I confess – I used to nod my head in agreement whenever someone said we should review our goals regularly. Theoretically, I understood this was the best way to maintain focus and momentum. But in truth, I rarely reviewed my goals. I used to be a once-a-year gal – reviewing my goals in January, or perhaps in September (the “other” new year).
But I’ve come to realize how important it is to review my goals regularly. And by regularly, I mean daily. Monthly doesn’t quite cut it – unless you are super disciplined and consistently do this review on a set date each month. But most of us get busy and bump this important (but non-urgent) task.
I recently created a one-page personal scorecard (inspired by the classic balanced scorecard) to keep me focused on my priorities.
The balanced scorecard, introduced by Kaplan and Norton in 1996 is a strategic tool that organizations have been using for years to build accountability around their primary goals. It also prompts the very necessary first step of being clear on what those goals are.
Here is a snapshot of the core of my personal scorecard:
These are my top priority pillars and of course, I have initiatives, goals and plans to support these pillars.
I review this scorecard every morning during my intention-setting practice. This daily personal scorecard review is helping me do three things:
- Maintain mental focus
I have the classic entrepreneurial temptation to jump from one opportunity to another. Perhaps you can relate. But just because we can juggle multiple projects doesn’t mean we should. The only way we’ll make meaningful progress on our goals is if we remain focused for extended periods. Sure, if I had all the time in the world, I could indulge in diversions. But time is precious. Like you, I want to use my time in the best way possible.
A personal scorecard helps to maintain critical focus on our top priorities. A scorecard helps to link all decisions and tasks to the grander, inspiring goals they support. Similarly, it helps us better decipher what we should not be dedicating time to.
- Maintain momentum
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.” Working on big goals requires a long-term commitment. And it can be easy to get caught up in the uninspiring minutiae. We quickly lose track of the progress we made and tend to begrudge how much more work there is to do. Thankfully, a scorecard also diminishes this sense of overload. A scorecard tracks our starting mark and our current status, so we can celebrate how far we’ve come. This record helps us maintain momentum when we need it most – when times are tough. And we all face tough times.
- Maintain mindset
My daily scorecard review helps to set my intentions for the day. It helps me focus on opportunities instead of challenges; optimism instead of frustration; hope instead of overwhelm; gratitude instead of criticism; love instead of angst. It helps me minimize stress and stay focused on the big picture. Most importantly, this mindset helps me embrace each day and live authentically.
This absolutely would not happen if I raced through each day in a reactive state.
This sums up the three reasons why I recently upgraded my goals review. I came to the point in my life when I realized the important things were far too important to leave up to chance. I no longer accepted the sub-par gut-check monitor on my goals.
If you’re keen to build your own personal scorecard, contact us for a template and guidelines. This is something we’re offering to members of our community for a limited time.
And, as always, I’d love to hear your strategies for maintaining focus on your goals. Thanks for your time.