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Last Updated on July 27, 2020

How Goals Performance Review Can Help You Succeed More

How Goals Performance Review Can Help You Succeed More

Setting and achieving goals can be an interesting adventure on your journey to success if you form the habit of tracking and reviewing your performance on the goals you have set. To achieve this, you can carry out a periodic or end-of-cycle goals performance review to know how well you are progressing.

In this article, you will find useful tips on how to carry out a goals performance review and important steps to take on the outcome of your reviews.

What Is a Goals Performance Review?

A goals performance review is an intentional and planned activity carried out to measure your productivity based on your set goals. The real essence of this review is to identify what is going right, what is going wrong, and to set future goals.[1]

Taking a periodic review of your goals is an indicator that you are serious about achieving them, and this can actually be a source of motivation to achieve your goals.

Benefits of a Goals Performance Review

There are countless benefits associated with measuring your performance and progress on your goals. You will find some of them below.

Keep Track of Your Goals

It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus if you do not create a plan to follow through with your goals. This won’t happen when you have a plan in place such as a performance review. The review will even be more significant when you have many goals to track, such as financial goals, career goals, family goals, health goals, etc.

Measure Your Performance

A scheduled review will help you to evaluate yourself and see how you are performing with your goals. Many times, the information you gather from this evaluation can help you sit tight or push you to do more to accomplish your goals.

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Identify Necessary Adjustments

A goals performance review can show you what is working and what is not in your efforts to achieve your goals. Therefore, you might find from your evaluation that you need to make certain adjustments in order to accomplish your goals.

Achieve All-Around Success

Without deliberate reviews, there is a tendency to perform well in one area while other areas suffer. A periodic goals performance review can help you live a balanced life as you keep track of all of your goals and make sure you are not falling short in any area.

How to Carry out a Goals Performance Review

Carrying out an effective goals performance review begins with setting your goals correctly. Be clear about your expectations and results. When you set S.M.A.R.T Goals, it will be much easier for you to track, measure, and evaluate them.

There are no hard and fast rules for carrying out a goals performance review. It all depends on the kind of goals and the time you attach to your goals. However, as a guide, here are some ways you can review your goals:

Based on End Results

Some goals are “end goals,” and the only way to review them is by whether they turn out as a hit or miss. For example, setting a goal to land a particular job or making the cut-off point in a professional exam can be a hit or miss.

However, when you have a couple of goals in different areas, your performance review can include looking at how many of your end goals you have been able to achieve versus the ones you couldn’t achieve. You will be able to judge whether you are generally making progress or not.

Based on Milestones and Timelines

For effective goal setting and tracking, it is usually advised that when setting your goals, you should break them down into smaller units so that you can measure your performance throughout and also get motivated when you accomplish those smaller goals. The milestones will help you to know if you are moving closer to accomplishing your bigger goals or not. Below are some examples of this kind of review.

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Building a Home

If you plan on building your own home within the next three years, for example, securing a landed property and getting your building plan approved by the government in the first year are significant milestones towards your building goal.

Losing Weight

If you plan to lose 80 pounds in one year, and your milestone is set at 20 pounds in three months, carrying out a quarterly review of your weight apart from checking the scales weekly can give you a picture of your weight loss journey.

Career Advancement

If you set a goal to become a CEO in 5 to 8 years from your current level as a mid-level manager, having a rising portfolio every two to three years is a notable milestones in accomplishing your goal.

Retirement

Another example is planning to retire at 50, meaning that you want to be financially secure at 50. If you are currently 35, your investment portfolio review can be set to every 3 years to know how close or far you are from your goal. You would have carried out this review at least four times before your planned retirement.

What a Goals Performance Review Reveals

Your review can show you different things about your goals and yourself, including:

  • That you have achieved your goals
  • That you failed to achieve your goals
  • That you are on course to achieving your goals
  • That at the rate you are going, you might not achieve your goals

Whatever it is that your review reveals, there is always something to be done to improve the situation.

What to Do When You Fall Short of Your Goals

When you fall short of your goals, there are several things you can do to get yourself back on track.

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Review Possible Reasons for Failure

If it is an end goal, then you might want to ask questions about why the goal failed. Is it that you didn’t put in the required work, planning, diligence, or follow-up? Or were there simply factors outside of your control?

Generate Ideas to Mitigate the Problems Now or in the Future

If you are able to trace what is responsible for the failure, then brainstorm possible ways to mitigate such problems so that they won’t be an hindrance to achieving your goal in the future.

Get Motivated

If you are still within your set time limit but are running out of time, what you need is motivation and a positive attitude. You don’t have to give up on your goals, irrespective of what the results currently look like.

Change Your Goal Post

Changing your goal post might mean extending the deadline if possible, reducing your goal projection to a smaller manageable scale, or doing something different.

What to Do When You Are Reaching Your Goals

It’s okay to celebrate the achievement of your goals, but it’s also not quite time to relax. You can do the following when you are hitting your goals.

Raise the Bar

It is better to set hard-to-reach goals than to set ones that you can reach without much sweat. So when you hit your goal, you should raise the bar.

For example, if you set a goal to read two books in a month, and you’ve been consistent with your goal for about 4 to 6 months, you don’t have to wait until the end of the year to set another goal. Increase the books from 2 to 3, and you’ll have more books and knowledge added to your archive in a year.

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Improve the Quality of Your Outputs

When you are hitting your goals, you can also increase the quality of your outputs. For example, if you set performance goals like meeting deadlines, you won’t just stop at meeting the deadlines, but you will also ensure that the quality of your work deliverables is top-notch.

Dream Bigger and Set New Goals

Reaching your goals and hitting your targets too often might be an indication that you are not dreaming big enough or that you have outgrown the kinds of goals you are setting. It is time to start thinking differently and create a new set of goals that will stretch your abilities.

Bottom Line

There is always something to learn from an honest goals performance review. It is important to note that doing well with your goals does not mean that you have given your best, and falling short of your goals does not mean you are not doing enough.

Regardless of the outcomes of your review, you will always find an opportunity to do something better: to change your strategy or approach, to aim for something higher (or lower), or to set a brand new set of goals.

More Tips on Measuring Your Goals

Featured photo credit: Isaac Smith via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

Memory plays an integral role in our lives, both in the short and long term. If you’re wondering how to improve memory, I’m here to tell you that there are natural and effective ways to do so.

Despite what you might think, improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it.

Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve memory efficiently and reduce the risk of memory loss.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts, and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder, then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. Research suggests that the more information and distractions you receive, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory[1].

Fortunately, meditation can help.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

While any amount of meditation will do something to help your memory, one study pointed out that “8 but not 4 weeks of brief, daily meditation decreased negative mood state and enhanced attention, working memory, and recognition memory as well as decreased state anxiety scores”[2].

Therefore, if you’re looking for the most benefits, try sticking with a meditation practice for at least 8 weeks.

However, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then it’s likely that you’re not able to remember well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities, including your memory.

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If you want to learn how to improve memory, how much sleep should you be getting?

Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation[3], you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things[4].

If you want to improve memory, get plenty of sleep.

    Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!), but if you care about improving your long and short term memory, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

    Try these three things to naturally improve your sleep cycle:

    • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
    • Don’t eat too late
    • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

    Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

    However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory.

    3. Challenge Your Brain

    When was the last time you challenged your brain?

    I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or under-sleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and memory games.

    To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

    Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-solving ability, and memory.

    There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

    • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

    If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

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    Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it; try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

    4. Take More Breaks

    When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctly remember working all the hours under the sun—and many under the moon, too!

    At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat, and tears.

    However, if you want to know how to improve memory, taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative, and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

    Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

    One 2011 study from the University of Illinois concluded that “the brain is built to detect and respond to change…and prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”[5].

    This is based on something called the “vigilance decrement.” This can be applied to many things. For example, we often don’t notice the feeling of clothing touch our bodies because our brain becomes accustomed to the sensation. However, if you change clothes, you’ll likely notice the difference in texture and temperature for a few minutes.

    When you take a break from memorizing information, it refocuses your attention and energy, leading to increased focus overall.

    It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart, and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

    Basically, make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

    5. Learn a New Skill

    I love this quote, as it’s 100% true but frequently overlooked:

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

    From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

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    Let me give you an example of this:

    Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day, many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

    Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

    The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you rather than letting you work in your own way.

    Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction into learning a new skill (computer coding).

    It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career, and the ongoing learning made the call center job much more bearable.

    Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus, and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking out new information. When learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly becomes a habit, too.

    If you want to know how to learn something new every day, check out this article.

    6. Start Working out

    If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

    Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory[6].

    Regular physical activities increase blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. A well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

    Even if you don’t have much time, research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines[7].

    Interested in getting started?

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    Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

    • Join a gym
    • Join a sports team
    • Buy a bike
    • Take up hiking
    • Dance to your favorite music

    7. Eat Healthier Foods

    I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

    This applies to your brain, too.

    The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health, as well.

    Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. But any fruits, vegetables, or foods high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory. Here’re some ideas: 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

    Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain, leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

    If you want to improve your mental health, eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

    • Turmeric – Helps new brain cells grown
    • Broccoli – Protects the brain against damage
    • Nuts – Improves memory
    • Green tea – Enhances brain performance, memory and focus[8]
    • Fish oilFish oil supplements can increase your brain power

    Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

    Also, remember that your brain is about 75% water, so dehydration can have a huge effect on the way your brain functions. Stay hydrated if you really want to improve memory!

    Final Thoughts

    I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be helpful for you.

    You don’t need to implement them all, but you can try out the ones that appeal to you.

    But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory and avoiding cognitive decline, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested.

    More on How to Improve Memory

    Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

    Reference

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