Setting Achievable Goals – Looking back

Reflection on performance
Reflection on performance

A year ago in one of my articles in my series of blogs on nutrition I provided you a neat framework within which to think about resolutions you might make and goals you might set. The idea was for you to think about goal setting with the intention of increasing the probability of success in achieving them. Setting goals without a framework for achieving them is a relatively pointless exercise. I strongly urge you to read that article first.

An important part of any on-going process towards success is retrospection with performance measurement and performance attribution. Standing here today, on 1 January 2015, looking back, if all I can see is that from my list of goals for 2014 I have succeeded with some but not others, I may not gain much in terms of future goal-setting. Measuring under performance or out performance, and having information that allows you to explain why your performance was good (or not) is critical to moving forward by benefiting from the past.

In order to understand why you had varying degrees of success in the different goals, possession of qualitative and/or quantitative information about the factors that drive success is key. Without that information, again, not much can be gleaned. In that case, perhaps, going forward, you ought to make record keeping a part of your daily life. Sound laborious or painful? But, is success easy? And, do you enjoy failure? In fact, is failure less painful than the effort to keep a record and monitor and manage process?

Shailja Singh Sridhar
Shailja Singh Sridhar

Of the many resolutions I made about a year ago, I told you about only two of them – both related to others. The first of these goals (a sub-4-hour marathon) was achieved by my client/friend as she worked with dedication and mindfulness – I told you about her a few weeks ago. With the other goal, we did not really make a start, as my mentee experienced other positive life changing events that kept him too busy to work on a Boston qualifying race attempt.

As you step through the year, sometimes in small steps, at other times in leaps and bounds, it is worthwhile keeping track of where you are. That will make looking back to make future steps in the right direction more effective.


Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.

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