Playing Favorites By Marshall Goldsmith There’s a reason I devote...
Step 2. In the days between the weekly LPR meetings, you build the habit of self-monitoring by tracking these questions daily.
I prefer to score myself at the end of each day and report my scores on a 10 o’clock call with my coach. But do it when it suits you. The key is to accumulate the data so you can see instructive patterns: Where are you trending poorly, and where are you in control and making progress?
Feel free to add your own questions to my list, or subtract a question or two that doesn’t apply. There’s nothing sacred about these six, although they relate to goal-setting, goal achievement, meaning, happiness, relationships, and engagement. These are fairly broad terms, but they accommodate all of the details in each of our lives. I could have included other questions, such as:
These questions used to be on my list. But I’ve been doing this process for two decades. It’s a dynamic process, meaning you’re supposed to improve and create new stretch goals. It would be dispiriting if I didn’t make progress doing this daily review—and adapt the questions as I changed for the better. Along the way, I realized I didn’t need to track these three questions anymore. I’m pretty good at thanking others. I’m world-class at forgiving myself. And when I’m not getting paid to add value to someone’s life, I do it pro bono. The six questions that remain are existentially demanding and huge in scope—and I doubt I’ll ever get so good at them that I can stop trying.
Step 3. Review your plan weekly for relevance and personal need.
When you measure effort, you monitor the quality of your efforts. But you should also review the purpose of your effort. Are you making a meaningful effort to achieve a now meaningless goal?
Trying is a relative value, neither fixed nor objective nor precise.
It’s an opinion by the only qualified person to have that opinion— you.
It changes over time in the course of pursuing a goal.
For example, if a personal trainer asked the out-of-shape you to bang out 20 push-ups at your first training session, even a mighty 10 for effort might not get you through all 20. Six months later, the well-conditioned you would knock out 20 pushups at a relatively effortless 2. The longer you do something, the less effort you need to do it well.
But you might not notice how the passage of time lowers the bar on your effort. The temptation is to settle for less effort to stay in place (i.e., keep doing 20 push-ups). The challenge is to increase your effort to reach your goal (i.e., raise your workload to thirty pushups, then forty, and so on).
Step 4. Don’t do this alone.
The LPR is a group event, a community of like-minded souls. Reviewing your plan in the select company of others is superior to reviewing your plan alone.
Why would you try to adhere to an ambitious life plan and refuse to share the experience with anyone else, especially if you didn’t have to?
What added value does going solo bring to the endeavor?
It would be like baking a birthday cake to eat by yourself or giving a speech to an empty room.