Goal Attainment and Reflection on Failure


Happy New Year everyone!

New Year’s resolutions are the name of the game this time of year and I just wanted to write a few thoughts on goal attainment and reflection on failure.

Recently I was talking about goals with the wonderful John L. Hoich. He was kind enough to share with me part of his recipe for meeting and exceeding his goals which was a document similar to this one. He has been creating these documents every year since 2014 and has a track record of success to prove that it is at least an important component of his method. It is a testament to the fact that quality goal setting is incredibly important to successful outcomes.

One other question  at the forefront of my mind is if I am taking enough time to really reflect on my failures. At the end of last month I was noticing that meeting my weekly goals as set during our Traction meetings was not happening like it should. The chaos of Christmas was interfering with my timeline and I had not included those obligations into my timing calculation. But it’s not like this is my first Christmas, shouldn’t I know better? Doesn’t this happen every Christmas where I overestimate what I am going to accomplish? It made me realize that an error log would be helpful so that I truly reflect on my mistakes, learn from them, and don’t forget the lessons learned.

The “Self Reflection Tracker” resulted from this realization and I will write more about it in a subsequent post, but right now it includes the informational categories: nature of the error, consequence, personal value compromised, and lesson learned. When I added the values category it seemed kind of cheesy, but with time it has actually proven quite useful.

My goal with this log is to become a better forecaster, to not repeat past failures and to understand my personal mental biases. If I reflect on what I did wrong I should be able to see trends and re-calibrate my decisions thereby resulting in better outcomes.

The last note is that this New York Times article on how to keep new year’s resolution had some interesting points.  According to the article self flagellation is not the best approach to achieving our goals, but instead having an attitude of compassion and gratitude is better.

So with that I just want to say thank you to the wonderful people in my life, their wisdom and the great conversation. I’m grateful for another day to contribute what I can. Here is to a fantastic 2018. Let’s make it the best year yet!