Small progress over time leads to huge results.

Gradual increase + persistence = new habits. It’s that simple.

Small habits might not seem life-changing at first, but when you look back, you will see something amazing.

You will see huge progress compounding over time.

That’s exactly how you measure your goals. Looking backwards.

The past gives us all the information we need and it tells us what we need to change.

Let’s look at how to effectively measure goals and see our progress…

Looking Backward, Not Forward

Goal progress shouldn’t be measured by where you aren’t yet, it should be measured by where you are now compared to where you used to be.

Did you catch all of that? Let me explain…

It’s easy to set huge goals and then be hard on yourself for being so far away from achieving them.

What’s wrong with that?

  • It’s unmotivating
  • It’s unreasonable
  • It’s unrealistic
  • It’s unnecessary

Setting goals is not about beating yourself up for not reaching them.

A goal is something to strive for. Something to works towards.

Measure Goal Progress

When you realize how far you have come, you will realize that you’re closer than you thought.

How to Measure Your Goals

The future is important. The future holds the rest of your life, but right now is also important and so are the things you did yesterday and last year.

Without the progress you’ve made in the past, you wouldn’t be where you are today.

Measure Goal Progress

Here’s how to measure your goals…

  • Keep your progress. Whether you keep up with your goals in an app, on your computer or on a notepad, keep up with them. Use your past progress to reflect and plan future accomplishment.
  • Always look back. I may sound like a broken record, but measure your progress by where you are compared to where you where. You may not be all the way to your goal, but you should be farther along than you were.
  • Look for patterns. When you look back, check for any patterns in your actions. There are certain things that allow us to complete more goals, while other things end up making us less productive. Watch for both.

You have to measure your goals to know your progress. Measure backwards.

Measure Goal Progress

It’s important to plan your week.

If it’s on my schedule, it gets done. If it’s not, it doesn’t. And while planning your week is important, looking back at your week is equally important.

Take a few minutes each week to do a weekly recap.

I prefer to do my recaps and planning together. Here are the steps I take:

  • Step 1: Look at the week. Get an overview of everything that happened in the week. Look at each day and think about everything that happened.
  • Step 2: Identify positives. Look at the things that you wanted to accomplish and did. Look for positive trends in your habits.
  • Step 3: Identify negatives. Look at the things that you wanted to accomplish and didn’t. Look for negative habits that you may be forming.
  • Step 4: Write a summary. Take notes and summarize your entire week, both positive and negative. This will paint a picture for where you need to go next week.
  • Step 5: Plan next week. The final step is to take what you have learned from your previous week and plan your next week accordingly. Guard yourself against the negatives and stay on track with the positives.

Where To Go From Here

When you look back, you will see a picture of what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.

That picture should define your action plan.

If you’re making progress each week, you will notice it when you look back. You’ll also know if you need to add to or take away from that goal. You may be underestimating your potential, but you could also be expecting too much out of yourself (at least, for the time-frame).

None of us will ever perfect the process of setting and achieving goals. We just won’t. Strive for perfection, but expect hang-ups and road blocks.

Setting and achieving goals is a process that is always being tweaked and pruned.

Set goals and measure your progress. Any goal worth setting is worth measuring.

Photo Credit: Alejandro Escamilla, Danka Peter, Jake Hills, Craig Garner