Use these tips to review goals and make steady progress towards achieving the goals that you set for yourself.
If you want to reach the goals you set out to accomplish and make steady progress towards achieving those goals, it is best to commit to a regular goal review. Why? Because reviewing goals makes it possible to accomplish the goals that we set out to achieve. In addition, when you review your goals and take stock of what is working and what’s not, adjusting your goal action plan and moving forward becomes much easier.
But first, you need to know what your goals are and how to make them SMART! Learn how to set goals HERE–>How to Set Goals. Once you know your goals, make an action plan to achieve them with these steps–>How to Make a Goal Action Plan. If you already have goals in mind, are working towards achieving them with a goal action plan, AND are ready to do a regular goal review, please scroll down for the step-by-step instructions.
Please note: This goal review post was originally published on December 28, 2014, as “How to Complete a Monthly and Annual Goal Review.” On June 23, 2021, the article was updated and republished under its current name, “How to Review Goals: Weekly, Quarterly, and Annual Tips.”
How to do a Goal Review
A goal review requires that you evaluate your progress towards the goals that you have set. Follow these action steps to get started:
Review Prior Goals and Resolutions
If you have a prior goal-setting worksheet, now is the time to get it out for review. If not, you may want to invest in our Dream Life Tool Kit. It includes a wealth of printable worksheets, including a weekly goal review, along with goal action plans, checklists, and habit trackers, that make accomplishing your goals a lot easier. Use the valuable resources inside the Dream Life Tool Kit for your weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual goal review.
Grab the resources your need to get started HERE—> Dream Life Tool Kit.
Personally, I like to review goals each week. Reviewing goals weekly, quarterly, and annually keeps me motivated and moving step by step towards achieving them. It also allows me to see what’s working and what’s not working, so I can pat myself on the back and keep plugging ahead or make a new plan, depending on what I discover due to the goal review.
What’s the difference between a Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, or Annual Goal Review?
For me, completing a weekly (or monthly) goal review is similar to completing an annual or quarterly goal review with a few simple differences. For a quarterly or annual goal review, I focus on six primary actions; 1) Writing everything down, 2) reviewing and reevaluating prior goals, 3) defining new goals and updating prior goals, 4) making a plan to accomplish new goals, 5) adding new positive habits and, 6) honing and refining the habits and goal action plan(s) that I choose to implement.
During an annual goal review, I complete the same steps as listed above, with the addition of creating a new Master Goal List (included in the Dream Life Tool Kit) and paying close attention to the goals that I set each quarter over the prior year. Once finished with my annual goal review, I have a new Master Goal List that I can work with and update during my weekly, monthly, or quarterly goal review for the rest of the year.
A weekly goal review follows a similar format to an annual or quarterly review, with the focus more on reviewing, updating, and refining my plan to accomplish the goals that I define during my 90-day review. I also look at how well I am developing the habits that I set out to add to my day to help me achieve my goals and adjust accordingly.
In other words, during the 90-day and annual goal-setting review, I take a bird’s eye view of the progress that I have made towards achieving the goals I have set for myself AND set new goals. While during a weekly or monthly goal review, the focus is on reviewing and amending the goals I have set so that I CAN achieve them. The full goal review process is outlined in the sections that follow.
Ready to get started? let’s do a goal setting review!
How to Review Goals Step by Step
Here’s a quick overview of the steps in the goal review process. Details about each step are provided in more detail in the sections that follow.
- Do a brain dump to clear your head.
- Review and reevaluate prior goals, if any.
- Define new goals and update prior goals.
- Create a “Goal Action Plan” for each new goal.
- Add a new positive habit to your daily rhythm each month or quarter.
- Hone and refine habits and goal action plan(s) every week.
- Repeat and review goals weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Step 1 – Brainstorming Session or Brain Dump
Spend 10 to 30 minutes doing a brain dump to write down everything occupying space in your mind. Get everything buzzing around in your head down on paper. Don’t forget any new goals or habits that you would like to include or new tasks that need to be completed.
Get out a blank piece of paper or use the FREE Brain Dump Worksheet included in our QuickStart Weekly Planning Guide to get started! Get yours HERE–> QuickStart Weekly Planning Guide.
Step 2 – Review & Reevaluate Prior Goals and Habits
Use the Goal Review Worksheet included in the Dream Life Tool Kit and the questions below to review and reassess any prior goals. For example, did you reach your weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual goals? Why or why not? Use the information you uncover to plan for success in the coming week, month, quarter, or year.
Ask yourself the following questions to review prior goals:
- Are there any goals or habits that you are currently working to accomplish or implement?
- Do you have any prior goals or habits that you would like to delete or amend?
- Did you make a plan to accomplish your goal or establish this habit? Have you written your goals and habits down and created an action plan to complete them? If not, get started now!
- What, if anything, can you do to improve your “Goal Action Plan?”
- Have you been able to make any progress towards reaching this goal or establishing a new positive habit? Why, or why not?
- Are you making progress towards any of your goals in the way that you would like? Why or why not?
- What, if anything, can you do to move forward or improve your results?
Step 3 – Define New Goals and Delete or Amend Prior Goals
Use the information discovered as a result of your review to re-energize any goals you are currently working towards, amend and update any goals or habits that need updating, and delete or remove any goals or habits from your list that you have accomplished or no longer desire to achieve.
- Write down 3-5 goals that you would like to accomplish or determine the goals you will update and continue working towards right now.
- Make sure all your goals are SMART goals.
Step 4 – Create a Goal Action Plan for each new Goal
The Rhythms of Play Dream Life Tool Kit has valuable worksheets and printable resources that you can use to achieve goals and track habits, including our “Goal Worksheet,” “Goal Action Plan,” “Weekly Action Plan,” and “Monthly Habit Tracker.” Print the worksheets that work best for your needs, or get out a blank sheet of paper to outline the steps you need to accomplish each goal or establish each habit. Then, follow the steps listed below to create an action plan for each new or updated goal!
- First, use the “Weekly Action Plan printable worksheet included in the Dream Life Tool Kit to make a plan of action for the next week, month, quarter, or year. (The amount of time you choose will depend on the length of time you think it will take to accomplish each particular goal.)
- Then, break down monthly goals into the smallest action steps possible. Each step should have only one action associated with it. Learn more HERE–> How to Create an Action Plan to Accomplish Goals.
- Next, write your plan down to make it happen. Write each of your goals and the associated action steps in the appropriate place in your daily rhythm or weekly planner. Learn how to plan your daily routine HERE–> How to Plan Your Daily Rhythm.
- Finally, make the space in your daily rhythm to complete the action steps outlined. In other words, break down the action steps necessary to accomplish the goal, place each action item needed to achieve the goal into your calendar, and make a plan of action to get it done! (Psst… the daily and weekly planner are both included in our FREE guide–> QuickStart Weekly Planning Guide.)
Step 5 – Add a New Positive Habit to Your Daily Rhythm
If you are looking to improve your life, add a new habit to your daily routine each month and make a promise to work diligently to establish it. It’s best if the habit you choose is something you do daily. Daily habits are easiest to implement because they can easily become habituated or automatic over time.
When a habit is performed daily, you will not need to think about executing it once it becomes habituated. In other words, once any action becomes an established habit, it will occur without the need to think about making it happen in much the same way you will drive home from work automatically, instead of stopping by the store or a friend’s house.
Following are some ideas of positive habits you might choose to implement; 1) saying a morning prayer or affirmation, 2) flossing, 4) going for a daily walk, run, or ride, 3) spending time outside or in nature, 4) bringing your email inbox to zero, 5) yoga or meditation practice, 6) writing in a gratitude journal, 7) a habit that will help support the achievement of a particular goal, etc.
How to add a New Positive Habit to your Daily Routine:
- Take out your master goal list and have a look at the places in your life that you would like to improve.
- Take a few minutes to review “How to Create Positive Habits.”
- Brainstorm and write it down – Make a list of positive habits that would help you achieve the goals that you have outlined.
- Choose a positive habit that you can bring into your life to help you accomplish the goals you have set for yourself or help support your efforts to achieve your goals or live the life of your dreams.
Step 6 – Hone and Refine Habits and Goals
Goal setting, habit creation, and rhythm all go hand in hand. Some habits are goals, some goals need good habits to accomplish, and following a daily rhythm is one long daily habit.
If writing down your goals is the true elixir of success it’s touted to be, then creating positive habits is the key to living the life you’ve always dreamed of. Because these elements support and assist each other, I use them to help me reach my highest potential. Slowly. Goal by goal–one habit, or rhythm, at a time!
- Use the habit trackers included in the Dream Life Tool Kit to monitor your progress!
Use the simple goal review tips outlined above to review your goals monthly, quarterly, or annually. Then, commit to reviewing goals every week for even better results!
Don’t forget to grab our Dream Life Tool Kit. It is filled with printable planning resources to help you develop powerful routines to increase productivity, achieve goals, and create a life you LOVE one rhythm at a time! Get yours HERE—>Dream Life Tool Kit.
Learn how to create a positive goal affirmation statement for each goal or habit that you would like to implement in your life.
Learn more about us HERE—> Rhythms of Play.