In my first post of this five part series, I talked about the first step of the SMART goals framework. In today’s post, I’m talking about the 2nd step: M (Measurable).
We’ve all heard the saying, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Your goal has to be stated in a way where the outcome is easily understood and seen along the way and at the end.
In other words, what proof will you have that will show you are (or are not) making progress? What data will you have? Keep in mind, data can be quantitative or qualitative.
An easy example is a road trip. Let’s say you’re driving to New York City. You pass the first road sign, New York City 245 miles. Then as you continue traveling, the next road sign says, New York City, 230 miles, then the next, 215 miles. You’re getting closer to your destination. You’re going in the right direction. Let’s say it was the opposite. The first road sign reads New York City 245 miles. The next reads 260 miles. Hmmm. You know right away something is wrong here. You might pull over and look at the GPS or a map. It’s likely you would have to course correct to reach your final destination.
Imagine if there were no road signs and you just kept driving along. You have no idea if you’re getting closer to your destination. The trip was supposed to take an hour. After realizing you’re driving for quite a while, you pull over, look at a map and realize you’re going in the complete opposite direction of your destination. You’re frustrated and annoyed. You’ve wasted a lot of time and you’ve burned up more gas than needed. Plus, you’re farther away than when you started and now you need to backtrack.
This is why you not only need to know your final destination, but you also need your road signs along the journey to let you know if you are heading in the right direction.
Most companies have dashboards, scorecards, KPI’s, or weekly/monthly/quarterly reports. They are often in chart, graph or table format with colors to create visual representation of progress toward goals.
Think about the goals you are setting: what ‘road signs’ will you use to monitor your progress along the way?
See you next time when I’ll talk about achievable goals. Until next time, keep driving!
Photo credit: Isaac Smith via unsplash.com