Previously I wrote about motivation and how to find it in order to get the things done that will result in you achieving your goals. Now that I’ve covered how to find motivation or how to generate motivation for yourself, the next step would be to cover how to approach or frame the way you measure and track the goals that the motivation is driving you towards.
Goals Vs. Tracking Goals
Measuring or tracking the progress of a goal is arguably as important as the goal or the reason behind setting the goal in the first place. Yes having a goal is step number one, but it’s like jumping in a car and driving with your dashboard disconnected. You’re going somewhere, but you have no idea how fast you’re going, how far you’ve travelled, or how much fuel you’re using.
Having that goal is important. It gives you something to aim for, it sets the GPS coordinates; congratulations, you know where you’re going… That’s all good and well but if there’s no way of measuring the progress, that goal is as good as useless. You’re on a road somewhere but there is no way of knowing if you’re half way there, or whether you’ve even put the vehicle in gear. You may feel like you’re getting somewhere, but with no way to orientate yourself within your goal, you may be taking a year to do one mile of a 10,000 mile journey.
Cut the waffle Ovenstone, what’s the message?
Okay let’s say you have a goal to ‘get into shape’. If weight, was the only metric to measure progress, there would be numerous other variables that were not taken into consideration. Think body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI), measuring waistline etc..
Not adding the tracking of those multiple variables to the goal means there are a number of ways in which progress could be made that’s not identified. This leaves you feeling like a failure, when in reality you may have burned five percent body fat, but still weigh the same weight as you did a month ago.
Back to the car example to try and drive my point home. Let’s say the measure on how well you are progressing is the depth of the tyre tread. Because you’re in first gear doing a mile a day, the wear and tear on your tyres will be minimal, so if that was your only measure for assessing progress, well, you’re doing pretty well, but add a measure of miles per gallon or miles per hour, and maybe throw in a measurement on the wear and tear of the engine and gear box, and now you have a lot more data to work with and you can now see the progress you’re making is really slow.
If The Goal is Important, You Should Consider Multiple Measures of Progress to Gain a Full Picture of Success
Consider the ways in which goals are tracked and determine whether there is enough rigour around the process or whether there are variables that are being left on the table. These variables may be just what you need to consider to provide you with a true representation of progress.
If none of those metrics are moving, then you’re on the wrong path and need to shift things, if one or two are trending in the ‘wrong’ direction, but the majority are pointing towards success or the completion of the goal, this tells you you just need to manipulate or amend the misaligning metrics to add fuel to the fire and get things burning even hotter.
If a goal is truly important to you, take some time to pause and think about all the indicators of progress, I guarantee this will set you up for the win by empowering you to gain a truer picture of success throughout the journey.