By Jay Forte
So many people have good intentions to make a change in their lives. They think about it. They talk about it. They actually start to do something and then, for many, it falls apart. Why does this happen?
- They lack goal clarity. Basically, they aren’t really sure what they want to achieve. A clear goal is required to know which direction is forward, sideways and backward. Clarity is key.
- They lack an accountability partner. Sometimes, you need someone to lean on or to help you stay committed to your commitments and goals. This is why many people look to gym buddies at the start of a new workout plan. Whether it’s a workplace coach, a friend or a family member, consider sharing your goal and ask them to help keep you committed to your achievement plan.
- They don’t measure or keep track of goals and progress. How will you know what progress you are making if you use generic and non-measurable terms like “do better,” “improve,” “work harder” or provide no metrics or measurements at all? Measurement is critical to the achievement of all goals. It allows you to assess whether your progress is at, ahead or behind expectation.
Before you start to move forward on making any change in your life, think about creating a personal report card to keep you moving forward on your goals.
A personal report card could include a spreadsheet of goals and your current progress or performance on each, tracked on a daily, weekly or monthly schedule. For example, you may have a goal of meditating and taking time to do some self-discovery work every day, so your goal is 30 days for the month. Seeing that you completed this 12 times in the month creates a review point for you. If you only did it 12 times, how important was the goal to you? If it was important, what stopped you from meeting your goal of 30 days?
Regularly comparing your progress against a goal provides information about what’s working and what’s not, giving you information from which to make wiser and better next decisions – to do more of what’s working and to improve on what’s not working.
When it comes to goals, measurements matter.
Important Questions from a Coach
- How can you create clear and measurable goals?
- What method will work best for you to measure your progress on your goals?
- What is one thing you can do right now to make progress on your goals?
As poet Mary Oliver asks in her poem, The Summer Day, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” How can creating clear and measurable goals help you have that “wild and precious life?”