How often do you take the time to complete a self assessment? In our jobs we’re assessed once, maybe twice a year on our performance and progress in the work place. We review old targets, set new ones and are sometimes even rewarded for excelling. When you’ve put the work in, a positive appraisal can give you confidence to stretch your workplace goals and aspirations; likewise, a negative appraisal, when you know you’ve been slacking, can be just the motivation you need to refocus and recommit to your job expectations.
In either scenario, you’re potentially left in a better position than before. So why do we not apply this periodic reflection to our personal lives and goals? When you are driven and know you have an assessment coming up, you’re more likely to put in extra work to hit the targets you were set. Whereas if there was never any reviews of targets and goals, you might be tempted to push back deadlines and let the chips fall as they may. Take away the 9-5 brackets and that’s basically now some of us chase our goals.
It’s easy to set sky high goals and stay committed while never really achieving anything. Saying you want to one day be fluent in Dutch while continuing to only sporadically learn at home is different to setting a goal of finishing a beginners Dutch course within the first six months of the year and taking an honest look at your progress six months in. With the former strategy, you could potentially be walking a horizontal path that takes you no closer to the sky for the rest of your life. With the latter, you are more likely to push yourself to finish your beginners Dutch course as your deadline approaches and within six months when you check back in, you will be able to review and see how far you’ve come, measured against how much effort you’ve put in and how far you’ve got left to go.
What’s not always easy is the honesty part. We don’t always want to hear the honest truth about ourselves as sometimes we will have to admit that we just didn’t try hard enough; we just didn’t put the work in. Coming from someone else it might be easier to build a wall and brush it off, but you can’t build a wall against yourself. But honesty is good for the soul and the more you are able to self reflect, the easier it is to determine if a goal is still important to you. Third review and you’ve still not finished the beginners guide to Dutch? Maybe learning Dutch was never that important to you in the first place. Finding this out is important too and means you can spend less time feeling bad about not having ticked something off your list you weren’t bothered about ticking in the first place. And if its the third review and you feel crappy that you’re still where you started? Well, that might just be the push you need to start taking it seriously.
Don’t forget, a self assessment isn’t about punishing yourself for the things you haven’t done or missing the targets you haven’t met. It’s about an honest reflection on your priorities and expelled effort. Priorities were made to be realigned so don’t write yours in stone. And when you do self assess and you’ve met your personal expectations, why not reward yourself? Positive reinforcement doesn’t have to just stay in the workplace…
I’ve just finished my personal appraisal, when are you going to have yours?
The Extroverted Introvert