In a spa pool overlooking Kaiteriteri beach my sister and I pondered the question … where do we want to be in five years’ time? She immediately came up with all sorts of ideas, but I was at a bit of a loss.
The five year horizon is quite blurry to me as I have more of a ‘here and now’ mindset. I find weekly goals easier to arrive at than five year ones. Over the past year I have found it incredibly valuable to ask myself these four questions on a weekly basis.
During the weekly Mastermind conference calls we each responded to the four questions listed above. I found that accountability process really powerful and since then have used the questions as the basis for my own weekly review of progress.
In a council situation they could also be valuable questions to ask in weekly meetings between a manager and a staff member. However, one of the benefits of writing down these responses is the trace it leaves.
Last week I read over my review notes for the past year. I really enjoyed reading the ‘wins’ because it’s human nature to remember the problems and to quickly integrate (and pay far less attention to) the things that work out surprisingly well. (Here’s a podcast on the value of noticing your wins.)
The problems faced and potential solutions section was also an interesting read — to see what I agonised over during the year, and also how clearly stating a problem can prompt the arrival of innovative solutions I would not otherwise have thought of.
Setting goals for the week ahead, knowing that in a week you will be checking which ones were actually completed, provides awesome accountability. It also helps me to set realistic goals, and to appreciate the fact of their completion. (Sometimes my goals include giving myself a break, like not making any progress on a new project until something more urgent is finished.)
If, like me, your year can pass by in a blur, you may also find this a useful way to appreciate all that you do get done, and the breakthroughs you make along the way.