As we hit the half-way point of 2019, now is as good a time as any to start look back at our progress and make plans to stay on track (or get back on track if things got a little derailed along the way).
One of the reasons we tend to be bad at sticking to goals is because we don’t see big results right away. This applies to everything, not just business. Whether we’re trying to get fit, pay off debt, or quit smoking, we stick with the program for a few weeks and then start to lose momentum and motivation. It takes a lot to keep going, and it isn’t easy to change our habits for the better (one thing I’ve found that helps is this free habit tracker).
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What we need to stay on track is a little motivation and cause for celebration, no matter how small. If we can see that we’re moving in the right direction (even if it isn’t always as fast as we’d like it to be), we’ll keep going, and be more likely to write the extra blog post, article or book chapter (or opt for the salad, or make the extra credit card payment).
So how do we make sure we’re aware of this progress? We do it by tracking it and measuring it and keeping a record of it. Yep, it’s not just your goals that should be recorded in writing, but your progress towards them as well. It doesn’t matter if you use a pen and paper, or a digital device, or some kind of fancy software. You want to be able to see that progress in front of you, in black and white.
Let’s talk about what to track. If you’re focusing on increasing income, track your income. Keep records of where it’s coming from and which activities in your business are bringing results. Depending on your business model, you may want to track related things like subscribers, followers, page views or repeat sales. Six months on, you can look back and see how far you’ve come, as well as what worked and what didn’t.
If your goal is to write a book, track your word count. If you’re paying off debt, track your debt levels (hopefully this number will be going down, not up). If you want to be fitter, you might want to track your number of steps per day, or some other fitness metric.
Apart from anything else, this gives you the confidence to know what can be done. Just because I once wrote 10,000 words in a weekend, doesn’t mean I can do that regularly, but it does mean I know what I’m capable of, and that can be inspiring in itself.
The key thing is to ‘measure what you treasure’. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, keeping track of how you’re doing and how far you’ve come already can be a big motivator to stick to the plan until you get to where you want to be.
And when you reach that goal? Don’t forget to celebrate. I’ve talked before about writing a ta-da list to celebrate your accomplishments at the end of the year, but there’s nothing to stop you doing this quarterly, monthly or even weekly. I’ve been celebrating what I’ve achieved on this half-way-through-the-year weekend, even though I’m not quite where I want to be. I suggest you do the same. Let me know how you’re celebrating.
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Featured image by PixiStock.