How One Year Is Too Long As A Feedback Loop
Decisions to change behavior normally begin with one choice. But the challenge is to stick with the plan to alter a specific behavior for one whole year. This one decision equates to multiple changes in a person’s daily life.
One year. That’s a long time. And waiting until the end of those 12 months to assess our progress is also problematic. How can we properly or successfully identify areas of weakness or areas to pay closer attention if we wait 12 months, 52 weeks to make adjustments? Most likely, we will have bailed on the project long before it had a chance for successful completion.
Tracking our progress is important. And, if we begin to track our progress sooner rather than later, we may enjoy different results. It is called the magic loop. Assessing progress daily, weekly, monthly or every three months is one way to magically achieve results.
The Magic Loop:
Daily Motivation and Reflection
Les Brown says we should review our goals twice a day to be focused on achieving them.
This may look like spending time planning each step. In this step, a set of positive, encouraging affirmations to start the day can keep us focused on our goal and prepared to win.
Try telling yourself each day, “Anything worth achieving will always have obstacles, but I can do it!”
Another suggestion is to regularly review the day’s progress, also known as daily reflection. Ask yourself, “Did I work towards my goal today? What did I do? What did I skip? How can I do better tomorrow?”
These questions and their subsequent answers will help us gauge our daily progress and improve on our results the next day.
Planning to succeed is vital, but so is celebrating our success. At the beginning or end of each week, you can write out a plan to help you reach your New Year’s Resolution goal. In this way, the newly desired behavior will become a habit instead of an “I tried it and I failed” attempt at success.
For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds by the end of a three-month cycle, you could plan your meals for the week making sure you stay under the caloric intake.
By following your weekly plan, then doing daily reflection, you can magically advance towards your goal. Then, at the end of the week, you can make another assessment to see how far you have come.
Monthly Tuning and Celebration
Hopefully, you are writing down your daily progress, which will help you remain focused. You can also review your daily notes on a weekly basis. Try writing a weekly summary as well or journaling your experience. At the end of the month, you can re-read your notes. Take the time to pay special attention to where you have come from and where you are going. Celebrate the successes with low or no-cost activities that affirm your hard work.
Change requires action. Even the best and most prolific leaders do a review of the work they have done to see if it is paying off. Sometimes that action is multi-layered, like the magic loop. But the above-stated actions will yield results that will make you smile at the end of the year.