A friend of mine paid me a really nice compliment on Facebook a couple days ago telling me that he found inspiration in my writing. My writing inspiring someone. It’s literally the only goal I can think of that really truly matters when it comes to writing. Inspire someone. Impact someone. Make a difference.

It was so nice to read. And it got me thinking about goals. My friend went on to say that he’s working on some goals this year and was hoping to be a bit more patient with them. You may remember a few days ago I wrote about goals and life in general really, saying that my motto is “No CRC”.

No compromising. No rushing. No complicating.

If you read a little online about goal setting you’ll find fanciful stats about the number of people who set goals and how often they achieve those goals. You’ll see information about short and long terms goals. You’ll be told to set a time limit to help you stay on track.

But something you might not read about as much is something that I feel is incredibly important. And that’s goal evaluation.

Let’s look at an example of a job seeker. Not an easy gig. I’ve been there. Relatively recently I was laid off from my job and I returned home to BC where I grew up. I was close to home, friends, and family. I was happy. But not having a job was stressful. Being laid off meant going on government assistance while I searched for a new money earner. And because I was on EI I was able to use some resources to learn about job hunting.

Short story long I was also forced to send out a certain number of resumes every day. Or else I had to show other proof of what I did that day to look for work. Eventually I found a job and a few months later I was hired where I work today, Canada Post, almost a year later.

Anyway, so you are on the job hunt and you set a goal to sent out 50 resumes a day. With the internet and job forums these days that’s not as ridiculous as it may have sounded 30 years ago. But for the sake of a nice round number let’s say 50.

After a week you haven’t seen any results. What do you do? Give up? Keep firing off resumes are superhuman speed? Or do you re-evaluate the goal you set.

This to me is the most important part of any journey that requires setting goals. Finding a new career, losing weight, working on your relationship, or anything else. Evaluate the goals you are setting. Re-evaluate them.

For what?

Great question. Most importantly you want to be making sure the goals are working. In the example of the job seeker you might find that a bulk approach isn’t working. Your time might be better spent sending out 5 resumes with each one finely tuned to appeal to the HR person who will be receiving it. So you set a new goal. 5 personalized resumes, and cover letters of course, per day.

After a week or two you re-evaluate that goal too.

You may find that you aren’t losing weight as fast as you’d like. So you look at your goals and realize your work schedule and the kids make it hard to get to the gym as often as you had wanted. You aren’t meeting your goals and it’s working against you. Evaluate the goal.

In the end you may change your goals. You may not. Maybe the goal is perfect it’s the execution that’s lacking. Maybe you need to get motivated. Maybe you have a great goal but you need to hold yourself accountable.

Take time to evaluate the goals.

Personally I would ask myself if the goal is serving the purpose for which I set it. Is it helping me to get where I want to go? Are the steps I am taking within that goal working? Is the process making my life better? Is the goal pulling me towards my actual destination?

Those are the types of questions I would ask myself. And I do ask myself.

Set goals. Work towards goals. Evaluate goals. Re-evaluate goals.

And here’s the climax. The big finish. Ready?

Abandon goals if they aren’t serving you.

That’s right. You can let them go. You can “give up” or “quit” or whatever society wants to label it when you realize a goal and the process involved in reaching it doesn’t work for you. Now, if you “give up” because it’s hard? That’s a different story.

But if you let go of a goal because it isn’t serving you? You’ve come that much closer to getting to where you want to go.