Milestones, challenges and metrics

I want to talk about two related things today.

The first is setting yourself milestones and challenges in the pursuit of your goals. Ideally your goals will be challenging, maybe even slightly scary. This means they are not immediately and quickly achievable. Which means, for some people, motivation can wane quickly. Setting yourself milestones, challenges and mini-goals is a way to maintain focus, commitment and motivation. You can even choose to use every activity you do in pursuit of your goal as a challenge - to run a tiny bit faster or further, to feel like the weight class was slightly easier, to book one client more per quarter, to get feedback one point higher than last time, to increase your revenue by 0.5%. The big goals may be to be fitter, faster, more successful, for business growth but it is these small challenges and milestones that will keep you going.

This leads me to my second point about taking and USING measurements. What metrics are you using to track your progress? For fitness related things there are so many easy apps to get lots of metrics. (You don’t need to use them all 😉!) By using a range of metrics not only can you see progress in some areas even when you’re not seeing it in others, you can also put the brakes on when you might be about to push yourself too far. This week I was considering adding a strength workout in yesterday. But a quick look at my Strava stats showed I’d already increased my workout time a lot this week so it would be better to not add another workout, to see how I felt and then add it in to next weekend if I felt good.

For business/work related goals, consider what metrics are most useful for you to track. Don’t rule out subjective measures like how you feel at the end of the day/week, how pleased you are with your work. By logging and tracking these you can not only see patterns that can give you information about how you can better target your efforts, but you can see relevant progress that may not be obvious in other ways. Objective measures like revenue and numbers of clients booked are easily tracked but if you’re not reviewing them, it’s unused data! Get into the routine of taking and reviewing measurements and working out what those changes mean for you and where you need to focus more or less.

I will also mention (again!) that when you meet those milestones and ace those challenges, reward yourself!

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