After my first trip to London, many years ago, I returned home to hear the recorded announcement “mind the gap” playing over and over in my head. If you’ve been and ridden the “Tube” (their version of a subway) you know what I’m saying. When the doors to the train open the recording is played over the loud speaker: “mind the gap”. Not a saying I was accustomed to hearing. It meant to simply be aware of the gap between the platform and the train. It was a warning, be aware, don’t step in or fall into the gap.
Monitor Your Progress
Hopefully you may have your 2014 goals clearly written and you have begun the journey toward seeing them come alive. If you are going to see your goals fully achieved this year you must develop a way to monitor your progress – in other words – mind the gap between where you are and where you want to be. This is important for several reasons:
- Motivation – it’s important that you see progress.
- Course Correction – you need to make adjustments on a regular basis to make sure you stay on course.
- Resources – you may need more or less or different resources to continue forward and reach your goals.
Systematically monitoring your progress will keep you keenly aware of “the gap” and the strategies necessary to navigate the road ahead to continue toward success.
How Often, How Much?
It is possible to get too much feedback and get focused too much on “The Gap” versus the goal. I know all of the DATA driven among us are thinking right now that what’s needed is more DATA. DATA is great, but knowing how much to have and how often to get it is important for staying vision focused. So how do you know? There are a few key measurements to determine the frequency of monitoring the amount:
- Duration – what date have you put on the goal? A short term goal requires more monitoring, the further out the goal the greater the duration between assessments of “The Gap”.
- Skill and ability – if you are a novice in living out your goal you will want to be careful of being too critical. Good things, worthy goals, take time. If your goal is to get your 4 year college degree, you cannot make a good assessment after the first day of school – finish the semester – then mind “The Gap”.
Focus On The Finish Line
Regardless of whether your goals are short term or long term, keep in mind that you are moving toward living life as the masterpiece God created you to be. Life is a marathon race. See the finish line; keep the vision or goal in mind. You need to celebrate progress but not to the detriment of finishing. You need to see the distance to the goal but not to the point of discouragement. If you feel you must choose one or the other when looking at “The Gap” between where you are and your goal – it’s better to focus on the finish line – it’s all about vision of what could and should be.
A Masterpiece In Progress
Remember that as you “Mind The Gap” that you are God’s masterpiece and He is working in your life to reflect that each day. “As an artist who has envisioned His masterpiece from the first brush stroke of life to the last, God is not willing to leave anything on the canvas that’s different from what He intended. He won’t leave anything undone or accept something that’s wrong and distracting from the overall masterpiece. He has a final picture in mind, and while we may not fully see it or understand, God as the artist clearly sees His desired end result. “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” (1 John 3:2) (Book: Life Palette)
Next Steps To Mind The Gap:
- How are you monitoring progress for your goals? If you have not set a time and system to evaluate progress (Mind The Gap) take a few moments and get a date on the calendar to evaluate.
- What do you need to do to stay focused on the finish line? Are you keeping the goal clearly before you on a daily basis? What can you do to do this better?