"Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction." - Kenichi Ohmae
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was playing in one of my 7th-grade basketball games with minutes to go until the final buzzer. The play was mid-court and I lept for a heroic interception. Success! I ran as fast as I could towards the hoop and scored the winning basket and the crowd went wild. However, upon looking up, I realized it wasn’t my side of the crowd that was cheering, it was the other team’s...I had shot the ball in the other team’s basket.
Needless to say, I didn’t go pro, but the metaphor I took from that game has stuck with me throughout my life. Hard work only pays off if you point it in the right direction.
As you journey towards your goals, don’t wait for the “basket to go in” to manage your progress. Set benchmarks and check-ins for yourself to make sure you’re going down the right path.
Not only will this ensure you’re on the right track, having an understanding of where you stand in relation to achieving your goal can be extremely motivating.
While you may have a sense of where you stand, it’s important to have official benchmarks and check-ins with yourself to give you the time to reflect on what’s working and what isn’t. Making them official will make it harder for you to give up and easier for you to move things along. These touchpoints will remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. By checking in with yourself, you’ll be able to:
- See your strengths and weaknesses
- Understand potential opportunities and obstacles
- Decide what adjustments need to be made to reach your goal, if any
- Assess if the goal is still worth it
First time doing this (or need a refresher)? Follow the steps below to help track the progression on your road to greatness.
Like what you see? This post gives you a preview of our guide, Unleash Your Inner Awesome: Motivational Quotes With Actionable Steps to Help You Reach Your Goals and Achieve Great Things. Be sure to check it out here.
Keep a Journal
This may seem tedious but can be extremely helpful in evaluating your progress. Every night before you go to bed, write down something you did to get closer to your goal that day and any setbacks you experienced. On a weekly and monthly basis, go back and review your entries and see if you can track any trends or patterns that will help you adjust and improve moving forward.
Look at How Far You’ve Come
A journal can also serve as a reminder of how far you’ve come since you’ve started. When you’re in the middle of your journey with your head down, it can be easy to lose track of the progress you’ve made because you’re so focused on the road ahead. Don’t forget to take time to celebrate what you’ve already achieved.
Do your research and see what kind of standards exist for the space you’re trying to get into. From there, set personal benchmarks that you can measure yourself against as you work to achieve your goal.
Consider Implementing a Rewards System
Want to keep things fun and interesting? Set up a system to reward yourself for completing milestones along the way. Make these gifts to yourself things you really want so that you’ll work hard to get them.
Use An App
You don’t need to put all of the pressure on yourself to track your metrics and measurements. That can take time that can instead be used for reaching your goal. There are a plethora of apps that can track your progress for you. This will take a load off your shoulders but it also improves accuracy because you’re not handling all of it manually.
Food for Thought: What are three things you can do right now to better track the progress of the goal you want to achieve?