When setting goals, we need to consistently evaluate if what we are doing is working. The more often we evaluate our actions, the more focused and deliberate we are. If we are focused and deliberate we can weed out what doesn’t contribute to our goal success and continue doing what does work well. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of 10 reflection questions for goal setting success.
It is important to maintain a balance between what you have succeeded at and what you need to improve on. There is always success even if it doesn’t feel like it. And there are always areas that need improvement. The main question to ask is, “How have my actions contributed to getting closer to my goal?” So the first task is to look at your Brainstorming/Brain Dumping sheet. To refer to the post that describes this process go to Create & Accomplish You Dream Goal.
Each of these questions highlight important reminders and cues to help challenge and encourage you. You can ask these questions as often as you feel necessary but a review of them at the close of every month is the best time.
10 Reflection Questions
1.What did I succeed at?
When you think of goals, you will have “tasks” and “projects”. Here is the difference between the two; tasks are small items that can be done daily or weekly and repeated. If the item takes longer than a week, it becomes a project. I like to think of tasks as repeating and projects as completed. Check off every task or idea that has been accomplished. Did I get even more specific with my tasks? The more specific you are, the more likely you will be to accomplish it. Here is a flow chart for how to start categorizing your points when you brainstorm.2. What can I improve on? When you look at your brainstorming list, what made you accomplish some tasks and not others? The further you get into the details of what tasks will contribute to goal attainment, the more you will see what tasks are relevant and ones that aren’t. Then you can change the task if you need to. Also ask yourself if your task was specific enough. If it can’t be measured or quantified by an amount or a time limit then maybe it needs to be more specific.
3. What were my challenges? Were your tasks specific? Were they measurable? One of my most prominent challenges is to stay on task and remain focused. I have so many creative ideas that I wander off and spend time with tasks that are not on my list or are just distractions. Every week, I refer to my brainstorming sheet and edit and check off tasks. I take the tasks that are unspecific and make them specific and measurable. One of my tasks is to “read more watercolour books”. The problems with that is that there is no timeline. So, I place a timeline on that task and then re-evaluate it again at the end of the next week. So the task changes to “I will spend an hour on Sunday reading a watercolor book and practising a watercolor assignment”.
4. What am I proud of?What did you accomplish? This could be something that was small and doesn’t seem like a big deal but it may have larger positive outcomes. For instance, I had wrote down that I wanted to be off the computer by 10 pm. I did very well at this because I wrote it out and asked for accountability with it. Make sure to share your “wins” with someone and if you have an accountability partner, share it with them. Also, ask yourself why is that task important. Getting off the computer by 10 pm was very important to me as I am trying to improve my immunity and stamina after being sick for almost two months.What was it about accomplishing the task that you are proud of? Or, if you have not accomplished a task yet but are making steps forward, what are those steps? Take a look back at some of your journalling to come up with some proud moments. To help you, use the Journal Prompts which are available on the Free Printables Page.
5. What am I looking forward to for the next month?
Remember that it is important to learn as well as create. There needs to be a balance between input and output. So, in order to create more efficiently or specifically, I need to take courses and educate myself. Do you have a course (whether free or paid) lined up to help you with your goal setting? Learning from others inspires the creative juices to flow again, especially when we are discouraged and overwhelmed. Learning from a course builds in and regulates the level of discouragement and feelings of being uninspired.
6. What task or idea did I complete before the time specified? Did you surpass your expectations and get further ahead than you anticipated? If this is the case for you, then you have more time to dedicate to another task or project.
7. What frustrated me about the process?
Was it hard to accomplish a task and if so, why? Maybe you are looking at your brainstorming sheet and saying you haven’t even started on a specific task. This might tell you that it doesn’t contribute to the overall goal. Or it might be that you need more time to see it come to life. And it also might need to be broken down into more specific steps.
8. How did I surprise myself?
Did you do something you have always dreamed about? Did you realize that you had the potential within you to reach a goal? When we are excited about our goal in addition to being laser focused, we can accomplish what we set out to do.
9. How well did I do with time management?
For some of you, you many have to use multiple task sheets, to do lists, a planner and a journal. I need many reminders to stay on task as I get distracted so easily. I use the monthly To Do List (a new one is available at the beginning of every month with original watercolor art from the Free Printables Page). I have a planner which I write my weekly goals in as well as daily tasks. If you commit to something, have it written down and have accountability built in, then you are more than 40% likely to accomplish that task.
10. What do I need help with?
Remember, we need feedback to gain insight and make changes. What tasks can you take to your accountability partner and ask for their help with? They are meeting with you to encourage and cheer you on.
Just remember, it is okay to adjust and tweak your tasks, projects and goals as you move forward. The more you practice these principles of organized reflection of your goal setting, the more success you will have.
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Blessings from my house to yours,