At every crossroad in life, there are important questions to ask ourselves. At each intersection we reach, the questions change, but the one thing that must remain the same is our commitment to a clear vision for our lives and careers.
Whether it’s finding ourselves or seeking the next professional challenge, knowing what to ask will provide the clarity we need to choose the next appropriate step. Before we can go on this quest, though, there is one thing we must find the time to do: a thorough, honest, and comprehensive assessment of where we are.
I believe in personal leadership for professional success and the ability to master leading your life, instead of having it drag you along for the ride. Every quarter, I give myself time to evaluate where I am, where I want to go, and how I am going to get there.
To create what we want, it is necessary to carve out time during the year to review our lives and look at how we are accomplishing our goals. Consider this your personal performance management process.
If you work, you most likely participate in an annual performance review. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, a performance management process is “one that is used to communicate organizational goals and objectives, reinforce individual accountability for meeting those goals, and track and evaluate individual and organizational performance results. It reflects a partnership in which managers share responsibility for developing their employees in such a way that enables employees to make contributions to the organization. It is a clearly defined process for managing people that will result in success for both the individual and the organization.”
In your life, you are both the manager and the employee. You are called upon to do the high-level visioning, goal setting, and planning, as well as take strategic action to make it all happen. You are the executive and the line staff — the visionary and producer.
Aren’t you worth the growth, expansion, and internal mentorship that are also privileges of having a job?
You don’t need to have a job to benefit from a performance management process. A recent article from Workinfo outlines six necessary steps to consider when it comes to setting objectives for your team, and while these steps apply to the management process, they are also appropriate for managing and assessing yourself.
As the report notes, setting clear objectives is necessary for employee success. Employees will always feel ownership over objectives that they have a part in creating. As you look to create desired outcomes in your life, make sure that they are clear and measurable, and follow a timeline you can accomplish.
Perhaps one of the most important elements of self-management is developing a plan.
According to the report, effective performance management should include:
- Shortfalls in performance
- Plans to equip employees with the skills to complete their objectives effectively
- Long-term development goals.
Your personal life, love, and career should include the same. It is up to you to identify where you are not showing up in a way that will get you what you want. You need to create a plan to give yourself the tools and resources to move closer to doing so, and consistently shift, expand, and support your long-term goals and desires.
You don’t need a job to give yourself this gift. Powerful leadership begins within. Take time to be honest with yourself so you can set a new standard for your performance.
Laura Campbell is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.