One of the most important parts of goal setting is measuring your progress. Measuring your progress allows you to see how you’re coming along, and this is a powerful motivator to help you stick with it. It also gives you a realistic picture of the situation and lets you know when you need a change of strategy.
Here are some great ways to measure your progress:
- Facts and Figures. No matter what type of goals you’ve set, find a way to quantify progress. If you’re saving money or dieting, this is easy to do. You can keep track in pounds lost or dollars saved. If your goal is something that’s not easily quantifiable, like spending more time with your family, track it as a number of hours. For example, ‘I spent 15 hours this week with my kids.’
- Stay on Schedule. In order to reach a goal, you need to break it into sub-goals and put them into some kind of timeframe. This is how you stay organized and a great way to chart your progress. A schedule shows you if you’re hitting your targets or not. Sticking to your schedule is important but allow yourself some flexibility. The real point of setting these deadlines is to monitor progress so feel free to change them as you go if you need to.
- Keep a Journal. When you decide on your goal and you have the specifics worked out, write it down on the first page of a notebook. This notebook will be your goal journal. Imagine that you’re writing a letter to your future self, and set aside a little bit of time each day to write about how it’s going. Your journal entries don’t have to be long or incredibly detailed. Just write about what you did today and how you feel about it.
- Tick It. Another even easier idea than a journal is to keep a simple tick sheet. When you complete a task, simply tick it off. You can create a tick sheet or find one online that you can download. Using a calendar is another way to do it. Tick sheets are great for marking off your daily tasks and sub-goals. They give you a visual representation of how far you’ve come.
- Ratings and Rankings. You can keep track of your progress by creating your own rating and ranking system. Make a system that goes from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. If, for example, you want to become more confident, you can monitor your confidence each day and rate it. A rating of 5 might mean you’re ready to take on the world; 1 means that you want to crawl into bed and hide!
Keep in mind that all of the above suggestions take time out of your busy schedule. When you’re working toward an important goal, you may feel that you don’t have much to spare. The little bit of time, however, that you take to measure your progress benefits you considerably. The key is to decide how much time you can devote to measuring goal progress and choose a system that fits it.
What are some ways you measure your success with your goals? I’d love to hear from you.