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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.

    Is It Possible to Repay Your Sleep Debt? Why Being Well Rested Matters What Does Success Look Like? Revealed by 12 Highly Successful People How to Measure a Goal (With Examples of Measurable Goals) How to Focus Better and Increase Your Attention Span 5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

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    Last Updated on September 27, 2021

    8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

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    8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

    The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

    Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

    Thus, this article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question — why is goal setting important?

    1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

    It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

    But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

    Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

    Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

    “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

    And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

    Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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    So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

    2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

    Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

    You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

    Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

    Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

    3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

    A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

    But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

    Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

    Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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    So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

    4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

    This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

    Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

    What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

    This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

    If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

    So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

    5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

    This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

    What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

    The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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    Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

    So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

    6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

    Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

    For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

    A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

    Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

    So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

    7. Goals Make You Feel Good

    Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

    Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

    Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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    If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

    8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

    I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

    Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

    Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

    There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

    Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

    So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

    If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

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    Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

    More Tips About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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