Thursday, December 09, 2021

You Get What You Measure

I've heard that many times, but I never really understood it until recently.

I like to have written goals. I've used the method outlined in Brian Tracy's book, Goals, for almost 20 years now, but I've never taken the last step, which is to create a set of measures of performance and then track them every day. I thought it was too time-consuming and wouldn't result in anything worth the effort.

In my most recent iteration of my goals, I finally created a set of simple metrics, just a few for each goal. I was surprised at what I found.

The first thing I found was that some of my goals weren't my goals at all. They were aspirations that I thought I should have, but didn't really want in my heart of hearts. I've talked about writing some books, but when I measured how much writing I did every day, the answer was zero. I just didn't want to do it and so I didn't. It might be in the future when I'm no longer working, but right now, working full time, I don't have the energy. Therefore, that is not a goal.

The other thing I discovered was that when I measured my prayer life, I found that I really did have the time and energy to pray. I now meditate and pray every day. I also journal every day. It feels great.

Finally, I've been on a weight-lifting kick for about 5 months now. Since I'm marking off the days I do it in my metrics spreadsheet, I only skip those days when I can't possibly find the time or I'm sore and a workout would do more harm than good. As a result, I'm hitting the gym about 6 days a week.

Written goals are good, but without metrics they're not nearly as effective as they could be. Also, without metrics, you can lie to yourself about what you really want to accomplish.

1 comment:

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