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Ever Wonder Why We Count to Three?

Ever Wonder Why We Count to Three?

January 9, 2007 was the day Steve Jobs introduced the first generation of the iPhone. It’s a seminal moment in technology history (and societal history) — the iPhone changed almost everything about how we interact with each other and brands, with Android and others soon following suit in the market. Beyond what the moment represented, the presentation itself is interesting.[1]

Jobs was famous for using expressions like “Wait, there’s more” or “Another thing” in his presentations, and he even opened the 2007 presentation by discussing the three revolutionary products they’d be introducing:

  • The first, a widescreen iPod with touch controls
  • The second, is a revolutionary mobile phone
  • And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device

    As the audience applauded, Jobs eventually said,

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    “Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices, they are one device and we are calling it iPhone!”

    The way Jobs structured his presentation is a concept called “The Rule of 3.” What is that exactly, and why is it so special?

    The Power of Three

    The Rule of 3 is a writing principle described in Roy Peter Clark’s book How To Write Short. It suggests that events or characters introduced in three are more humorous, satisfying, and effective in execution of a message and engaging the audience. The audience is more likely to remember the information conveyed and it makes the speaker appear knowledgeable while being both simple and catchy.

    Martin Luther King Jr., the civil rights activist and preacher, was known for his uses of tripling and the Rule of 3 throughout his many influential speeches.

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      His speech “Non-Violence and Racial Justice” contained a binary opposition of the rule of three:[2]

      “insult, injustice and exploitation”,

      followed by a few lines,

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      “justice, good will, and brotherhood.”

      In short, a list of three things is more intriguing than just two things, but much easier to remember than 5 or 10 things. It’s more comprehensive with more options, but not too many options that can overwhelm the audience or anyone who needs to make a decision with this information.

      Consider a situation where you have one option or piece of information. It doesn’t seem comprehensive, and you have nothing to compare it to.

      Two pieces of information is slightly better, but anytime you have two options, you are invited to do a direct compare and contrast. That inherently makes things seem more extreme and removes a degree of objectivity.

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      Now consider three. It offers a bigger sense of the whole. It’s more comprehensive than two options, and it provides different angles to the idea in question — but not an overwhelming number of angles.

      Count to Three for Everything

      You can apply the Rule of 3 to almost everything.

      • When you explain something, try three examples. Steve Jobs above is an example.
      • When you want to convince people, try three reasons. We need to take a vacation this year because we deserve it, we got the right bonuses at work, and there is a deal on Switzerland.
      • Before you make a decision, consider three options. Always find that third possibility so you have a broader array of angles.

      The Rule of 3 can be a powerful play in your life. It helped seminal figures like Jobs and King craft some of their most important presentations ever. Try it and see what it can do for you.

      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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      Leon Ho

      Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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      Last Updated on November 20, 2019

      How to Measure a Goal? (With Examples of Measurable Goals)

      How to Measure a Goal? (With Examples of Measurable Goals)

      Everyone sets goals. Whether they are daily goals like completing a project, personal aspirations like traveling the world, or even workplace targets, setting a goal isn’t enough to get you over the line unfortunately. This is why only eight percent of people achieve their goals.[1]

      So how do the high achievers do it?

      By setting measurable goals, keep track of them and progress towards these goals.

      To help you out, I’ve put together a simple guide on measuring goals. I’ll show you a SMART framework you can use to create measurable goals, and how you can track its progress.

      To begin, let me introduce you to the SMART acronym.

      What Is a Measurable SMART Goal?

      SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. They help set clear intentions, this way, you can continue staying on course.

      When you’re writing a SMART Goal, you need to work through each of the terms in the acronym to ensure it’s realistic and achievable.

      It’ll help you set specific and challenging goals that eliminate and vagueness and guesswork. It’ll also have a clear deadline so you know when you need to complete it by.

      Here’s what SMART stand for:

      Specific

      Your goals need to be specific. Without specificity, your goal will feel much harder to complete and stick to.

      They should also have a specific outcome. Without the outcome, it will be hard to focus and stay on task with your goals.

      I can’t stress this enough. In fact, two researchers Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, found that when people set specific yet challenging goals, it led to increased performance 90 percent of the time.[2]

      Here’s an example of a specific goal:

      Increase sales by 10% in 90 days. 

      Measurable

      You need to be able to measure these goals.

      Examining a key metric and quantifying your goals will help track your progress. It will also identify the mark at which you’ve completed your task.

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      Measurable can mean many different things, but generally speaking, you want to be able to objectively measure success with a goal.

      Whether it’s via analytical data, performance measures, or direct revenue, ensure your goal is quantifiable.

      Achievable

      Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it important for you or your organization?

      Once you identify the key benefit, add that into your goal, so it helps your team members understand the importance of the goal and how it contributes to the bigger picture.

      Relevant

      Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it important for you or your organization?

      Once you identify the key benefit, add that into your goal so it helps your team members understand the importance of the goal and how it contributes to the bigger picture.

      Timely

      This is one of my favorite parts of SMART goals….setting the deadline.

      The timeframe will create a sense of urgency. It functions as a healthy tension that will springboard you to action.

      Examples of Measurable Goals

      Now that we know what a SMART goal is, it’s time to help you make your own SMART goal.

      Let’s start with the first step: specificity.

      Specific

      A specific goal should identify:

      • What’s the project or task at hand?
      • Who’s responsible for the task? If you’re breaking the task down, who is responsible for each section?
      • What steps do you need to do to reach your goal?

      Here’s a bad example:I want to have a better job.

      This example is poor because it’s not specific enough. Sure, it’s specific to your work, but it doesn’t explain whether you want a promotion, a raise, a career change, etc.

      What about your current job do you want to improve? Do you want to change companies? Or are you striving for more work-life balance? What does “better” really mean?

      Let’s transform this into a good example.

      I want to find a new role at a Fortune 500 company that improves my current salary and work-life balance.

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      If you’re not too sure what the specific outcome should be, you can use mindmaps to brainstorm all the possible options. Then choose a few or one from the mindmap.

      With the example above, to become a better growth marketer, I have to explore different learning options like online courses, blogs, books, or in-person courses before I made a decision.

      Measurable

      Goals need to be measurable in a way where you can present tangible, concrete evidence. You should be able to identify what you experience when reaching that goal.

      Ideally, you should go for a metric or quantity as quantifying goals makes it easier to track.

      Here’s a bad example:

      I will get a promotion at work for improving quality

      Here’s a good example:

      I am going to land a promotion to senior VP by improving my work quality. When I say work quality, I will measure this by projects completed, revenue earned, and success factors important to my superiors.

      If you’re having difficulty measuring your goals, you can use a goal tracking app. They’re a great way to measure your progress, especially if it’s time-based.

      In addition, I love to use the following strategy to keep myself accountable and ensure I’m hitting goals:

      Reminder emails.

      I schedule emails to myself asking for measurable data on my goals, and even CC others to hold me accountable.

      For example, if you work with a team, CC them on your email to keep yourself honest and on-track.

      Here are five methods you can use to measure your progress towards the goal:

      1. Keep a record – Have you recorded all your actions?
      2. Assess your numbers/evidence – Are you breaking your commitments?
      3. Create a checklist – Can you simplify your tasks?
      4. Stay on course – Are you moving forward with your plan smoothly?
      5. Rate your progress – Can you do better?

      Achievable

      When it comes to being able to achieve your goals, you should stick to Pareto’s principle. If you’re not too sure what it is, it’s the 80/20 rule.

      Don’t just attack and go for everything at once! Pick things that give you the most results. Then, work on the next objective or goal once you’ve completed your first ones.

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      Here’s a bad example:

      To get more work-life balance, I will examine all factors of my work and how to trim down the time I spend on them.

      Here’s a good example:

      This week I will record my time spent on projects to analyze the amount of revenue or success they generate. Projects that fall short of production will get less time and resources than others. 

      Relevant

      It’s always important to examine your goal to ensure it’s relevant and realistic to what you’re doing.

      This is where the bigger picture comes in.

      Here’s a bad example:

      I want to be promoted to CMO because I need more responsibility.

      In this case, it’ll be unlikely for you to receive a promotion if the purpose and reason behind your goals are not strong.

      Here’s a good example:

      I want to be promoted to CMO because I enjoy digital marketing. I’m currently excelling in X, Y, and Z digital marketing practices, and I believe that via a promotion I can further grow the business via X, Y and Z.

      The why will help you grind out in moments when you just want to throw in the towel, and also provide more purpose for your goals.

      Timely

      And…finally we’ve hit the deadline.

      Having a due date helps your team set micro goals and milestones towards the goal.

      That way, you can plan workload throughout your days, weeks, and months to ensure that your team won’t be racing against the clock.

      Let’s start with a bad example:

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      I’m going to land a new promotion this summer.

      Now, let’s turn this into a great example:

      Within the next month I will increase marketing revenue by XX%. Then, within three months I will expand the digital team, hire two new employees and scale it. Within five months I will leverage this success into a new role.

      So that’s how you create a measurable goal.

      Here’s a summary of the example above in the order of its acronyms.

      Overall Goal: I want to transition into a new role with a reputable company.

      • S: I want to find a new role at a Fortune 500 company that improves my current salary and work-life balance.
      • M: I am going to land a promotion to senior VP by improving my work quality. When I say work quality, I will measure this by projects completed, revenue earned, and success factors important to my superiors.
      • A: This week I will record my time spent on projects to analyze the amount of revenue or success they generate. Projects that fall short of production will get less time and resources than others.
      • R: I want to be promoted to CMO because I enjoy digital marketing. I’m currently excelling in X, Y, and Z digital marketing practices, and I believe that via a promotion I can further grow the business via X, Y and Z.
      • T: Within the next month I will increase marketing revenue by XX%. Then, within three months I will expand the digital team, hire two new employees and scale it. Within five months I will leverage this success into a new role.

      But before we finish off, I want to leave you with a note:

      If you want to ensure you reach your goals, make sure you’re accountable. Ensure that you will stick by the goal and deliver the results that you want. Because sometimes, the goal might not just be for you. It could be goals for your clients, customers, and even loved ones.

      For example:

      Here, Housecall Pro promises customers that they grow up to 30% in one year.

      By placing that statement on their landing page, they’re keeping themselves and their goals accountable to their customers.

      For personal goals, tell your friends and family.

      For professional goals, you can tell your peers, colleagues, and even your clients (once you’re ready).

      Bottom Line

      So to wrap things up, if you want to measure a goal, be SMART about it.

      Start with a specific outcome in mind; make sure it’s measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely to your existing schedule.

      While 92 percent of people fail to reach their goals, you can be the exception.

      Reach your goals by setting targets and objectives together.

      More About Goals Setting

      Featured photo credit: Green Chameleon via unsplash.com

      Reference

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