So in 2012 we had another election result in the USA election. During the lead up to the voting there had been all kinds of postings on the internet from both sides of the political divide complaining that the President had "disappointed me", "not done enough", "not done anything!", and more of that nature but less polite.
With the election concluded we know that there is another period of four years to follow this last period of four years. So I thought to myself - is it true? Has the President not done much in the past four years? What has he done? This is what I found in 2012. According to Washington Monthly, here are a few:
- Passed Health Care Reform
- Pushed Broadband Coverage
- Expanded Health Coverage for Children
- Passed Wall Street Reform
- Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
- Reversed Bush Torture Policies
- Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program,
- Expanded Pell Grant Spending
- Increased Support for Veterans
- Passed Credit Card Reforms:
- Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco
- Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill
- Created Recovery.gov
- Recognized the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide
- Expanded Stem Cell Research
You can find the complete list here
To me, that looks like a fair bit to have accomplished. In any circumstances. And yet I am more interested in your results.
So What Does The Average Person Accomplish In Four Years?
And it got me to wondering. It's easy to be critical of others in the public eye. Just point and complain, and some do that without even checking out what has been done. Certainly, I have not achieved anything of such importance in the same 4 year period. I had not brought in a big public policy, or implemented some social justice program. Nothing like it.
I wonder for those who are reporting being disappointed, what their own report card on the past four years would read like.
We are quick to make judgments about others without relating that back to our own performance. What would be 'enough' for the President to achieve in a term. What measure are we holding ourselves to when we look at life in 4 year intervals?
Four years is a good chunk of time. It is enough time to do a great many things. Have you accomplished all that you set out to achieve during the past 4 years? Did you start with some goals to achieve, because many didn't even get that far.
What Will Achievement Of Your Goals Mean To You?
Are you happy with what you achieved during this last 4 years? What stands out for you during this time?
What about the next four years... will you set out to achieve something specific that you'll commit to do in the next four years?
"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan.
And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." - Jim Rohn
I like to look at goals with clients for the next 12 months and for a 5 year span. A 4 year span would do well too and if we segment these four year intervals to coincide with elections, that could be a good way to piggy-back our own goals so that we can do our own audit of progress while we compare that with that our governments have achieved over the same period. That makes some kind of sense as it is a built-in measure of time.
Politicians come and go. What's critically important to us all - is what we do about the things over which we have control. That's our life. We are the President of that. Make it a job we can be proud of having done well.
Review the past 4 years and honestly report on your performance.
Take some time out and commit to some goals that you will reach in the next 4 years.
What will you be able to say, in four years time, that you achieved in this term?
Edited: This post updated in November 2013
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