RESET: How to Adjust your Trajectory

May 8, 2019 | Productivity, The ONE Thing | 0 comments

It may be hard to believe, but the mid-year mark is rapidly approaching. This is a great time to take a look back at our accomplishments over the prior six months and take stock of what we’ve achieved and where we’ve fallen short.

Mid-year assessments are a time for reflection and realignment for everyone and every situation. If we’re falling short, it’s a time to challenge our actions so we can meet or exceed our goals by the end of the year. And if we’re on track to hit our goals, it’s a good time to challenge ourselves and determine whether or not we’re doing the best we can do.

Many people make the mistake of letting life happen to them. We wait for bit changes in our lives to signal to us that we need to take an account of our progress and accomplishments. Instead of waiting, it’s a better idea to be proactive.

Who should RESET?

When it comes to reassessing our goals and readjusting our actions, everyone can benefit from a mid-year reset. It’s an approach that is helpful for both our personal and professional goals as well as at all levels of business. After all, it’s likely that there is at least one goal that you or your team have fallen behind on, either professionally and personally.

First, on a personal level, be honest about where you may be coming up short. Then, ask yourself the following question: What would be possible if you mastered the ability to make up the gap on any goal you’ve fallen behind on? Next, take a look at your workplace and re-frame the question on a wider scale. What would be possible if you mastered the ability to teach your people how to make up the gap on any goal they’ve fallen behind on?

The possibly for greatness is huge.

What is a RESET?

Each letter within the word “RESET” provides you with direction for how to go about making your mid-year goal adjustment as productive and successful as possible.

R stands for Reflect

Take a moment to recap what has actually happened over the past 6 months. How did you first feel when you set your goals 6 months ago? Were you excited or motivated by what you wanted to achieve? Now think about where you are right now. Did you achieve what you were hoping to? Is there something you were hoping to accomplish – or something you wanted to happen – that didn’t? This is the time to both celebrate your victories and identify the gaps.

For instance, maybe several months ago, you outlined a goal that involved working out five days a week. However, when you reflect on your activities, you discover that while you wanted to work out 5 days a week, in reality, you haven’t actually stepped foot in a gym for the past three months. During this part of the RESET process, we ask you to compile the data that shows how you feel about the journey toward your goals so far.

When you’re reflecting on your prior six months, we suggest not simply focusing on the specific circles you initially created goals around. Rather, look at each of the seven circles of your life. These seven circles represent the important areas of your life. By looking at each of them, you can obtain additional information for why your goals currently stand where they are. Maybe you had a sick parent that was taking up all of your attention the last few months. Or maybe throwing yourself into a new role at work kept you from spending the time you wanted to spend with your family. Once you take a peek at what’s happened in all the different areas of your life, you can realistically determine what kept you from achieving what you hoped to achieve – or helped you to reach the goals you set.

It’s important to note that we’ve discovered that goal-oriented people rarely look back on their accomplishments. When pursuing goals, more often than not, we find that people want to keep their eyes on the future prize rather than reflect on what they’ve done up through that point in time. This is a mistake. We use the process of looking back in order to look ahead more realistically. Used correctly, our actions and successes of the past can help us to design a more intentional future.

E stands for Evaluate

After we reflect on the goals we did and did not accomplish during the first part of the year, we need to evaluate our current position in relation to our goals. In other words, we need to take a look at our life without applying any judgement to what we see. Then, we need to realistically check to see if our actions are bringing us closer or taking us further from our goals.

Recent studies back up the idea of evaluating how we are in relation to our surroundings. They show that when we use core self-evaluations, or in other words, when we make conclusions around how we feel about other people, events, and things in relation to ourselves, we can uncover information about our own motivation and performance on tasks.  Further, these studies showed that when individuals have positive core self-evaluations – or when they had positive feelings about how they exist in relation to other people and things in their lives, they tend to be better performers than those people with negative core-evaluations.

Ask yourself about the goals you set for yourself this year and be frank with yourself. Maybe despite your good intentions, you set a goal several months ago that was too vague. Perhaps it wasn’t measurable, so you couldn’t track your progress against it. Or perhaps you thought you had set a goal for yourself, but when it came down to it, you didn’t actually formalize an achievement you wanted to pursue. If you aren’t on-target to achieve your goals by the end of this year, then narrow your focus and recommit to achieving something that’s important to you. With six months left in the year, we can give ourselves permission to rid ourselves of the pressure that comes with focusing on things that take time away from our most important goals.

S stands for Simplify

Most people have tons of goals. While it’s great in theory to want to accomplish a lot of things, it’s not exactly the way to achieve high levels of productivity. After all, it’s likely you’re getting pulled in a million different directions.

Instead of focusing on a multitude of things, we suggest using this time to simplify the remainder of your year. With six months of the year left, we need to give ourselves permission to say no to things that may distract us from the goal that matters most to us. As Allison Track, author of Personal (R)evolution: How to be Happy, Change your Life, and Do That Thing You’ve Always Wanted to Do once noted,

“With a more limited time frame, now you need to be more specific about what you want to accomplish–and realistic about what you need to let go for now.”

Perhaps you’ve made a variety of commitments that are keeping you from accomplishing your most important goal. Or maybe every day distractions are working against your ability to get great things done. At this point in the year, it’s okay to simplify what’s on your plate in order to give yourself the greatest chance at success.

When we want to simplify, creating a success list is a great place to start. With “to-do” lists, we often write down everything we need to get done in a day, whether it be an important project or picking up the dry cleaning. And as a result, our priorities get buried. On the other hand, with a success list we only write down the tasks that will bring us closer toward achieving our goals. From there, we rank them in order of priority and narrow our focus on knocking out the first item on the list before anything else. But in order to do that, we need a plan of attack.

E stands for Establish a Plan

Without establishing a plan, we’re just taking a REST. Now is the time to create an action-based plan that lays out how we’ll reach our revised goals by year-end.

We recommend leveraging Goal Setting to the Now during this step. Like solving a maze by beginning with the end-goal and tracing your way backward, this process is all about reverse engineering solutions. Once we have a viable path ahead, the process then breaks your ONE Thing into smaller and more attainable chunks, so you can tackle the rest of your year piece by piece.

Once you have your plan on paper, it’s time to fill out a 411.

This worthwhile tool, is where we keep track of all of those little steps and pieces we’ve broken off from our BIG goal and organizes them into their own yearly, monthly, and weekly goals. Like a success-list, your 411 isn’t a place to brain-dump everything you hope to do over the course of the week. Rather, it’s a place to track your priorities.

T stands for Time Block

When we’ve revamped our goals to make the second half of this year the most successful it can be, and we have a plan in place that dictates what we need to accomplish what we need to do on a weekly basis, it’s time to make time for our success.

Time blocking is the act of setting an appointment with ourselves to accomplish our most important tasks. When you time block, you are organizing your time in a way that can help you focus on what matters most.

In The ONE Thing, we discuss three different, yet essential, types of time blocking.

The first is your vacation time blocks. These come first because we know you will need some rest and rejuvenation after working hard. All too often, as time off approaches, we find reasons not to take it, whether we feel too busy or too stressed to unplug for a set period of time. However, these moments of relaxation are necessary, especially after moments of intense focus. So plan for them. When you time block for your time off, you’ll approach these moments differently, as you’ve already accounted for them in your goal-achievement plan.

The next type of time block is your ONE Thing time. This is where your productivity has its moment to shine. Mark off the time you need on the calendar to achieve the things you’ve outlined in the earlier RESET steps. These are the things you’ve determined will help you reach your ultimate goal by year-end, so make sure you put aside time to focus exclusively on these things.

Lastly, we must time block planning time. We suggest time blocking for this on a weekly basis. Use this time most effectively by reflecting on what you’ve accomplished the previous week and where you may have fallen short, as well as looking ahead to the coming week to lay out what you want to accomplish. Think of this time blocked time as mini RESET sessions intended to keep you on track.

The RESET framework serves everyone, no matter their situation. Setting and resetting goals upfront is a much better strategy than pushing to achieve goals blindly without a plan in mind.

As Michael A. Olguin, president of Formula PR describes, goal setting is important and it doesn’t have a downside. When done as part of a team, he believes the results are equally impressive. As he explains, setting goals as a team enables them to “understand what we were trying to accomplish and the roles they would play in helping us get there.” Likewise, assessing these goals mid-year was also a powerful way see how their performance was shaping up compared to initial expectations:

“When you set goals early and continually monitor your business against those goals, you can change course mid-year or when necessary…If you hadn’t set the goals, this type of information is not as apparent and decisive action is more difficult.”

Ask yourself: Do I need a RESET? Does my team understand the gap that exists between where we currently are and where we need to be as a collective unit? RESETs are essential for staying on track toward our most important goals, so apply the process to your life today!