November 21, 2005

Good day, team,

The coach’s challenge this week is about assessing your progress toward a
goal. There is nothing more satisfying than deciding what you want to do,
setting a definite goal for accomplishing it, and then meeting that goal.

While we go through this process, however, we often stop to see how we’re
doing. This analysis of how much progress we’ve made is sometimes
gratifying, sometimes frustrating, and often difficult to judge: either we
don’t have enough information available or we are unable to see the whole
picture as we try to evaluate our progress.

Last week, I took a moment to analyze how far I had come on a project that
I’ve been working on for awhile. It seemed as though I had taken two steps
forward and three steps back. Some obstacles I hadn’t accounted for came up,
and I became frustrated and depressed.

It took me a few days to see that although I felt I had taken many steps
backwards, I was still moving toward meeting my goal: I just wasn’t moving
as fast as I thought I should be. I also saw that my frustration and
depression about it could easily themselves become obstacles to moving
forward. It’s easy to deviate from our original plan and get side-tracked by
many things, including our own state of mind.

Your challenge this week is to look more objectively at the progress you’re
making in your job. Maybe it’s a project you’re working on or the results
you’re looking to achieve with your team. Perhaps you’re trying to achieve a
goal that seems unattainable some days and feasible the next. It could be a
professional goal you’ve set for yourself like learning a new computer
program or applying some training you’ve received in the past few months.

See if you can look at your progress and relate it to the larger picture,
rather than thinking that you’ve made no progress at all because an obstacle
came up in the short-term. Try looking at what you’re achieving in context,
remembering that anything done well requires time, consistent effort and

It’s easy for us to see our progress with hindsight; it’s difficult for us
to see how far we’ve come when we only consider it day to day.

Have a great (and thankful) week!


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