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Last Updated on January 5, 2021

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 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. 

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    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.

    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.

    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:

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    • 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:

    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. 

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    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.

    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:

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    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 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.

    More on Measurable Goals

    Featured photo credit: Green Chameleon via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    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 January 15, 2021

    6 Ways to Finish Strong (When Your Momentum Is Low)

    6 Ways to Finish Strong (When Your Momentum Is Low)

    There are times in your life when you will have to define a path to achieve your goals. These are moments to decide how you will push through to finish strong.

    Will you give up or give it all that it takes? Will you bring all your energy and skills to bear or provide an excuse? The only person that possesses the power to choose your response is you.

    It may sound impossible anytime you hear the phrase “finish strong.” This is because your natural tendency would be to settle for the status quo or accept fate, and when you are facing life’s biggest challenges, you may face the temptation to quit or compromise your standards.

    The story of Tyrone Muggsy Bogues will inspire you. He lived in abject poverty while his father languished in prison. He was hit by a stray bullet at age five and grew up to be 1.6m tall[1].

    All these challenges did not deter him from becoming the shortest player in the history of the National Basketball Association. Tyrone had 6858 points, 1369 steals, and 6726 assists all through his NBA. career. Just like Tyrone, you should not allow life challenges to stop you down from finishing strong.

    Here are some fun facts to buttress why you need to push through the end:

    • Most of the points scored in football occur a few minutes before the game ends.
    • The last seconds in a race determines who wins as every runner wants to give the most effort.
    • You work harder when there are deadlines to meet.

    Here’s more proof of why the finish is highly significant. People rate the quality of life higher when it ends better, not minding if it was short. This is often called the James Dean Effect[2].

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    These five proven steps will enable you to finish strong if you already have goals you want to accomplish.

    1. Write Your Goals Down

    A study revealed that people who write their goals down have an eighty percent chance of finishing strong[3]. You can create a Goal Journal or adopt the S.M.A.R.T goal technique.

    Don’t forget, your goals have to be:

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Realistic
    • Time-bound

    While it might look like an additional task to write down your goals instead of storing them in your memory, there are more sides to it.

    Two things happen when you write something down:

    You are documenting the goals on paper, which makes it easier to assess and audit in the future. Neurologists believe you will recollect visual cues more compared to non-visual cues.

    Furthermore, you are encoding those goals as they travel to your brain’s hippocampus, where analysis takes place. From that point, sorting happens. Some goals are stored in your long-term memory while others are discarded. Writing facilitates the encoding process, so write down those goals!

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    2. Break Your Goals Into Milestones

    Breaking down goals into small bites will help you celebrate your small victories. You need that momentum to finish strong.

    For instance, if you are writing a book, you can:

    • Write the book concept or blurb
    • Conduct keyword and content research
    • Create an outline
    • Write the content
    • Edit and proofread
    • Format and publish
    • Market the book

    Establishing milestones provides you a clear format that will help you not burn out when working on your goals. Moreover, milestones are those actions you need to take to finish strong.

    A study conducted by Gail Matthews shows that those who write their goals have a 33% chance of actualizing them compared to those who only have their goals in their brain[4].

    3. Build Momentum

    As I stated earlier, you need momentum to finish strong. You can gain momentum when you meet each of the milestones. In his book, Darren Hardy recommends consistency as a sure way to generate all the momentum[5].

    How do you build momentum by being consistent? Hardy recommends five actionable steps:

    Establish a Morning Regimen

    According to Hardy, you may find it hard to take charge of your mid-day, but you can determine how you start the day and end it. Therefore, design your rise-and-shine routine. Do your Most-Important-Task (M.I.T.) in the morning.

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    Morning routine to finish strong

      Create an Evening Schedule

      Hardy defines this period as when you cash out on your day. It is a moment to assess if you have accomplished all you wanted to that day. You can ask yourself these questions:

      • Which items do I need to carry over to the next day’s M.I.T. list?
      • What item on my to-do list is still relevant?
      • Which of the tasks do I need to cancel?

      Restructure Your Routine

      It can be boring doing the same thing over a long period. Therefore, inject some excitement into your plan. Visit the park, prepare new food, or take a short, online course. Shaking up your routine will naturally assist you in building momentum.

      Keep a Log of New Habits

      Track new behaviors and log the number of times you perform them. That way, you can compare your goals with the outcome.

      Avoid Negative Self-Talk

      What you say affects how you finish your goals. Positive self-talk is a time-tested method to set goals and follow through. Any time you doubt your ability to finish strong, respond with positive affirmations.

      Do not bow to negative pressure to give up. Control your thoughts, and do not permit external forces, such as fears and doubts, to control them. Here are ten positive affirmations to help you finish strong.

      5. Find a Mentor or an Accountability Partner

      You need all the support you can find to stay the course. A lot of successful individuals attribute their success to the influence of a mentor or an accountability partner.

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      The right mentor will offer you insight, advice, and connections to help you finish strong. A mentor’s role is to guide you on self-reflection and help you ask self-discovery questions.

      Here are ways to maximize mentorship:

      • Be curious: Ask questions that provoke deeper thoughts.
      • Be honest: Feel free to share your challenges and be open to feedback.
      • Be punctual: Be timely and stick to appointments.
      • Be specific: Establish what you want from the relationship.
      • Be respectful: Respect should be mutual. You should respect the boundaries set by your mentor, and your mentor should do the same.

      You can read more on How To Get The Best Out Of Mentorship.

      Bonus Tip: Engage the Self-Awareness Technique (S.A.T.) to Finish Strong

      It is not enough to be an enthusiastic starter; you must also be an optimistic finisher. What is self-awareness? Self-awareness is getting in touch with how you feel and think. It could also mean connecting to your core values and beliefs to live a life that aligns with them.

      Self-awareness can help you figure out your strengths so you can focus on them. It also helps you discover your weaknesses. The moment you accept what you can’t achieve, you will bring together all of your strengths to achieve what you can.

      An HBR report confirmed that when you have a clear picture of yourself, you can be more confident and unleash your creativity. You will also build long-lasting relationships and communicate better[6].

      Final Thoughts

      As you assess the aspects of your life, you need to finish strong, take time to study your past achievements, and apply the lessons to the last phase of your present pursuit.

      Always remember, you have all it takes to finish what you started.

      More Tips on Completing Your Goals

      Featured photo credit: Ethan Hoover via unsplash.com

      Reference

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