The Power of Review

Guest post from Lacey of Live Loved

I used to ride the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon…every single year.

The problem was, I always ended up falling off pretty quickly. I can’t tell you how many goals and resolutions I’ve made, only to forget about a month later: resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, spend less, drink less caffeine, and wash my hair more regularly.

And then, my eyes were opened to the beauty of a plan.

Thanks to Michael Hyatt’s Creating Your Personal Life Plan and Crystal’s insightful and practical posts on setting and carrying out goals, I’ve come to realize that what I needed was not more goals, or better goals, or more discipline. What I needed was a plan.

And so, I did just that. I followed the steps outlined in Hyatt’s life plan guide, and was really pleased to have a plan that covered all the areas of my life that were important to me, and that helped me to envision the future I wanted to see some day. I walked into that plan with so much excitement.

But I forgot one important thing: the importance of regular review. It’s not enough to create a well-thought out plan of action. It’s not just enough to take the time to break your goals down into bite-sized chunks like Crystal talks about so often. You have to take the time to review, to remind yourself of your plans and vision, to see how you’re doing in achieving your goals, and to prepare yourself for any hiccups your week might have.

It’s why Michael Hyatt suggests a weekly review, as well as a day or two once or twice a year to intentionally review your plan. It’s the same reason Crystal posts her weekly goals, as well as reviews the ones from the previous week.

Not sure what to do in your review time?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Review the different parts of your plan. Is there anything you might want to tweak a little bit (5-10 minutes)
  • Think about your past week. How did you do in each of these areas you listed as a priority? What is your current reality? What areas of improvement do you see? (10-15 minutes)
  • Think about your upcoming week, noting all things you already have scheduled/planned. Do these things match up with your life plan? If they do not, what needs to change? (10-15 minutes)
  • Evaluate your week a little more closely, this time looking for days or times where it might be hard to carry out some of your action plans. For example, is there going to be an especially busy day where you won’t be able to make your normal work-out time? What can you do now to prepare for those trouble spots ahead (10-15 minutes)

Even if you were to use the maximum amount of time for each of these areas, you would spend less than an hour of your week reviewing your plan. But look at the results you would reap from that hour: accountability in keeping your plans, refreshment in reminding yourself what your goals are and your progress toward them, preparation for the week ahead.

I think we could all agree it would be an hour well spent.

Do you take the time to review your plans and goals on a regular basis? If so, what tips do you have for others in doing so? If not, what could you do to help yourself take this time this week?

Lacey lives in Lubbock, Texas with her husband, Kade, and sweet daughter, Selah. She regularly captures her musings on all things related to being wife, mommy, and recipient of grace at her Live Loved. There’s usually a cup of coffee involved.

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Comments

  1. says

    Lacey, Great post!! I discovered exactly what you are talking about here!
    In looking over last year’s goals, this is exactly why some of them fell through the cracks. No review.

    This year, I have a better plan in place. If it is alright, I will link to a post I wrote about how I am keeping track of my goals this year.
    http://onefaithfulmom.blogspot.com/2012/01/goals-keeping-track.html

    Crystal, if you would rather us not post links, please feel free to remove!

  2. says

    I agree! I used these exact same two examples for this year’s goal setting but I added two other elements. One, I’m following Jon Acuff’s blog and incorporating my one word: Finish. If my activities are not moving toward being a ‘finisher’ then I check what I’m ‘busy’ doing. Two, I’m using the accountability of the #3in30 Goal checkins so each month I’m working towards the longer goals, and each week I’m posting what progress I made. Speaking of, time for me to post my last checkin!

  3. says

    I agree 100% Monitoring of Progress and Reflection of how far you’ve come is a huge element to maintaining motivation.

    Check’s and Balances are necessary for getting “wherever” you want to be in life.

    • says

      It also makes sure that if something needs to be tweaked along the way because it is no longer working you see it immediately and can adjust accordingly. Rather than spinning your wheels for months and then getting frustrated and giving up.

  4. says

    I agree 100%!! I used to refuse to make goals or resolutions because it never did any good. I would forget about them as quickly as I made them. But then…

    Something happened to me last year (perhaps it was the motivation of a new house) and I made a HUGE list of goals for myself. I started sharing my goals on my blog and it AMAZING things for my productivity.

    Each month I share my accomplishments and disappointments as I review my list of goals. I even started a monthly link-up to help encourage others go after their goals too.

    To everyone: If you ever struggle with motivation to work on goals, then maybe you should start a blog! haha!

  5. says

    I put them on my “to do” list. If a goal did not get accomplished for the day (month, etc..) it becomes the first on the list for the next day (month, etc..). You think remembering to drink more water or read your Bible would just come as natural as breathing but they don’t for me – so I put them on my list too.

  6. says

    Great post! I’ve been working on goal setting, but something still isn’t quite working. I’m thinking I need to review more often. (Or find someone that will physically force me to go to bed earlier!!)

    • WilliamB says

      Jen, I found it helped to think in terms of how much to sleep – 7 hrs in my case – than of when to go to bed. I failed at going to bed by 10pm but I succeed at getting 7 hrs sleep a night. Go figure.

    • says

      Haha, totally understand!!! I am not at all trying to sound like I’m trying to diagnose your situation, but I can say from experience that if you will try the review, it will be amazing what it will do for you!!

  7. WilliamB says

    I didn’t used to do New Year’s resolutions till a few years ago when I decided I needed to (re)form a few habits: floss every day, do daily situps and pushups, get 7 hrs sleep a night, … that sort of small thing. Plus my usual desire of exercise being something so automatic and I did it every day, just as reading is automatic.

    The first year I aspired but achieved little. So I decided to be a like a small child: I made my goals very specific (such as floss 5 days a week) and myself a job chart. Every day I mark my chart, green for achieved, red for failed, grey if I needn’t do that job that day. This gives me instant visual feedback on how I’m doing.