Why is it needed? There is little new here. Successful people re-assess the past in order to understand what it can teach them. But it also gives them more confidence in the future. Today we will explore how to make this process as effective as possible.
The most frequently asked question
People, especially those who have participated lately in our workshops, often turn to us with the following words. “It’s been three months already. What are my objectives supposed to be now?”
Our system will assist you in how to define visions for 7-8 of the most important areas of your life. Then it will provide you with guidelines for setting the corresponding 3-month goals. The rule of thumb is to take on no more than three goals so that you don’t stretch thin or get easily distracted. But what you do when the quarter is over?
Do you go on with the same visions? Or do you start with new ones? Perhaps, some mix of both?
It was quite a dilemma for us as well and it took a while before we could figure this out.
We realized that if we are to have a clear direction and priorities we have to measure our progress, analyze it and then draw the right conclusions. Only after that, we can look at our next steps.
Of course, it’s best done with the Goal Buddy next to us. Every 3 months we get together for a few hours. We sit down and go through our previous objectives. We also do some very useful exercises. And only then, in the end, we lay out our next short-term goals.
It’s not too much to ask if you can find the time for it, right?
Why should you make this “investment”?
You might think that with all that’s going on in your already full schedule, one more commitment like that will be a bit too much. But it is way more significant than any of your other responsibilities. The meeting is dedicated to you personally. It’s all about becoming aware of what road in life you are on as well as taking back control of your daily routine.
If you can hit the pause button for just a moment – very much like what they call “Slow down to speed up”. You have to abstract yourself from the monotony of everyday life and look at it from high up. Then you can set a new direction and go on with renewed determination and energy towards your dreams.
You shouldn’t be skipping the meetings. These few hours are to be repaid many times over with the motivation and clarity they can give you.
Successful people do it!
Ivan’s life coach made us think hard about the following. The most successful people have the habit of invoking “flashbacks” gaining confidence for the future from the lessons of the past.
You shouldn’t blame yourself for what you haven’t been able to achieve. On the contrary – you should take a positive attitude of appreciating your accomplishments and personal growth despite all the difficulties.
We talk here about the ability to allow the mind to travel back and forth in time. You start with the past looking for what you did right. And then you go into the future to imagine what you want for it. In the end, you focus entirely on the present. The questions must be what you should be working on this quarter, this week, today.
How is it done?
Let’s say you started something in July. In this case, in late September or at the beginning of October at the latest it will be the time for the review meeting. That is the moment to measure your progress and to take the next steps.
Depending on your personal preference you may want to get ready for it or do it on the fly. We tried both approaches.
Getting ready for the meeting
If you are disciplined and organized, you can think ahead of time about it. The other thing you can do in advance is the exercises for choosing what’s your next step should be. If you do this “homework” the meeting will be much more productive. And that’s a big plus.
However, we have noticed that sharing with your Goal Buddy improves your decision making. You will enjoy their input and challenges to your state of mind. There is a very good reason why these meetings are done together.
What is the role of your Buddy?
The reason is simply that we can’t be 100% objective when it comes to ourselves. The person next to you can change your point of view with a single question or comment.
For example, Nicky wanted to push things regarding his financial independence. He had decided to explore the crypto-currencies. What he did was to lay out a step by step plan. But then Ivan asked him “Why don’t you apply the Who strategy!” Niki was impressed – this never crossed his mind. It turns out that Ivan knew someone who was an expert on the topic. Niki knew it was the right thing to do even though he was a bit skeptical at first.
So, let’s now see in more detail what a typical meeting is like.
During the review, we do several of the exercises. You can check them out in this link. All the resources, including the templates, are free.
The first two exercises are retrospective and the rest are forward-looking.
# 1 Building confidence
On a piece of paper, we list our achievements with the following two columns – why they are important, and if there is room for further progress.
You can go back a few months and even a couple of years. Try to remember everything you have ever accomplished and what it did mean to you. Although we’ve been practicing this simple exercise for years, we are still surprised each time how helpful it could be. And the best part is that it works perfectly well for anyone.
As for the second column, it plays the role of something like brainstorming for potentially new directions in the next 90-day period.
# 2 Review of the last quarter
We look at how we had determined our goals and what the expected result would be. We must assess our success not on what was done, but rather on whether we’ve done everything we committed to do.
Our Buddy is taking part by asking the right kind of questions. These are: what we learned, what worked well and what didn’t, what could be done better next time. This whole process is about how we stay on the right track so that we choose and define well our objectives.
This is one up-ward spiral of improvement – every 90 days we get better and better at goal-setting. Like any other thing, it is a skill that you can improve on.
The next few exercises are aiming forward.
# 3 Looking way ahead in the future with our visions
The time has come to expand our intentions into the next 30 years. We go over the visions we have for every aspect of our lives – health, family, career, mission, spiritual growth, etc. We write them down on a sheet of paper but you can do it in any way you feel like.
The point of it is to remind ourselves why we want these and what makes them so important to us. Sometimes, we may have to alter things based on the experience of the last 3 months. These changes can take the form of adding something, merging two or several visions or simply a better and more refined definition. Over time, our ideas will crystalize and take their final shape.
# 4 Turning the Wheel of Life
The value of this exercise is that it shows how our perception of success evolves. If we find that we haven’t moved forward much in some areas then we can concentrate our efforts there. And for the next few months, it can become a priority for us. This is a great way to maintain a reasonable balance without sacrificing anything in our lives.
# 5 The strategy for even better clarity
Let’s say you have a couple of ideas about what to do next. But if you can’t quite figure out the top three ones, then it’s the “The Vision Gameplan” that can help. It requires that we repeatedly go over all of the key issues. In doing so we consider and eventually choose better approaches after which we decide on our three action goals for the next 90 days.
Let’s not forget why the limit of only three
It has been proven beyond doubt that pursuing too many things doesn’t quite work out well. We’ve learned that the hard way.
If we tried to do 10 goals at the same time then it all would end up in a disaster. We went for fewer, seven to be exact, and this put us at a breaking point too. Through this trial and error, we ended up with the optimal number – no more than 3 for a given quarter. We also have the weekly steps for each of them, which makes for three key actions per week.
Usually, it happens to those who are new to our system. They try to spin the Wheel of Life perfectly in the very first 90-day period.
But don’t worry! There is plenty of time for everything. You got thirty years to fulfill your dreams. You can afford to put one or two of them on hold till the next quarter.
The outcome of the meeting
After the review, the exercises and the discussion with your Goal Buddy you will have something invaluable:
Better clarity for the next 90 days and detailed action goals.
It doesn’t take much. Perhaps it could be just a few lines you write down describing your visions and the related objectives, what needs to be done and the outcome.
But pay attention! You should be oriented not towards the outcome, but to the actions we committed to. Here’s something from our own experience.
An example of a book for reaching our goals
Recently, Ivan has been speeding things up with “GoalBuddy.” It was about the publication of their book “The 4 keys to achieving goals”. By the way, it is already in the bookstores. Anyway, he wanted to talk to at least five authors who have already gone through the process of publishing a book.
The way he structured the objective was with the emphasis on his efforts and not if he would be ultimately able to reach this number. So, he made sure he would make a call every week to set up the time and place for a meeting with each one of these five people.
This is what will be of enormous help to you
Take on the responsibility to review your goals regularly. Always try to find out the lessons of the past. Focus on what you have already done to gain confidence and belief in yourself for the challenges of the future. Get a better and clear understanding of your destination but don’t hesitate to change it when waranted. Finally, make sure that your Goal Buddy is always next to you when on the road to fulfilling your dreams!