At the beginning of the year I wrote a blog post about setting goals to pave the path to the changes you want to see happening in your life.
Setting the goals is the easy part. The next and more difficult step is to achieve them. This implies accountability, motivation and care. Yes care.
Caring means being able to track and measure the progression, to see what is working, what is not and adjust accordingly. If you know me well enough (or if you have ever worked with me) you know that one thing I often say is that “If you can’t measure, you can’t improve”. Well that’s what caring is about.
If you can’t track and measure – How do you know whether you are progressing toward your objective or not?
Let’s take an easy example : You are on a diet and want to lose weight. Well if you don’t measure yourself (and I will come back on what I mean by measure) you will not know :
- if you are effectively losing weight or not
- and, if what you are doing to lose weight is working or not.
(I am using a weight loss example because this is something that speaks to most of us, but technically you could take any situation. With my clients I often take as an example the preparation for a marathon)
Now… how do we care? How do we measure? Well I am glad you’re asking!
Step 1 : Define your success
What does success look like for you?
Write it down. What is the objective you are trying to achieve ? Why is this important for you ? Try to define a SMART objective (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound). It may sound “cliche” but if you don’t define a precise objective, how are you going to know you have achieved it?
Keeping the same example, instead of marking down “I want to lose weight”, why don’t you try “I want to lose 3 kilos in 1 month”. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound, like I said.
Step 2 : Define your metric
In other words, how are you going to track that what you are doing is working or not?
What is the right metric for you?
This is an important question because depending on what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to achieve it, there are different metrics. Another important thing is that you pick the metric that is right for you, the one that you are going to easily track and follow.
Coming back to my weight loss example :
- If you hate weighing yourself but prefer to see how you are fitting in your clothes for example or look at yourself in the mirror, well that’s fine. How are you going to measure this? Will you see if you feel tighter in your clothes or not? If you look closer to your expectations in the mirror or not?
- If you are planning to gain muscle, weighing yourself may not be the best indicator. Will you take measurement? Invest in a smart scale?
Etc. I think you understand what I am trying to explain here. Pick the metric that works for you.
Step 3 : Define how you are going to care about your metric
What is the right follow up for you? When are you going to measure? Every week? Every month? Do you want to track this information somewhere?
Remember, being able to compare your results against your target over a period of time will allow you to not only leverage what is working to scale progress, but also to adjust what is not working to reset the right path.
So in terms of follow-up what are you going to use ?
- An app? Such as a fitness app, activity tracker or just a goal tracker?
- A bullet journal? Or a simpler diary?
- An advanced BI reporting tool? (ok kidding here..)
Step 4 : Don’t forget to care about yourself
Is this journey working for you? Are you enjoying it?
Don’t forget yourself in the process because ultimately you are doing this for you, to achieve what you have decided is required to reach your objective. What is the point of reaching your objective if you are not enjoying it? If you are not feeling happy, energised and motivated by what you are doing?
Let me give you a (personal) example about weight loss. I once tried a Keto diet heavily based on meat. If you know me a little bit you know I am not a big fan of meat. So yes I was doing something toward my objective, yes it was working (like hell actually !) but no I wasn’t enjoying it. So I stopped. FULL stop. No judgement. I moved on and researched what would work better for me and would allow me to reach my objectives without compromising my values. Or in other words remaining true to who I am and what my core values are.
Now that you have read this, let me know how you succeed? How do you care to activate success in your life? Because sharing is (also) caring, I can’t wait to hear from you!
In the meantime don’t forget to stick to what works for you and to enjoy your personal growth journey !