One of the most powerful tools to help you achieve your goals, or form new habits, is to track and measure your progress. Many people will set a goal and identify the action steps they need to take but that is often when the formal part of the goal setting process ends. Keeping track of the activities that contribute, or don’t contribute, to achieving your goals is a key part of the process, but many people fail to do it. Most rely on the lag indicators or looking at the end results to determine whether or not they achieved their goal. But waiting until the end of the month, quarter, or year is too late. Those who are most successful at achieving their goals keep track of their daily activities and measure those activities on a regular basis.
The process of tracking and measuring your activities forces you to be very intentional about how you are choosing to spend your time. Your activities either contribute to you achieving your goal or they don’t. It is so much easier to correct your course if you get off track when you are reviewing where you stand on a daily or weekly basis.
I Don’t Have the Time. Many people fail at this because think it would be too tedious and take too much time to track their activities, but that is an excuse. It takes no more than 10 or 15 minutes to review your week and compare the actions you took versus what you planned to do.
I Get Discouraged. If you have a bad day or week and you didn’t do everything you planned on doing, you may be tempted to just stop tracking. Measuring your behaviors is eye-opening. You may feel discouraged when you realize you just spent an entire week and did not do any of the tasks you had planned to do. If you quit tracking though, you are also “quitting” you goal. Don’t stop measuring your progress. Start taking action, even if it is small and seemingly insignificant. The worst thing you can do is quit!
I’m More of a Free Spirit. Many people who consider themselves to be creative often resist the idea of measuring their progress. They feel that the tracking process stifles their creativity and inspiration. They feel that is too structured of an approach. If you were to take a cross-country road trip, you would do some pre-planning. No matter how much of a “free spirit” someone is, there are still important milestones that need to be considered. Where do you want to go? Where will you sleep? Will you need reservations? When will you need to stop for gas? When do you want/need to be back home? When a client resists the idea of measuring their progress, we ask “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?”
What Kind of Results Can I Expect? Double digit improvements are common. One client reported having a 2000% improvement in profits the first year they started using the tracking and measuring process, followed by a second year of an additional 200% improvement. Every business and individual is different, so results will vary, but significant improvements are not only possible, but highly likely when applying the principles of tracking and measuring your actions consistently and over time.
The key to this whole process is to review and reflect on your results, regularly. If you missed the mark one week, take time to reflect on what obstacles you encountered. What can you do in the coming week to avoid those obstacles? If you hit the mark, it is also the perfect time to review what worked so you can set yourself up for success and continue to experience positive results in the coming week.
If you really want to see your results take off and achieve your goals even faster, working with a coach can really help. A coach helps you hold yourself accountable to do those tasks and take the actions that you keep avoiding. The tasks themselves are usually not all that complex or difficult; they are relatively easy to do. The challenge is, when you have no one to report back to, those tasks are just as easy NOT to do. That is where having a coach helps.
Jim Rohn, the entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker once said “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
So take your goal-setting process to the next level by tracking and measuring your progress. You will find that doing so will produce faster and stronger results.
Retail Level Up provides coaching, training, and consulting services to individuals and teams. To learn more about how to create a plan to achieve this kind of success in your company, or for your team, visit www.retaillevelup.com. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.