I think to check in with yourself, set objectives and goals, check progress on said goals and objectives, and reflect on your life is an important and beneficial skill. Life is driven by goals and most of what we do is to reach those goals. Most of us are trying to better ourselves and our lives. It takes planning, dedication, and time. Reflecting on yourself is a great way to make sure you are prioritizing, trying to reach your goals, and making strides in the journey of reaching them. Here are the questions I ask myself when I sit down and reflect on my behaviors, lifestyle, and progress:
1. What are your goals/objectives? Do you need to rewrite them?
I like to make a document at the beginning of the year with my goals and objectives for the year. I separate them into the categories of Personal/Health/Academic/Professional. That way there is no overlap or overwhelming master list of what I want to improve, and I can record progress in a more streamlined process. Once I make the initial list, I set a list of goals every month in my planner under each category that are milestones that I need to reach each month to make sure I reach my desired goal at the end of the time I have set those goals for. I track progress through weight on the scale, my grades, whatever. Then when the month is over, I look back at what my progress was, if it worked, and revise or rewrite the objectives as needed to make sure I am being as efficient as possible.
2. What has worked? What hasn’t?
This is more of a quarter-year check-in than a monthly check-in because most progress takes time, and you need to stay consistent for more than a month to see the results you want. Look at how you are living now and what habits you have implemented to better yourself. Is weightlifting working for you? have your grades gone up from the new type of studying you’ve implemented? You need to be aware of how the things you do work towards the desired outcome because you could be helping or hurting your progress significantly.
3. Are You Happy?
Implementing new goals to better yourself makes no difference if you’re so absorbed in doing what you can to reach the end goal, that you’re not happy. This is specifically true, for me at least, with weight loss. I would be so engrossed in how many calories I was eating that I wouldn’t go out to dinner with friends and socialize, I wouldn’t give myself a cheat meal or literally anything to keep me sane. This lead to me being overwhelmed and falling off of the wagon altogether. If you’re not happy, or at least content, with the work you have to put in, you’re not going to be willing to follow through. You need to have a motivator, a purpose.
4. What is the next step?
You’ve made it this far. You’ve either reached the milestones you have set for yourself, or you haven’t. This just means that you probably still have more work to do. What are the next steps? What do you need to do to continue with progress? Set your objectives for the next three months and make a plan. Check back in 3 months, rinse, repeat.
Once you have organized your thoughts and made a plan, get going! I wish you nothing but luck in your own personal journey to success. All progress is good progress.