I believe it was Peter Drucker who popularized the statement, “That which gets measured gets done.” Measuring results is a powerful way to align your efforts, especially in a team environment. When something isn’t being measured, it is simply too easy to make excuses, to do change priorities or to simply ignore tasks that need to be done.
Measurement also works with personal goals. Whether you are trying to lose weight, start a home business or learn a language, measuring results is a powerful way to help you prioritize those actions you need to do to accomplish you goal. There are a couple of hacks though that will improve your likelihood of success.
The first measurement hack is to have a series of time bound measurements that lead you toward your goal. For example, if you are starting a business then you one track measurements might be making your first sale in month one, reaching $2000 in sales in month two, etc. Then at the end of each month you will know if you are on track, running ahead or if you have to work harder next month. I call these on track measurements “milestones.” The trick in generating milestones is to start from your goal and work backwards.
The second measurement hack is to measure both your results and your efforts. For example, if you are trying to lose 50 pounds your milestones might be to lose 5 pounds in the first month, a total of 10 pounds by the end of the second month, etc. In addition, measuring your efforts could include a total of 90 minutes of exercise a week and 1500 total calorie limit a day. Track both the effort (exercise and calorie restrictions) and the result (losing 5 pounds on average a month). Measuring your inputs is extremely useful because it will show you if your efforts are sufficient to accomplish your goal. While your efforts may FEEL like they are sufficient, if you are doing them faithfully and are still not reaching your milestones, you may have to either change your actions or increase your efforts. Perhaps you need 120 minutes of exercise a week and 1300 calorie limit to lose 5 pounds a month. Perhaps you need to make twice as many new customer calls a day to reach your sales goals. By tracking both your effort and your results, you will know if your efforts are sufficient to your goal.