You Can’t Improve On Something You Don’t Measure

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

If you want to manage your spending, you need to track what you spend and where.

If you want to be more kind, generous and loving, you need to track when you exhibit these behaviors.

If you want to improve your skills, you study, practice and take a test – it gives an assessment of your skills.

In all of these scenarios, the common denominator is information: tracking your behavior to provide you with insights you can assess to determine how you want or need to move forward.

As a result, when you look at your life and decide what you want to achieve, learn or improve on, learning to measure is critical. 

I was a financial professional in the early part of my career, and quickly became aware of the value of numbers. Numbers are the financial representation of the quality of the organization’s decisions – the decision to hire, promote, engage or fire. The decision of what to sell and how much to sell it for. All of these are daily decisions that affect the organization’s financial performance. The numbers are the metrics that assess the decisions and drive the performance.

But metrics don’t need to be solely used in financial situations. In fact, there are ways to track metrics in your daily life to help you stay focused on achieving your goals.

Let’s say your goal is to improve your health over the next 30 days. As you start to develop the steps to move toward this goal, include a way to measure your progress. For instance, you could have a goal to walk for 20 minutes, 4 times a week. This is measureable. You could have a goal to run 4 times a week at a 9-minute mile pace. Again, measureable.

The information you gather during this time provides you with insights into what’s working and what’s not. Ultimately, the idea is that this information helps you see what you should continue to do (what’s working) and what you need to improve on (what’s not working).

Measurement helps you stay on track. You close the gap from where you are to what you want.

Important Questions from a Coach

  1. How can you quantify one goal you have to make it more measureable?
  2. How will you ensure that each end goal or performance goal includes a way for you to assess your progress?
  3. When you help others define and achieve their goals, how will you help them be clear about the specific measurements?

Most of us miss our goals because we can’t measure them. Give yourself some metrics that are specific and easy to measure, then assess and evaluate your progress to help you determine where you stand as you work toward your goal.


Consider reading Create a Personal Report Card.

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