It’s the first Monday in March, and it’s right about now that people start freaking out about their goals.  End of January?  We can catch up.  End of February?  Time to panic.

But not really.  If you’re behind on your 2015 goals already, you’re not alone.  And you also have plenty of time, and options, to get back on track.  Here are six steps and best practices I recommend tackling this week:

1. Review your assumptions

You can make a spreadsheet say anything.  Were your assumptions around volume, response rates or conversion too aggressive?  Now’s an ideal time to add a bit of reality to your assumptions and demand generation models.  Yes, the results may be sobering but it’s much better to adjust to reality now vs. live in dream land for much longer.  More accurate modeling will help you hone in on the levers you need to pull to get back on track quickly.

2. Find your weakest link(s)

You may be behind in aggregate, but I bet there are some channels, campaigns and initiatives that are doing just fine.  If that’s the case, which are pulling you down?  Identify and isolate those weakest links and either make adjustments, kill the campaign, and/or move those resources & dollars to what’s working.

3. Watch the video tape

It worked last year, you say, so why isn’t it working this quarter?  It’s likely you’re doing something different and you aren’t even aware.  Just one variable can tank a previously-successful campaign.  Review the details, match them to what worked last time.  Find the variable(s) that are different and make adjustments immediately.

4. Steal from your competitors

I highly recommend leveraging tools such as RivalIQ, TrackMaven, Spyfoo and others that give you regular insights into what your competitors are doing.  Some of these tools indicate what’s working, others simply tell you what they’re doing.  In either case, learn from and accelerate your testing based on what smart marketers are competing companies are doing right now.

5. Steal from your peers

Now’s also a great time to see what other companies (in entirely different industries) are doing to succesfully hit their demand generation goals.  What are they doing that’s working?  What adjustments have they made?  Read MarketingProfs, MarketingSherpa, Content Marketing Institute’s blog and more to get real-time input on what market-leading marketers are doing right now to exceed their objectives.

6. Don’t panic and give up too early

Seriously, it’s still early in the 2015 game.  There are plenty of tactics and campaigns are simply need more time to mature, marinate and perform.  This isn’t the case for everything you’re doing, but make sure you’re not giving up on marketing efforts before they’re reasonably expected to generate results.

How’s your number? What are you doing in early March to adjust and get (or stay) on track?