I love the concept of blocking off a whole morning to do my mid-year check-in. Sitting down for several hours of quiet reflection where I thoughtfully review my goals for the year, preferably with coffee and chocolate, sounds glorious. Maybe I’ll do it next year. This week I will be doing a 15-minute check-in and I will make every minute count. Here is how:
2 minutes – Ask: What are my New Year’s Resolutions? I will start by reminding myself what my resolutions are for 2015. Then I will list those out on a piece of paper so that they stare back at me.
2 minutes – Ask: How much progress have I made on each? So far, I have made great progress with my first resolution, but I haven’t come as far on my second. No need to spend time writing down the “why” – unless you don’t know, and then by all means, please explore that. We only have 15 minutes, so we want to use that time to focus on the future and moving forward.
2 minutes – Ask: Are these still the right resolutions? For me, the answer is ‘yes’ and ‘yes.’ When in doubt, go with your gut reaction. If you aren’t sure, then you need to get curious and ask some more questions. Why are you hesitating? Is it harder than you thought or have your priorities truly changed? If your priorities have changed, then your resolutions should too and there is nothing wrong with that. As we discussed at the beginning of the year, 90-day resolutions may be more effective anyway.
9 minutes – Ask: What are my next steps? For the blog, I will take a few minutes to look at my budget and calendar, and then I will schedule a call with the graphic designer I have meaning to speak with. For my second resolution, I will log in to Meetup.com to choose a new local group to join… and then I will click “Join.” This last step is critical. If you do not identify your next steps and take action, then you have just wasted the previous six minutes. You do not need to map out a full tactical plan – just literally identify the next small step you can take and DO IT. Right now. Put it into your calendar, make the phone call, send the email, update your grocery list… whatever. By taking action you are making a micro-movement forward and you are resetting your momentum.
That’s it! If you have more time, that is great. But if not, congratulate yourself on making progress and go back to the other to-dos on your list.
Why bother doing a check-in at all? As explained beautifully in this TEDed video, people who are most successful at making changes in their lives use periods of time where they have strong will power to prepare for those times when they have weak will power. The video gives the example of chopping up healthy veggies and putting them at eye level in the fridge BEFORE you get hungry. Then when your will power is lowest, when you are starving, the “tough” healthy eating decision becomes easy because you already made it. In just 15 minutes, you can apply the same concept to your New Year’s Resolution by reviewing your progress to-date and setting your next steps in motion. But again, the key is taking action, no matter how small.
How are you progressing on your 2015 resolutions?