Setting goals isn’t much use unless you can measure and quantify them. Without the right metrics, you won’t know whether you’re succeeding or not. That can derail even the best intentions and set you back. If you’re going to improve your life and become a goal-oriented person, it’s important to learn how to quantify behavior-based goals.
It’s hard to quantify your behavior-based goals if they aren’t specific enough to track. Really take your time and think hard about whether or not your goals are clear. It doesn’t matter how high your aspirations are, it matters how clear-cut they are. If you don’t have specific goals, you’ll never be able to track them.
When possible, specify hard numbers in your goals. Make it a priority to answer emails within a certain amount of time, or make so many business calls each day. Numbers are easy to keep track of, they’re easy to compare, and they aren’t open to interpretation. Not every goal is easy to keep track of in this way, but use hard numbers whenever you can.
Journaling can help you keep track of your goals. Break down your day and write out exactly what you did in service of your goals. When hard numbers aren’t possible, keeping a detailed log like this is a good way to see what you’ve been doing to achieve your goals. When it comes down to it, you can’t quantify your behavior-based goals without data. One way or another, you need to collect it.
Set a time frame, and use it to reflect on what you’ve done. If possible, review the numbers or check your diary. But even if you haven’t been keeping track using those metrics, think about how much you’ve accomplished every so often. It will help keep you motivated. Be realistic about the timeframe you set. Give yourself enough time to improve, but don’t wait too long to look over your notes.
Especially if you’re trying to set goals in a professional environment, make sure to get feedback. Not only will it force you to be open with others about the goals you’ve set, it will give you a whole new perspective on your performance. Involving others in setting and keeping goals is really important to the process of changing yourself for the better. Often you won’t notice how much you’ve improved, but others almost always will.