When thinking about setting goals the starting point is always the end, the destination you want to reach.
Let’s imagine for the moment, it’s 90 days into the future and you were looking back over those 90 days, and you had achieved 5 specific goals you wanted to achieve.
Coming from this viewpoint gets you crystal clear about the end goal or outcome you want.
It also gives you a clear deadline for achieving the goals.
This way of looking at goal setting makes it more powerful because the goals are specific and have a deadline.
Now, goal setting is a powerful capability to develop but many people struggle with goal setting because they don’t have the most important component.
Setting goals without a measurement or a deadline attached to it is just make believe.
There is no track to follow.
No clear destination to be reached.
And no deadline to reach it in.
As a business coach I help time poor female small business owners free up more of their time and achieve their goals by helping them set both long-term measurable goals and short-term measurable goals.
This helps them free up 100 hours every quarter and be way more productive.
They set long-term goals are usually three years into the future.
These long-term goals are supported by specific short-term 90-day goals.
What I’ve realised through coaching these clients, and through twenty years of business experience is that measurable goals matter.
In fact, they are essential and I would say the only way to set goals.
Working towards, and achieving, measurable goals over a specific period of time builds confidence and amplifies motivation.
What are measurable goals?
The goals we set must be measurable for us to intellectually and emotionally engage with achieving the goal.
Measurable goals means that you clearly identify exactly what it is you want to achieve so you emotionally and intellectually engage with the outcome of your goal.
It means breaking the goal down into specific, measurable elements that can be tracked.
Every goal must be based on achieving a specific number or event by a specific date in the future.
Goals such as wanting to lose weight, get healthy, make more money or grow your business are too generic.
There is nothing to really focus your attention on.
You won’t get excited about achieving the goal and it won’t feel big enough to take action on moving forward.
Having non-specific goals means you have no way of knowing when you’ve achieved the goal.
Or how far away from achieving it you are.
Part of the power of having measurable goals is that you know when you’ve reached your destination.
You can celebrate your achievement which builds confidence and motivation.
Measurable goals examples
To maximise your chance of achieving your goals in business and life, set measurable goals.
That measurement must be a number or an event.
To bring measurable goals to life, here are a few examples of measurable goals that my coaching clients have used in the past.
Number based measurable goals
Below are a few examples of number based measurable goals:
I will free up 30 hours of time in the next 30 days.
Increase my revenue by 20% in the next 6 months.
Grow my email list by 500 by June 30.
Increase my YouTube subscribers to 5,000 by July 1.
Lose one stone by May 30.
Event based measurable goals
Here are a few examples of event based measurable goals:
I will speak to five groups of people in the next 30 days
Run 5k in under 30 minutes
Visit Bali in 2020
Start my new business by end September
Open my second yoga studio by October 1
How to create a measurable goal
You create your next measurable goal by simply getting started.
If you are new to setting measurable goals start with something specific but achievable to build your goal setting muscles.
Choose something exciting but realistically achievable and choose a short time period such as 21 days or 30 days.
Write down your goal and tell people that are important to you what your goal is so they can cheer you on, or hold you accountable.
Once you’ve achieved that goal, celebrate and start setting bigger goals.
You can use the SMART goals setting process to help you.
If you are a regular goal setter the key with measurable goals is to choose something that is really exciting but also scares you.
Pick five measurable goals you want to achieve in the next 90 days and then write down the first step to take for each of them.
Why tracking goals is essential
Tracking your progress towards your goal achievement is essential to build confident, momentum and motivation.
Some people find it valuable to track their progress, monthly, weekly and even daily.
But there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.
Many people struggle with goals because they measure forwards, which is the wrong way to do it.
When you measure forwards, goals can feel far away and out of reach.
If you’re not making the progress you want you may give up, question your capabilities and start getting down on yourself.
The right way to start tracking goals is to measure backwards, from where you started.
“Begin with the end in mind” – Stephen Covey
Tracking goals examples
Let me give you an example to represent what I mean.
One of my clients had a goal to get to 5k YouTube subscribers in 6 months.
She started off very slow as this was a new capability and platform to master.
The first month only saw 300 subscribers.
In the second month her subscribers only grew by a further 200, so 500 subscribers in 2 months.
She had two options.
Get really disappointed and frustrated with her progress because she was so far away from her target of 5k subscribers.
Or, celebrate her progress because she has 500 more subscribers than she did when she started.
She chose to follow the second route and celebrate what she achieved.
This gave her the confidence, commitment and belief that she could hit her goal of 5k in that six-month period, which she did.
Always measure your progress, and always measure backwards.
If you are just starting with goal setting or want to improve your goal setting, then measurable goals are the answer.
This article originally appeared on the Lucemi Consulting blog.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a business coach and the Founder of business coaching company Lucemi Consulting. He helps time poor female small business owners free up 100 hours of their time and increase their revenue by doing more of what they love to do and are best at.
Enjoyed this article? Read more tips and strategies on goal setting, time management and productivity on my time multiplier blog.
If you want to free up more time for what matters, sign up to my twice weekly newsletter.
If you want to double your productivity and free up more time in the next 30 days grab my free Daily Planner.