How often do you actually take the time out to reflect on where you are and how you’re tracking towards living out your passion on a daily basis?
Without tracking and monitoring your progress, how do you know if you’re getting closer to living your passion daily?
Even more so, how do you know if your actions are actually helping you move towards your goal? Taking the time out to reflect on your goals is an important part of ensuring you are successful in the most efficient and effective way.
Ideally, the goals you set for yourself are aligned to your passion. If you’re working towards something you aren’t passionate about, ask yourself “why?” Conducting a regular personal performance review can help you to answer this question, as well as provide you valuable insights for ensuring you are successful in your pursuits.
Sherry Swain, research associate at the National Writing Project, puts it perfectly when she says, “Reflection enables us to evaluate experience, learn from mistakes, repeat successes, revise and plan.”
As a talent (people) management specialist, part of what I do is look after the performance management processes at a major multinational organization. It is quite clear to me that the principles in the workplace can easily be replicated into everyday life. And this includes setting your objectives for the year and ensuring you’re tracking towards them.
Reflection enables us to evaluate experience, learn from mistakes, repeat successes, revise and plan.
In large corporations it’s common practice that performance reviews take place at least once per year, often encompassing mid-year reviews and even more frequent mini-reviews.
There’s a key reason why large corporations continue to grow and enhance their profits year after year. There is a clear link between employees defining and working toward stretching objectives and the profits of the organization.
Similarly, these principles can be applied to your own life.
Barrie’s book, The 52-Week Life Passion Project, is a perfect start for uncovering your passion and finding out exactly what you want to do and where you want to go in your life. To back that up and to make it a reality, you would have also set yourself some goals to guide you in getting there. Now it’s time to take a breather and really reflect on how you’re going.
What are the benefits of doing your own personal performance review?
Conducting a personal performance review will help you to:
- Determine if your actions are moving you toward your passion and goals;
- Determine if you are progressing at the right speed (i.e. will you reach your goal on time?);
- Understand the challenges you have faced and what you have learned from them;
- Determine if your passion and goals are still relevant;
- Identify more effective or efficient methods of living your passion and achieving your goals.
Let me guide you through a process that I undertake at least once a quarter (every 3 months) to make sure I am moving towards living my passion daily and reaching my personal goals.
I encourage you to take the time and go through the process. From my experience, it will help you to find ways of living out your passion more fully and also help you start doing it faster!
Below are 5 simple questions that will help you conduct your own personal performance review. But first, it’s important you find a comfortable and quiet space away from distractions where you can take some time to really gather your thoughts and do some self-reflection.
Personally, I like to get outdoors and go to the nearby park or to a lookout somewhere. Getting outside of your “normal” office or work location can help you reflect more objectively and with a more holistic perspective.
Ensure you have written goals with you. Studies have shown that goals that are written down on paper are much more likely to be achieved. Take a pad and pen with you, or if you’re technologically savvy, take your mobile device to write on.
Alright, ready? Let’s do it!
1. Are my goals still relevant?
The first thing to do is look over goals you have set for yourself. Life is full of surprises. Goals can change over time and this is not something to be concerned about, but more to be aware of.
Reading over the goals you have set for yourself, ask yourself whether they are still relevant today. How have they changed? Often as we progress towards our goals we realize that the original goal is not what we were truly after, but it might be something of a similar nature.
The key is to ensure your goals are still linked to your passion. Again, if your goals are not aligned to your values and your passions, you should be asking yourself why you are pursuing this goal. Having full clarity of why you want to achieve your goal will help you create sustained motivation.
2. What have I achieved?
The next step in the process is to reflect on what you have actually achieved. How are you tracking towards your goals? What “mini-goals” have you met or what smaller steps have you accomplished?
We often set and forget our goals. Taking the time to look at what you have actually achieved will help you to determine if your actions are helping you progress towards your goals and whether you are likely to reach your goal on time.
Looking back on what has been achieved also will help you determine what actions or strategies have worked and what you potentially could be doing more of.
3. What challenges have I faced?
An important part of the process is understanding what challenges you have faced. Very rarely can we reach our most important goals without a challenge being thrown our way. Reflect on what these challenges have been. Why did these obstacles or challenges occur? How did you feel when they were presented? What did you do to overcome these challenges?
Understanding the challenges faced can help you learn from your own experiences and can help build your resilience. When you know you have overcome obstacles and challenges previously, you can take this knowledge and strength with you into the future.
4. What have I learned?
A key part of conducting your personal performance review is uncovering what you have learned from your actions – what you have done well and what you could have done better.
Thinking back over the prior questions, now ask yourself what have you learned and what key take-aways you can put into practice to help shape your future.
5. What can I do differently?
Thinking now of the future and what you wish to achieve with living your passion daily and achieving your goals, what can you do differently to get there in a more effective and efficient way?
Who can you connect with to help you? What processes or habits do you need to change? How will you face your challenges next time?
You can use this opportunity to redefine your goals and create a new plan for your approach. A lot can happen between reviews, so be sure you start thinking of what your next immediate steps will be.