Setting a goal is crucially important, but it’s also important to stay on track with it. Sometimes, you might put tons of effort and time in achieving your goal, but fail to reach it, without realizing why. Just like you should work smart, not hard, you should achieve your goals smartly, not hardly. Measuring your goal progress helps you save your time, stay on track with the whole process, and know when to quit this goal and set a new one.
Measuring your goal progress will also help you stay motivated and inspired to perform better in order to reach that goal. When you see your progress – even the smallest one – you realize that you’re in the right direction and you should keep working hard to achieve your goal. Here’s a little guide on how to measure your goal progress and finally reach your goal.
1. What are your goals?
You might say, “I know what my goals are,” but it’s not enough for making a progress. There are process goals and outcome goals. The process goals are the actions you take to reach your goals while the outcome goals are those that you’re striving for, like getting a degree. Focus on your process goals on a daily basis. Even the smallest action taken towards your goal makes you closer to reaching it. Think over each action, though. The last thing you want to do is wasting your time and effort on the action that won’t help you take a step ahead.
2. Quantify your progress
Quality matters but, in some cases, quantity matters most. Quantitative measurement will help you to see the facts and figures of your journey. Moreover, you’ll see what you should change and what you should celebrate in order to motivate yourself to move forward and eventually achieve your goal. For example, you’re trying to save money on a new car yet you’re very tight on money. Get a jar and fill it with coins as often as possible. As you see it’s half full or full, count the money to see your progress. Don’t set any expectations and don’t be too hard on yourself, though. No matter how much you saved, you take little steps towards your goal.
3. How far have you come?
One of the best techniques to measure your goal progress is by realizing that you have a goal that you’re trying to achieve. Now, take a few seconds and think about how far you’ve come on your journey. If you’re really spending your efforts on reaching your goals, evaluate your progress. Are you satisfied where you are right now? Do you think you can do more? Also, evaluate your energy levels. Of course, you can do more, but it should affect your health. Don’t be too hard on yourself and try to be as realistic as you can.
By measuring your goal progress based on the actions you already accomplished, not on the number of actions left to accomplish, you’ll figure out you’ve actually made lots of progress, you’ll believe in your success and abilities to attain goals. If your goal is big, divide it into several smaller goals and celebrate the accomplishment of each.
4. Create a plan
If you have a goal that is hard to achieve, create a detailed plan for achieving it. This plan will show you each step you will need to take in order to become closer to your dream. When planning, you can divide your goals into several steps or sub-goals for you to see what you should do next in case you lose your track or motivation. However, make sure those sub-goals are achievable. You can even create a timeframe for each sub-goal to measure progress easily. Not only will you achieve your goal faster, but will also learn how to stay organized and motivated to do something in accordance with a plan. Plus, creating a detailed plan can help you boost your productivity and eliminate time wasters. Not to mention that it’ll help you to monitor your progress and change certain points of the plan as soon as you see any obstacles.
5. Measure how far you’re from your goal
If you feel like there’s a huge distance between you and your goal, it’s important to instantly close that gap. Life in unpredictable and certain situations can delay your goal progress. It’s okay; don’t stress over it. Give yourself enough time to handle your problems and return to your goal. Create a new plan with new timeframes and start taking actions. Any gap can be successfully filled when you’re aware of it.
6. Measure your mistakes and failures
No success journey is complete without mistakes and rules. When trying to achieve your goal, you’re going to make some mistakes or even fail to complete a certain point of the plan. Forgive yourself, learn your lesson, and move on. Nothing good will happen if you keep crying over spilled milk and complaining over the loss. Each mistake or failure has its own consequences, depending on how significant it is. Measure your mistakes to see what’s preventing you from working on your dream.
7. Rate your goal progress
Finally, you can measure your goal progress by rating it. Create your own rating system and honestly rate your progress at least once a week. Your rating system might contain numbers from 1 to 10 where 1 is a disappointment and 10 is a satisfaction. Use any numbers and create a definition for each of them. When rating your actions, you should be as honest as possible. There’s no sense in lying to yourself, as this way, you’ll only delay your goals and plans. When measuring your goal progress on a weekly or monthly basis, you create a source of motivation and confidence for yourself. However, be sure you’re ready for the worst as well. The techniques mentioned above have been used to help people reach their goals, with some of them being too hard to reach.
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