“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward

“Over my career, I’ve had to adjust my game.” – Dwyane Wade

High performers understand the importance of a post-game analysis. Whether it’s a personal or professional review done at the end of the year, studying film after a competition, or creating a completion report after successfully executing a project – reflecting on the past can go a long way towards improving the future.

But, we don’t have to wait until the end to step back and reflect. In fact, doing regular in-game assessments can help to evaluate progress, capture insights, and redefine the route before we end up somewhere we’d rather not be.

Airplane pilots are always making micro-adjustments to stay on course. Sailboat crews are constantly trimming the sails and tweaking the heading to reach the next marker. Similarly, we need to periodically step back to check-in on where we are, integrate lessons or new information, and make sure we’re moving in the direction we want to be moving in.

Performing An In-Game Assessment

At a minimum, a good in-game assessment will have three components: what’s going well, what lessons have been learned, and what can be improved.* For longer term goals or projects, it might also make sense to evaluate whether or not the goal is still relevant or worth pursuing, and any changes that need to be made.

For example:

  1. Am I still excited about this GOAL?
  2. Can I reach my goal by continuing in the DIRECTION I’m headed?
  3. What is going WELL?
  4. What lessons have I LEARNED?
  5. What can be IMPROVED?

As we’re just a little more than halfway through 2017, it’s a great time to check-in with any resolutions or intentions set six months ago. What were the guiding ideas or themes¬†you chose for the year? How have you been doing in cultivating and embodying them?

If you can’t remember your words, now might be a good time to revisit and recommit. Or, if you never set an intention, take a moment to do so. What idea or theme is most important for you to focus on in the next 3-6 months? The thing that would have the greatest positive impact in your life if you were fully lean in.

*Inspired by, among others, Lanny Bassham’s post-performance evaluation.

In-Game Assessment: 2017’s Theme Words – Bold, Seen, Pro

I previously evaluated myself as “Goldilox” – not too hot, but not too cold either. Half-way through the year, I’ve made more progress in some areas, while others have slipped. Here’s how I’d complete the template above.

Am I still excited about this GOAL?


Can I reach my goal by continuing in the DIRECTION I’m headed?

Without making any changes, I think I’ll fall short. Time to make a few tweaks.

What is going WELL?

  • I’ve been bolder in conversations, in my relationships, in coaching, and in pushing myself physically.
  • I’ve given several keynotes, continue to enjoy being a guest on popular podcasts and interviews, and have had features in a few of my favorite websites – including a recent two part story on Live Your Legend (Part 1, Part 2).
  • I’ve shipped a few tools, have illustrated over 100 +1s, and have developed a few exciting partnerships.

What lessons have I LEARNED?

  • Being bold requires stretching further and further outside of my comfort zone, which is uncomfortable by definition, and therefore easy to skip.
  • Part of turning pro means saying no to things that are outside my zone of genius.
  • Don’t put off taking action!

What can be IMPROVED?

  • Ship blog posts more consistently.
  • Website upgrades.
  • Re-commit to priorities, and the systems to make them happen.

What about you?

Run your intentions through the template above.