“Each and every minute spent reviewing one’s lifestyle is never wasted. A better life comes when one takes time to re-order his/her steps, having learnt lessons worth applying!”
― Israelmore Ayivor
The final step to the life you want – evaluate the journey so far and the journey ahead.
You’ve been executing the plan and checking in with your accountabilibuddy for a little while now. You’ve made progress and are starting to recognize that your life is changing. Now it’s time to zoom out and take a big-picture view of the situation. I recommend doing this every 3-6 months, to make sure that the path you are on is aligned with where you want to be going.
Where are you now compared to at the beginning?
You’ve been taking action, so how has that changed the situation? Do you feel energized? Are you feeling hopeful? Do you feel challenged? Check in with yourself emotionally.
Also, evaluate where you are in the plan. Are you way ahead of schedule? Are you not quite where you thought you would be? What’s working well and what isn’t? How’s your life balance looking?
Time to revise
As you re-evaluate everything start at the beginning – is the goal still the goal? Although our deepest desires don’t change often, they certainly can change occasionally. Especially as you learn more about yourself, you might find that the goal is slightly different than what you thought it was. When you look at that desire from step one, does it still ring true? If not, start the process over and re-identify what you want most in life now.
If the goal is still ringing true then take a peek at those obstacles from step two again. Are they still your obstacles? If you’ve been crushing your plan then you might be past some of those obstacles, in which case it’s time to identify what the current obstacles are. Or perhaps the obstacles you are running up against weren’t the ones you expected, so re-identify what you’re they are.
Once the obstacles are validated, clarify your understanding of them again. Go back through step three and see if there are some other secondary gains from those obstacles, why they are so difficult, and where they come from.
Next up look at the plan with your accountability partner. Look at every step. Is the plan still the right one to get you the life you want? It’s totally okay to adjust the plan; like we said before it’s just the tool to get us to the destination, so it isn’t set in stone. The important part is that you believe that it is taking you in the right direction.
If the plan is on target and is taking you in the right direction, then evaluate how your accountability from step five is going. Are you meeting with your coach or accountabilibuddy regularly? Do you feel like they are challenging you? Are you excited to talk with them or do you dread it? Ask yourself ‘Why?’ either way. Maybe your mom wasn’t the right one to hold you accountable, since that feels like her nagging at you. Maybe your best friend doesn’t challenge you. Perhaps your coach is too focused on some other part of the process that you don’t think is the right direction. Whatever might be going on, now is the time to identify who else you can work with and go talk to them about it.
LASTLY – if all of the above is jiving then you are probably feeling pretty good. Everything is going relatively smoothly (although perhaps not easily). Do another happy dance, congratulate yourself, and schedule another self-evaluation for 3-6 months from now. You are on the path to the life you want and deserve. You have broken out of your boundaries and are creating something worthwhile.
Now it’s a matter of staying awesome, recognizing the journey is never easy, and being kind to yourself as you go through the process.