Maximize Your Motivation and Results by Quantifying Your Progress
Progress is the best motivator. Even if you need to lose 100 pounds, it’s pretty exciting to see that you’ve lost 10 pounds. However, progress isn’t always apparent. Some things are very subjective unless you take the time to measure them.
For example, it may be hard to see a 10-pound weight loss in the mirror, but it’s pretty easy to see your progress on a bathroom scale.
Some goals can take a long time to accomplish. If you only measure yourself by whether or not you’ve achieved the goal, you’re going to be displeased for months or even years. You’re also likely to lose interest. Measuring your progress makes long-term goals much more possible.
Try these methods to quantify your progress in different areas of focus:
- Bodyweight. This is one we’re all familiar with. It’s pretty easy to step on the scale at regular intervals and see which way your weight is headed.
- Bodyweight can fluctuate considerably with hydration levels, hormone levels, and how long it’s been since you used the bathroom.
- One way to minimize these variations is to weigh yourself under the same conditions each day. Get up, use the restroom, and then weigh yourself. Even better, weigh yourself each morning, but use the weekly average and compare one week to the next.
- Money in and money out. Measure how much money you spend each day. That means every single cent. Also, keep track of how much you earn each day. Track your bank balance. Track the balance of your brokerage account.
- Take the time to examine your spending in detail at least once a year.
- Repetitions. One way to track progress is through repetitions. This could be how many pushups you’ve done or how many times you’ve practiced the A-flat minor scale on the piano. It could be how many times you’ve said your affirmations or how many pages you’ve read. How many sales calls did you make this week?
- Time. You can also track time. How many minutes did you jog? How much time did you spend on your online business? How much TV did you watch this week? How many minutes are you sleeping each night? How long did it take you to do 100 sit-ups?
- Occurrences. Think of occurrences as the desired results of your actions. How many sales did you make? How many dates did you have? How many written pages did you produce? How many songs did you write? How many widgets did you make?
- Checklists. Many people find it useful to make a checklist before going to bed to follow the next day. How many of those items did you complete? Can you get more done tomorrow than you did today?
- You can even assign points to each item based on their difficulty or priority. Try to score higher each day.
There are many ways to track your progress. If you’re attempting to track something more subjective, you may have to invent your own system. Rating scales can be useful in many cases. For example, you could rate your mood or the quality of a conversation. You could also rate the quality of your sleep.
Being able to see your progress will do wonders for your motivation and will drive further results. If you can’t measure your progress, you’ll be much more likely to give up before you’ve reached your goals.
Sam E. Orum, ECP