Planning and progress

The central focus of GIDIG is habits–the things you do, day after day, to work toward a goal that matters to you. The daily routines are essential, but it’s also helpful to set a time at regular intervals to evaluate your progress and plan the next phase of your journey.

For me, the last day of the month is a good time to take stock. Nothing fancy–just a few basic questions:

  • What did I accomplish this month?
  • What did I leave undone?  Where my goals and expectations for this month reasonable?
  • What could I have done better?
  • Am I on track to meet deadlines?
  • Am I happy about my progress?  If not, why not?

That last question has more than one layer. There’s the obvious meaning–“Yep, I got a lot done this month and I feel good about that!”–but there’s also the question of whether the goals you’re working toward are personally meaningful to you, and whether or not you’re enjoying the process. Habits are reinforced by rewards, and the most effective rewards are pleasure and purpose. Not all necessary activities are fun, so you might have to dig a little deeper to identify the inherent satisfaction in the task.

If there’s a habit I’m struggling with, I’ll try to identify where the problem lies and come up with a new strategy. If I’m on track with my daily habits but still not moving forward, I’ll tweak some of my existing habits or add a new habit or two.

This process takes a few minutes, but it gives a sense of closure that helps you start the next month feeling more focused and energized. And, if you need one, it’s also a great reset button.