At the beginning of the year I, like many other people, set some goals for the year. I also took the step of putting a reminder in my calendar to revisit my goals list every month to assess my progress.
After a couple of cycles of that I recognized the pattern, I had inadvertently applied a piece of the agile development method to my goals.
In typical agile we set a small set of attainable near term goals and work over the course of 1-2 weeks to accomplish them. Then at the end of that sprint we pause to assess and examine 3 questions:
- what went well?
- what didn’t go well?
- what can be improved for the next sprint?
Small stretches of effort separated by pauses to assess and repoint are a fantastic way to reach a goal whether it is sailing across the ocean, building a software project or losing 10lbs.
The time to revisit and refocus allows you to keep all your goals front of mind and gives you a chance to re-evaluate if they were reasonable goals at all to begin with.
One of my goals was to be able to do 50 pull-ups. After several weeks of exercise and research on training plans I’ve come to the conclusion that 50 is just an insanely unrealistic number. So in light of this new perspective I’m re-targetting 20 reps.