the situation is an excellent strategy because it allows us to verify:
- where we are in the process;
- if the context in which we are now is the same with respect to the starting one;
- if we have made good planning;
- if in the light of new elements, it is necessary to revise the initial program.
4 – Review the goal. Is the initial goal still valid? Challenging the objective may seem strange, but in reality, it helps us to better manage our time and to avoid “blunders” or what Tom Redmond calls “Goal diffusion”, or dispersion of the objective.
Key Points of the Week
Within Simple Tiny Shifts Planner we find the weekly key takeaways: a space to note the key points of the week that we want to remember in the following weeks.
Taking 10 minutes at the end of the week to take stock of the situation can help us better plan the next one.
- Has something new emerged?
- Did we meet someone who could advise us?
- Did we read a book or an article that taught us something?
- Were we really productive?
Sometimes, in fact, weeks go by and we finish the week with the feeling of having been “busy”, but without actually having achieved anything. I’ve talked about it here.
STS CHECKPOINT is the monthly review
A month ends and we are already catapulted towards the next one without batting an eye. This fuels the endless whirlwind and relentless intensity of everyday life. As for the week, the months pass quickly between a thousand commitments.
The end of the month is a good time to summarize and see “where we are” based on our goals, based on our Vision Board. This helps us to understand if we are following the “make it real” plan and what changes are necessary.
- DONE / WHAT IS DONE: is a review of completed tasks
- KEY TAKEAWAY: the key points of each project and path
- TOP MOMENTS: is a gratitude list.
- NEW MINDSET / NEW RESULT: Answers the question: what have we done differently this month that has produced a different result? A phrase often attributed to Einstein explains the reason why we should use new approaches if we want to get new results: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”
APA – American Psychologica Association Does Monitoring Goal Progress Promote Goal Attainment?