Review Your Monthly Goals Objectively With These 5 Self-Reflection Prompts
Whether it comes to setting personal or corporate goals, the story does not end when we have achieved them. At the end of each month, it would be great to reflect on your goals to help you make sense of your personalized experiences. Doing this could also help you analyse the gathered information of the outcome and guide you to make better decisions in the future.
Here are some self-reflection prompts to help you during your monthly goal reviews:
- What are the goals that I have completely achieved this month?
- How effective or ineffective were my action plans in reaching my goals for this month?
- Am I spending sufficient and balanced time working on my goals this month?
- What are some of the challenges that I have faced while working on my goals this month?
- Should I continue to work on the same goal(s) for next month or start focusing on an entirely different goal altogether?
1. What are the goals that I have completely achieved this month?
Follow up question: Did I make any progress as compared to the past month?
This is the ultimate reality check moment where you have to face the music. While it is common to use the checklist method, it would be a better method to focus on the completion or progress rate of your selected goals for the month. You can measure this progress with a scoring or percentage method!
For every goal, elaborate on them based on the set parameters and expectations that you have initially planned at the beginning of the month. For instance, if your goal for the month was to read two books and you have managed to finish one book, then you can mark that as a 50% for your progress rate. You can also compare your previous month’s goals side by side to see if you are advancing in the right direction for similar goals.
2. How effective or ineffective were my action plans in reaching my goals for this month?
Follow up question: If I continue to work on this goal for the next month, will the same actions plans be relevant?
Good methods build up for good momentum. It is essential to examine whether you are taking the right steps to effectively achieve your goals. Sometimes, you may not achieve the desired results because you have used the wrong approaches or stuck to a vague action plan during the process. Be sure that your action plans are specific, feasible with a clear direction. Also, be open about your mistakes and the things you might need to start improving or improvising.
When you start listing down what worked and what did not work, you get to see the bigger picture and be creative and bold with new ideas. Depending on your goals, timeline and setting, it is crucial to make several adjustments or new arrangements. These will help in determining your action plans for them to be timely and relevant. Maybe it is time to try out an unconventional way to exercise better. Maybe it is time to invest in a new gadget to increase your productivity. Remember, flexibility is key to progress!
3. Am I spending sufficient and balanced time working on my goals this month?
Follow up question: Am I getting closer towards or further from my goals within the planned timeline?
It helps when you break down the time that you spend on all your goals so that you know exactly how much time you spend on each goal respectively. From there, you can see which goals require more commitment and which of your goals are falling behind your initial set deadline. This will enable you to delegate a better time allocation for your goals in the next round.
At the end of the day, too much or too little time invested in your goals will leave you having an unbalanced hustling journey. Do take note that there also should be a distinct timeline for your short term and long-term goals. This will aid you in determining your working pace if you have to work on them around the same timeline.
4. What are some of the challenges that I have faced while working on my goals this month?
Follow up question: What can I learn from these challenges?
It is important to identify and acknowledge that working towards your goal is not a promised smooth sailing journey. It could be some technical mistakes, unanticipated circumstances that could lead to disappointments and a loss of motivation. Take note that this reflection prompt is not a pity party. It is certainly not for you to constantly beat yourself up, but it serves as a reminder not to repeat the mistakes the next time.
If you have identified the possible recurring challenges along the way, it helps you to prepare better as you continue to work on the later stage of your goals. For instance, let’s say you are running an online shop. You experienced a website error last month which caused you to lose several customers and not achieve your targeted sales. What you can do is make sure that the error is fixed before any new products are added to the website. You could even consider upgrading the system maintenance of your website so that you can prevent the same incident from happening in the next round!
5. Should I continue to work on the same goal(s) for next month or start focusing on an entirely different goal altogether?
Follow up question: What is the significance of continuing or discontinuing the goal for the next month?
As you review your goals for the month, determine whether your goals are worth your time and energy should you want to continue for the next month. For instance, you might hit your target for this month and you may be considering switching gears to a higher level for that particular goal.
Having said that, the road to achieving your goals is not meant to be like building castles in the air. Do not set a “faraway” goal for the sake of setting it if it is not going to work out at this point. If the goal is something worth working for and it is not something URGENT, consider working on it at a later stage. Direct your focus on more important goals and projects to you right now. If you are too fixated on a goal that is draining you (which might lead to burnout eventually) when you have other commitments, it could be a sign you should let go.
Both passion and purpose are equally important driving factors to achieve your goals and attain personal growth. However, remember that personal growth is incomplete without objectively reflecting on your experiences. John Dewey famously said, “We do not learn from experiences, we learn from reflecting on experiences.”
For further reading, here’s an article on how you can start cultivating consistency in achieving your goals. Wondering how to start setting achievable goals? Check out our article on how to set short-term goals that help you achieve long-term ones.