As humans, we are consistently looking at how we measure our progress. Are we where we thought we’d be at this time? At work or in business- how are productivity and profit measuring up? What’s next- a new job, growth in your business, further exploration of your career? Perhaps you are accustomed to setting and meeting goals at work on a project or at specific times in the form of a performance reviews. We’ve been accustomed and acculturated to this sort of evaluation process as a natural and normal progression or evolution of our academic or professional selves. But staying organized and thoughtful around this process is where we need structure in order to achieve and continue moving forward.
Here is a framework for how we approach our business goals:
1. Write down achievable and measurable goals.
2. Make a plan for achieving those goals- create categories and action plans by category.
3. Set a specified amount of time to evaluate and see how effective you were at achieving them – are profits increasing, is performance improving? After evaluating, you can adjust and recreate a different version of this goal for the next time frame.
This begs the next question- how do you track progress in your life? Do you use similar measures? Is it necessary to track progress? How do you determine what goes on this list? Are there categories to consider- home, work, relationships, travel, family, self, faith? Which come first? Do you feel guilty if you don’t meet your goals or engage in negative self talk if you don’t meet your own expectations?
I think you can approach your personal progress in the same way you approach anything in life- with intention and reasonable expectations.
Here are a few ideas that might help you set your intention and track your personal goals and progress:
1. Use visuals– I love color and charts. Check out these notebooks and color ideas on Instagram: @Leuchtturm1917 and @breeeberry have a winning combination for creating stunning and effective goals and making them come alive
2. Set realistic goals: The negative self talk will creep in if you are shooting for the stars when you have yet to get to the moon. My personal goal this week is to be active 6 days- walk, gym, yoga- whatever it is, just be moving. But my starting place was 4 or 5 days, so this isn’t a huge stretch, but it does push my goal to the next level. Where is your starting place? Where do you want to be? Find a happy medium.
3. Strive for progress not perfection– by having a way to measure the actual progress you will be able to see your results vs. getting down on yourself for not reaching your goals. If your goal is to save $100/ month, start by saving $25/ week and tracking it’s growth. Then each week you’ll be able to see that incremental progress moving in the right direction. If it’s only $5 you end up having at the end of your first week, it’s $5 more dollars than you had the week before. Baby steps.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery