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How to Effectively Measure Progress on Your Goals

How to Measure Your Goals

  • Whether you keep up with your goals in an app, on your computer or on a notepad, keep up with them.
  • Measure your progress by where you are compared to where you were.
  • When you look back, check for any patterns in your actions. There are certain things that allow us to complete more goals, while other things end up making us less productive. 
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    How to Effectively Measure Progress on Your Goals

    How to Effectively Measure Progress on Your Goals


    Key Ideas

    Gradual increase + persistence = new habits

    Small habits might not seem life-changing at first, but you will see huge progress compounding over time.

    That’s exactly how you measure your goals, by looking backward. Goal progress should be measured by where you are now compared to where you used to be.

    How to Measure Your Goals

  • Whether you keep up with your goals in an app, on your computer or on a notepad, keep up with them.
  • Measure your progress by where you are compared to where you were.
  • When you look back, check for any patterns in your actions. There are certain things that allow us to complete more goals, while other things end up making us less productive. 
  • Do a weekly recap

    • Get an overview of everything that happened in the week. 
    • Identify positives. Look at the things that you wanted to accomplish and did. 
    • Identify negatives. Look at the things that you wanted to accomplish and didn’t. 
    • Take notes and summarize your entire week, both positive and negative. 
    • Take what you have learned from your previous week and plan your next week accordingly


    Why Set Personal Goals
    • You are in charge. Personal goals force you to take responsibility for the actual efforts and progress.
    • You see the small steps leading to a big picture: big goals c...
    “Which? Why? What? How?” Technique

    ... for choosing personal goals. Ask yourself these questions:

    1. Ask yourself which aspect of your life you would like to change most.
    2. Think about why you want to change this.
    3. How will that change make you feel? Determine what exactly will make you feel this way.
    4. Ask yourself how you can make this happen and then make it your personal goal.
    The Life Balance Chart Technique
    • Draw a chart. Write down each of the various areas of your life (family, health, self-development, career, relationships) in a new column or line.
    • Assess your current happiness level in each of these categories by giving it a score from 1 to 10.
    • Think what will make you be fully satisfied with these areas. Write down your ideas – you will be able to transform them into personal plans.

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    Counterproductive goal tracking

    When you make progress toward your long-term goal, your brain – with its mental checklist of many goals – turns off the mental processes that were driving you to pursue your long-term goa...

    How to combat The Progress Trap
    • View your actions as evidence that you are committed to your goal.
    • Always remind yourself why you want to reach your goal, especially as you reach milestones along the way.
    • Look at your accomplishments to see that you really do care about your goal.
    • After you make positive steps toward a goal, ask yourself: “How committed do you feel toward that goal?” 
    Setting work goals
    • Set goals at regular intervals and give yourself enough time.
    • When you think you might not meet a goal, take a step back to asses the situation.
    • Be transparen...
    Goals should be aspirational

    If you fail to meet them, you probably set difficult ones for yourself.
    Goals should inspire you to stretch yourself. If you hit all of your goals every time, they might not be ambitious enough.

    Saving on Transport

    Cycle or walk to work to save money and get fitter. If you’re on the lazy side, invest in an electric bike to help you up those hills in the morning.

    Also, if you normally drive to wor...

    Saving On Electricity

    Turn your lights off when leaving the room. If you live with forgetful people, place little stickers by the switch to give people helpful reminders.

    You can also replace bulbs with energy-saving ones.

    Saving On Self-Care

    Simplify your beauty regime and ditch expensive creams. All your skin needs is a good diet, plenty of water and hydration.

    Also, brush your teeth twice a day and don’t forget to floss. Having teeth issues leads to expensive dental bills.

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    Goal setting
    Goal setting

    Is the act of selecting a target or objective you wish to achieve.

    Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the costs you are willing to pay t...

    The Rudders and Oars Metaphor
    It helps clarify the difference between SYSTEMS and GOALS:
    • Your goals are like the rudder on a small rowboat. They set the direction and determine where you go. 
    • If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. 
    • If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.
    • If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

    Example: If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

    How to Set Goals You'll Actually Follow
    1. Ruthlessly Eliminate Your Goals. Consistently prune and trim down your goals. If you can muster the courage to prune away a few of your goals, then you create the space you need for the remaining goals to fully blossom.
    2. Stack Your Goals. Make a specific plan for when, where and how you will perform this."Networking: After I return from my lunch break, I will send one email to someone I want to meet."
    3. Set an Upper Bound. Don't focus on the minimum threshold. Instead of saying,  “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today.” rather say, “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today, but not more than 20.”

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    Not all goals are created equal:
    • Merely fantasizing about your goal is de-motivating – it actually tricks the brain into thinking you already have achieved it.
    • Goals that aren’t set up properly can end ...
    Setting and Achieving Your Goals
    • Step #1: Take Your Emotional Temperature, around the most important areas of your life.
    • Step #2: The Neurology of Ownership: When we take ownership of something–an item, an idea or a goal–we are more committed to it.
    • Step #3: Outcome + Process: Most people set an intention or an ideal outcome and try working toward it, but that gets you only halfway there. You have to pick an outcome and a process.
    • Step #4: Identify Blockers: When we first set our goals we are super optimistic and filled with hope–and that’s great. One thing that happens, however, is we fail to identify possible blockers.
    #1. Find Your Emotional Temperature

    Rate these areas of your life on a scale from 1 to 5 and plot it on your Goal Wheel. (1 being extremely dissatisfied, 5 being extremely satisfied)

    • Business: How do you feel about your work, career or business effectiveness and success?
    • Friends: How is your social life? Your friendships and support system?
    • Family: How are your personal relationships? Your partner or spouse?
    • Personal Passions: Do you have personal passion projects, hobbies, or fun activities that fulfil you?
    • Spiritual: You can interpret this one any way you like. It could be your faith, mental health, personal journeys or mindset.
    • Health: Are you happy with your physical health and wellness?

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    Make planning a habit
    Make planning a habit

    Some mornings we feel motivated to create a to-do list, but that is often the exception. We need to get things done, even when we feel disengaged.

    Start by setting the alarm for you...

    Align your to-do list with goals
    1. Break down your big goals into daily tasks. You can't add "Get in shape" to your daily to-do list, but you can add "spend 30 minutes on my bike."
    2. Consider your week as a whole. You likely have multiple goals. Some goals benefit from daily activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum.
    3. Add your have-to-do tasks last. We often fill our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Adding it last forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.
    Have one daily priority

    Many of us start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. We did get stuff done, but none of the things we planned.

    A balm against hectic days that pass without progress is to choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar. If you struggle to select your top priority, ask yourself, when you look back on your day, what do you want the highlight to be? That's your priority.

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    Personal Objective Key Results - OKR
    Personal Objective Key Results - OKR

    OKRs take big lofty goals, segment them into objectives, and then tie each of those objectives to actionable Key Results.

    The Objective is the point on the...

    Setting your personal OKR
    • Decide on your mission for your quarter.
    • Break mission down into objectives. 
    • Draft your Key Results. Key Results are specific, timely and measurable indicators of your progress.
    • Consider the purpose of each KR.
    • Find an accountability partner
    • Check in every 2–4 weeks with your partner. 
    Goals should get measured

    Two-thirds of senior managers can’t name their firms’ top priorities and more than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals.

    So the problem is that while comp...

    Own your goals

    Once you’ve written down a company or a team goal, two questions arise. Who is responsible for the goal (accountability), and how do you review the results (performance review)?

    These goals are designed to try new things, experiment and break old habits. It’s reaching for the moon and landing among the stars.

    Tracking goals with meetings

    Track your progress towards said goal week by week. This is called continuous performance review. 

    Weekly status meetings are used in most companies. But you have to be careful with them as they can become pointless very easily if you haven’t set clear goals first.

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    Motivation vs. Intention

    We all have the motivation, willpower, or desire to achieve our goals to some degree.

    What makes the difference, what turns your goals into reality is not really your level of motivation, ...

    Implementation Intentions

    They refer to the plan you make about when and where to act before the action occurs.

    The format for creating an implementation intention is: “When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.”

    Implementation intentions are an effective way of sticking to your goals.

    Follow Through With Your Goals

    If you make a specific plan for when and where you will perform a new habit, you have bigger chances to follow through.

    You don't need motivation, you need clarity. Simply follow your predetermined plan: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].

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