You’ve been busting your ass doing everything that has been asked of you and more.

Yet a couple years into your job you begin to realize how quickly life is passing by and most of this time is spent working.

Unfortunately for many at this stage in their career there is a sense of disappointment, frustration and/or anger.

The reason…

An illusion of LOSS.  It feels like something is taken from us even if we were the ones who took it.

Why does this happen?

Because we become reactive to everything life throws our way.

Instead of staying focused on what we need to accomplish today in order to achieve our ultimate goals, we start letting others take control of our future by immediately responding to their wants and needs.

We become creatures of reaction.

The best way I’ve found to take back the control of our future is through evaluation.

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For me, this happens during weekend hikes where I can leave my work back in Denver.

It’s just me and my boy Rocky finding new routes to get lost in the mountains.

Making this time to evaluate and reflect each weekend has been critical for personal and professional growth.  It keeps me focused on who I am and what I stand for along with reinforcing where I’m going and what I will achieve throughout my life.

In addition it has helped me create phrases that I oftentimes refer to during these evaluations and throughout the week that help get my mind right and keep me on track.

Here are a few of them:

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Mills Lake, CO

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Herman Gulch, CO

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Lory State Park, CO

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Mt. Bierstadt, CO

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Summit Lake, CO

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Ptarmigan Peak, CO

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Herman Lake, CO

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Thunder Pass, CO

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Breckenridge, CO

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Lost Lake, CO

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Leadville, CO

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American Lakes, CO

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St. Mary’s Glacier / James Peak, CO

Now I understand evaluation might not be the most “comfortable” word.

However I believe it’s an appropriate word because with evaluation comes change and we all know how uncomfortable change can be.

Yet it’s change that creates growth.

The Key To An Effective Evaluation

The quality of your evaluation will depend on the quality of the questions you ask yourself.

I’ll leave the questions you ask during you’re evaluation up to you because I believe it’s critical for each of us to make our own way.

However if you would like a little guidance to get you started, I provided a list of my core questions and insights as to why they are important below:

What did I accomplish this week that helped me get closer to achieving my ultimate outcomes in life?

It’s critical as young professionals that we’re always striving to achieve something significant in life.  Not only does this improve our ability to produce but it gives our work a purpose, which makes the long hours we spend at work much more rewarding.

The Importance of This Question: Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

In what areas of my life did I improve this week?

When we can identify how and in what ways we’re improving, it gives us momentum and the energy needed to keep improving week after week.

The Importance of This Question: Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. – Jim Rohn

What events happened last week where I could have improved?

We’re all going to make mistakes and there’s always room for improvement.  What’s not acceptable is making the same mistakes over and over again and/or not striving for improvement each day.

This question forces us to reevaluate our week making sure we look at areas where we could’ve improved so the next time we face similar situations we will know how to handle them appropriately.

The Importance of This Question: Make the most of yourself… for that is all there is of you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What did I enjoy doing this week?  Why did I enjoy doing them?

This is a significant question because it makes us focus on the activities that gave us energy.

The benefit of this is it will help us determine what areas of our current job or possible future job will create the most excitement and engagement throughout our careers.

When we work towards spending the majority of our time in these areas it results in higher productivity and a strong sense of fulfillment.

The Importance of This Question: People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they’re doing. – Dale Carnegie

What books, blogs, etc. did I read this week that helped me build my expertise and business acumen? What did I learn from them?

If we take the time out of our week to read but we do it passively not remembering anything, then what is the point of reading?

To avoid this from happening I will take 25 – 30 minutes at the end of each week to review my notes of everything that I read.

The Importance of This Question: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go. – Dr. Seuss

Whose lives did I improve this week and what did I do to improve them?

All of us have the needs of connection and contribution.  I’ve found that I’m able to meet both of these needs when I’m focused on helping others.

The Importance of This Question: The secret to living is giving. – Tony Robbins

What actions did I take last week that are helping me develop an extraordinary psychology?  

Examples:

  • I know I perform my best when I practice gratitude.  Therefore I was grateful for the challenges I faced knowing they were their to help me build patience, creativity and perseverance.
  • I stopped “over-thinking” by being assertive and took massive action.
  • By completely focusing on the task at hand I was able to keep myself fully engaged and energized throughout the day.
  • I read/listened to books on human psychology and performance that are helping me understand and condition my mind to perform at peak levels.

The Importance of This Question: Extraordinary people have an extraordinary psychology.

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So if you’re not satisfied with what you’ve achieved thus far in your career or you’re the type of person who’s looking for ways to constantly improve, commit and make the time to do a weekly evaluation.

Even if it’s only for 15 minutes, just do it.

There are 10,080 minutes in a week so not making the time to take 15 minutes to do something that will transform your career is no excuse.

The important thing is that you start now.

Once you get into it you might not stop because of the clarity, direction and fulfillment it will bring you.

*In addition this information will play a critical role in planning out your next week making sure that you’re constantly improving and taking control of your career.

Stay disciplined, stay committed and truly believe that making the time to do a weekly evaluation will work… because it will.