Goals Audit, Pt. 2: Performing Your Goals Audit

This is the second of a 2-part post on doing a goals audit; click here for part 1.

Last time, we discussed all the big reasons for doing a goals audit – now it’s time to do it!

coffee, pen, and paper

It’s going to be simple, and ought to leave you with a sense of clarity about what’s been working for you so far, and what, if anything, ought to be eliminated from your goals list.

NOTE: If, for any reason, you do not have your goals written down…do it now. The stats are in your favor for achieving your goals if you’ve actually taken the time to put them down in black and white.

Grab your goals list, a few sheets of paper, and a pen/pencil. {Alternatively, download this free worksheet – it has all the questions, plus a SMART goals cheat sheet.}

goal audit worksheetsmart goals chart

Take a look at each goal, and ask yourself the following questions about it:

    1. Is this a SMART goal? (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timebound)
      1. If yes – proceed to step 2
      2. If no – decide what can be done to make it SMART
    2. Am I currently taking steps to accomplish this goal?
      1. If yes – what are they?
      2. If no – why not?
    3. What changes need to be made? {Be very specific.}
    4. Do I still need/want to accomplish this goal in the time frame specified?
      1. If yes, congratulations! This goal has passed the audit.
      2. If not, congratulations again! This goal can be gently laid to rest. No guilt, and no strings attached.

It’s a very simple process, but it will take some clear thinking, and some time. Be willing to take the time needed to spell out your answers.

Here are some important notes on the process:

Regarding 2b, take the time to figure this out. Are you overcommitted? Underprepared? Do you still actually want it the way you thought you did? Is this the wrong time for a good thing? Name your reasons honestly – it can only help.

Question 3 is where you ought to really dig in, and brainstorm what is going to make your goal a reality. You’ve just acknowledged whether or not you’re already making progress, how you’re doing it, or why you’re not. Now is when you step back and ask “How am I going to get this done?” in the here and now.

A couple quick thoughts on number 4: sometimes the thing is good, but the timing is not. Be willing to release anything that pulls you away from what your priorities should be. “Not now” does not mean “never.” Choose to give yourself grace, and let go of what would drag you down.

goal audit worksheet

Some additional ideas that you may find helpful:

Keep your auditing sheets, or take a picture of them. {You ARE writing it all down, aren’t you?} Later on in the year, some of your answers can provide some encouragement when you start to feel a little burnt out. They can also offer direction, and help you get back on track, as you refer to your original game plan and see the steps you laid out for yourself.

Audit your goals more than once! Maybe every month, maybe every quarter, maybe in another 6 months. It will allow you to see your progress, as well as keep you accountable.

Speaking of accountability, consider having a partner to whom you can “report” on your progress! Make it fun – a coffee date, or lunch together. For instance, my husband and I are planning to review our family goals together once a month during date night. Especially if you are not self-motivated, something like this is a great way to keep yourself focused!

For those who enjoy visual organization, use a spreadsheet to outline your goals. I did that this year, using one column to list the goal, a second column to list the steps I needed to take to make the goal happen, and a third column to detail The How of taking those steps. It helped me in organizing all my thoughts, defining the goals, and clarifying what I need to do to achieve them. If you feel a little overwhelmed with the amount of information on your auditing worksheet, I highly recommend this process. The sparseness and simplicity of a spreadsheet can be very refreshing.

goals spreadsheet

 

So, that’s it! How are YOU doing with your new year’s goals? If you performed the audit, how did it go? Let me know in the comments below!

4 Comments

  1. Tami @ The Inspiration Lady
    February 5, 2018

    This is such a great post – it’s so helpful! I’ve never done a goal audit but I’m definitely going to try to use that worksheet. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Amanda
      February 5, 2018

      Tami, that is great to hear! Enjoy!

      Reply
  2. Cristina
    February 6, 2018

    This is so cool!
    I never thought of reviewing my goals like this. I do set SMART goals, but I never used a tracking system similar to your diagram.

    Reply
    1. Amanda
      February 7, 2018

      Thanks, Cristina! I hope it’s super helpful to you!

      Reply

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