5 Essential Goal Evaluation Questions

This is a guest post by Laura Lee Bloor. If you want to guest post on this blog, click here to get more information.

Chances are, you made some goals or resolutions for 2010. When was the last time you looked at those goals? Whether it’s been two days or 20, bust them out now for another review.

OK, got your goals? Good. Here’s what I want to know: Do you have any goals on there that are repeats? Repeats are goals that show up on your list every year that don’t see progress or achievement. Common examples include, “lose weight,” “eat right” or “get fit.”

If you have goal repeats, something is holding you back from taking action. Either the goals need to see progress or they need to be eliminated from your list. So how do you figure that out?

To find the root of your problem, ask yourself these questions and answer them as specifically as possible: (Let’s use the goal of “lose weight” as our example.)

  1. Is This Goal Really Yours?
  2. Let’s say you’re a woman who is 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 160 pounds. You exercise regularly and are in good shape. You just aced your annual physical exam.

    Do you really need to lose weight or do you just feel as though you should because tall women have even more pressure on them to be thin?

    If you come to the discovery that one of your goals is motivated by external pressures (whether through the media/advertising, society or well-meaning friends and family) abolish it from your list immediately.

    I know how difficult this can be, but it’s extremely liberating to let go and not look back on a goal that was never really yours.

  3. Why Do I Want to Achieve This Goal?
  4. Switching gears, let’s say you’re clinically overweight and your doctor has told you that you need to lose weight.

    Your reason for wanting to lose weight might like something like this: “I want to lose weight because it’s good for my health. If I maintain a healthy weight, I will see all kinds of health benefits: more energy, less stress, better sleep, lower cholesterol, sharper mind, etc.”

    In this scenario, you just created plenty of motivation to move ahead with this goal.

  5. How Can This Goal Be Broken Down Smaller?
  6. I’m a huge fan of the “snowball effect” for reaching goals.

    I first heard about this concept as it applies to paying down debt. Yes, it makes sense to tackle the credit card with the highest interest rate first, but if that has a giant balance on it, you’re going to lose steam quickly. (Speaking from personal experience, that was definitely true with me.)

    Instead, line up your cards in order of balances. Start with the lowest one that will be the fastest to pay off. When you pay it off, it’ll be a psychological boost to see that you’re making progress and will provide motivation to keep going.

    So, to lose weight, start with just one pound per week. Imagine how great it will feel to step on the scale at the end of the week and see success instead of defeat! Plus, you’re more likely to keep weight off if your progress is slow and steady.

  7. Who Can I Reach Out to for Help?
  8. If you’re not seeing progress on losing weight on your own, it’s time to ask for help.

    Do you have a friend who is also trying to lose weight? Exercise together. Join a weight-loss program such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.

    Or, if you simply want someone to hold your feet to the fire, I’m happy to be your personal accountability manager. (Learn more here.)

  9. What Action Can I Take Toward That Goal Today? (And Tomorrow? Next Week?)
  10. Again, the secret to achieving those big, hair goals is taking small, continual steps.

    Map out what one or two small actions you can do right now to make progress on your goal to lose weight. Then go do them.

    When you get back, you’ll have the motivation to plot what you can do tomorrow, next week, next month and so on. (I recommend a spreadsheet or a Word document, but use whatever works best for you).

Good luck, and please let me know your progress on your repeat goals!

Laura Lee Bloor is the creator of Tenacious Lee, a blog chronicling her efforts to achieve goals, change habits, improve herself, and improve the world while inspiring others to do the same. Need more help achieving your goals? She’ll gladly give you a boost. You can also follow her on Twitter.


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