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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

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

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

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

So, how do the high achievers do it?

By setting measurable goals, keeping track of them, and progressing towards these goals each day.

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 your goals’ progress.

What Are SMART Goals?

In order to easily measure a goal, you should start with SMART goal setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. They help set clear intentions, so you can continue staying on course with long term goals.

When you’re writing measurable goals, 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 vagueness and guesswork. It’ll also have a clear deadline so you know when you need to complete it by[2].

SMART Goals: Definition and Examples | Indeed.com

    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.

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

    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.[3]

    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.

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    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.

    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

    Given the time and resources at your disposal, is it realistically possible to achieve the overall goal you’ve laid out?

    For example, if your goal is to increase your company’s Facebook followers from 10,000 to 20,000, putting a limit of one month will make this goal difficult to achieve. However, with a time-frame of six months, the goal becomes much more realistic.

    You’ll also need to look into if you have staff members who are able to devote time to social media management. If not, this could be a limiting factor that makes the goal less achievable.

    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

    Measurable goals should include a deadline so that there is an understanding of when and how things need to progress. Without a target date, the goal may suffer from poor time management and never come to fruition.

    The time frame will also create a sense of urgency. It functions as a healthy tension that will springboard you and your team to action.

    If you want to set yourself a smart goal and achieve it effectively, get the free guide The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. In the guide, you will learn how to reach your gaol by planning your actions. Grab your free guide here.

    Examples of Measurable Goals

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

    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 complete to reach your goal?

    Here’s a bad example:

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    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?

    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.

    If you’re not too sure what the specific outcome should be, you can use mind maps to brainstorm all the possible options.

    Measurable

    Goals need to be measurable in a way where you can present tangible, concrete evidence. You should be able to identify what you will experience when you reach 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 improve the quality of my work.

    Here’s a good example:

    I will improve the number of projects I complete on a month basis by a factor of 2. 

    This goal is now easily measured. If you’ve completed 2 more projects this month than last month, you have officially improved the quality of your work, as well as your productivity.

    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 they are time-based.

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

    1. Keep a record: Have you recorded all your actions in a journal or Excel sheet?
    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: Where can you improve?

    Achievable

    When it comes to being able to achieve your measurable goals, you should stick to Pareto’s principle. This is the famous 80/20 rule.

    Using all of your energy on each piece of the puzzle may not be the best tactic. Pick things that give you the most results. Then, work on the next objective or goal once you’ve completed your first ones.

    Here’s a bad example:

    To improve my work-life balance, I will reduce the time I spend at work.

    This may be possible, but since you haven’t specified which parts of your work you will spend less time on, this may not ultimately be achievable.

    Here’s a good example:

    To improve my work-life balance, I will delegate parts of projects to other team members. 

    If you know you have team members willing to step in and help, this is definitely achievable and should win you some more time at home.

    Relevant

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

    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:

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    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 push through in moments when you just want to throw in the towel, and also provide more motivation for your goals.

    Timely

    Having a due date helps your team set micro goals and milestones towards measurable goals. That way, you can plan the 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:

    I will grow our marketing team in order to expand our digital presence.

    This is a great idea, but when will all of this happen?

    Let’s turn this into a great example, instead:

    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. 

    The Bottom Line

    If you want to create measurable goals, 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 alongside your team and discover just how successful you can be.

    Need extra help? The Make It Happen Handbook is an effective tool to guide you through the challenging journey towards reaching your goal. Check out the handbook now!

    More on Measurable Goals

    Featured photo credit: Green Chameleon via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Dmitry Dragilev

    Single-handedly grew a startup from zero to 40 million page views, Dmitry is a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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    Last Updated on November 30, 2021

    Tap Into Success With These Long-Term Career Goals Tips

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    Tap Into Success With These Long-Term Career Goals Tips

    I’ve been very lucky in my career to have worked with some amazing people, people who built their careers on the back of hard work, passion, and focus. But the most successful of these people had something else. Hard work, passion, and focus were there, but to get to the very top you need more than just these things; you also need solid, long-term career goals.

    In this article, I will give you seven Long Term Career Goals Tips that you can use when goal setting to build a successful career.

    1. Know What You Want

    This one might seem obvious, but many people never take the time to think carefully about what they want to do in their career[1]. They accept jobs in industries or departments they have no interest in and soon find themselves settled into a career of misery and complaining.

    It always amazes me how people spend more time planning their annual summer holiday than they do their career.

    If you want to build success in your work, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to do and where you want to go. You need that North Star to guide you in your decisions and to keep you focused on where you are going with each stepping stone.

    Without that clarity, you will drift from one role to another, never building any momentum towards your ultimate career goal.

    2. Ask Yourself: What Skills Am I Lacking?

    When we begin our working lives, we have the academic skills but lack many practical skills.

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    When you know what you want to do with your career, you can identify the skills you will need. Soft skills such as relationship building, the ability to collaborate with others, and your productivity all form part of these skills, and you need to make sure you are developing them.

    Invest in yourself, and for those skills that do not develop naturally, find courses online or some books to study. Once you have studied these skills, make sure you put them into practice through your long-term career goals. This one tip will put you ahead of 98% of your colleagues who treat their work as just a job that pays them money to live.

    3. Know That Success Leaves a Path

    I teach this one to all of my clients. In every industry, there are examples of people who started at the bottom and worked their way up to become industry leaders. Examples include Satya Nadella at Microsoft and Jony Ive at Apple. These people were not founders or entrepreneurs; they worked their way up to the top from the bottom, and left clues along the way

    Whatever company you are in, there will be people who began at the bottom and worked their way up to become leaders. What kind of role models did they have? What books did they read? What skills did they develop?

    I remember when I worked in the hotel industry. One of my mentors began as a receptionist. She rose to become the General Manager of my home city’s top hotel through having a clear goal, diligence, and always putting the guest first. She was tough but fair.

    I learnt from her that every time you come into work, the guest was always the top priority and to always be respectful of your colleagues.

    Find that one person in your industry that rose from the bottom and work out the path they took to get to where you want to be in the future. Then, map out your own path that reflects the path already taken to the top.

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    4. Watercooler Gossip Will Not Help Your Career

    I know it is always tempting to be the popular one in your office, to be the one everyone wants to hang out with and the one to go to when there’s some gossip to share. However, if you want to achieve your long-term career goals, don’t get involved.

    Being the “office gossip” will sink your career faster than anything else. If you are serious about building a successful career, you do not have time to get involved in all this gossiping, complaining, and time wasting.

    You don’t have to ignore your colleagues, but never indulge them by listening to the gossip. Make your excuses and get back to work. This one tip will safeguard your career more than any other.

    5. Do Work When at Work

    Your workplace is not a social club. It is a place to do the work you were employed to do.

    Of course, being polite and friendly towards your colleagues is important, but never forget you are there to do work. Avoid getting yourself drawn into long conversations about that episode of Vikings or your local football team’s performance.

    There is a time and place for these conversations, but it is not on company time. When at work, do your work, or you’ll never be able to make progress on your long-term career goals.

    Here are some tips on how to focus on work: 15 Quick Ways To Focus on Work Easily

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    6. Focus on How You Can Be Better

    One of the qualities I have seen in all successful career builders is they have a “How can I do it better?” mindset. They are always asking themselves how they can do their work better, or how could they have solved that problem better.

    It is a mindset of continuous self-improvement, and it is a practice that can catapult you to the top faster than anything else.

    Look for parts of your work that are taking too much time and figure out how to streamline. Or, identify ways you could better serve your team and begin to implement them. Any of these can serve you when you’re creating long-term career goals.

    Often, new working practices are welded on to old ones, and this leads to inefficiencies and duplication, especially if you’re in a leadership position. Find those inefficiencies and develop better ways of doing that work. This habit is always appreciated by your bosses and tells them you are serious about your work.

    7. Model Successful Behaviors

    Find the person at the top and work out how they got there. This does not necessarily mean the person at the top of your company; it means the person at the top of your industry.

    If you are an architect, find out how Sir Frank Foster built his career. If you are a writer, find out how Stephen King or Maya Angelou gained experience and built their careers.

    These people have shown you how to do it, and they left clues. Read everything you can about them, learn from them, and model their work habits.

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    Modeling does not mean copying. It means taking the traits they used and adapting them to work best for you.

    My legal hero was a British lawyer, George Carmen QC. When I began my legal career, I read everything I could about George Carmen QC. I learned that the key skill that led to his success was his ability to communicate with juries. He was a brilliant communicator, and I realized the one skill I could learn that would have a huge impact on my career was the ability to communicate with people.

    While I did not ultimately follow a legal career, that skill of being good at communicating has served me well in all the industries I have worked in.

    The Bottom Line

    Whatever career path you are following, these tips will serve you well as you aim to create long-term career goals that will point you in the right direction. Creating clear short and long-term goals around the above tips will give you the advantages you need to build a wildly successful career. They are tested, they work, and all you need to do is to adapt them so they work for you.

    More Tips on Setting Career Goals

    Featured photo credit: Smart via unsplash.com

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