What’s the first thing we need to make sure our goals are achievable? –
Clarity, Goals have to be very clear and precise, know what you want, and what you are going for or looking for. Most people who don’t know what they want, be it in career, relationship, finance, etc Many tend to lose the most vital things they need/want most times because they don’t even know want they are looking for,you see many going with others because of lack of clarity, it is the case of let us go others are going or better still do for me as you do for him/her opp! hahahahaha hey human nature ( most time you hear stories like I want to do it like that his own, just like that her partner) what!!.when we are clear about our goals, and half way of how to achieve them, it put our mind at peace not getting intimidated with others achievement around us because we already know what we want and our-self.
Unfortunately, it can’t be precise if it’s not clear. I want to lose some weight, make more money or take the first position in my class etc. may be clear but not precise. To whatever degree, your goal(s) is vague, to the same you are unlikely to achieve it. From 1st of August 2016 to 31st of December – I will want to raise my savings from $100 to $ 300 is much better and clear than “I want to increase how much I save before the year runs out”. know it, be clear about it then become precise ok.
There is no better way of knowing if we have to achieve our goal than by recording our progress. Measuring and recording our progress seems like a simple task but it is very hard to do. A conscious measurement of progress especially, measuring what matters is beyond most people. Imagine putting on the television and two teams are playing a game but there is no way to tell who is winning or losing. There is no way to understand the aggression and sense of urgency displayed by the teams. Simply put, we disengage when we don’t know the score of the games we play or watch. When we can see at a glance whether or not we are winning we become profoundly engaged. A compelling scoreboard tells us where we are and where we should be, it directs us the more.
If you are not measuring your performance as it relates to the goal- you can’t tell if you are achieving it or not. If you don’t measure your weight, how can you tell for sure that you have lost more weight last month than this month – if that is the goal you want to achieve. However, some records have more weight than others. Some kind of scores has more effect not just in telling us if we can achieve our goals. It goes a long way to compel the right activities needed to achieve the goal, know your pattern of measuring.
Warren Buffet once said, “If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians”. The measure of past event will only tell you what you did in the past – a lagging indicator of past performance. Smart Financial traders and some business leaders have a way they predict the market – which is like predicting what will happen in the future. This is some of the ways they come out with their revenue targets and annual projections. The use all forms of technical jargons and software but it boils down to measuring1.Past Event (Goal targets). They measure (you can’t have a record without measuring) past events or goals similar to the one they are trying to achieve. This only tells you what happened in the past. It’s called lag measure because, by the time you get the results, the events have already happened. They are behind (lagging). For instance – I will save up to $500 by 31st Dec 2016. It’s only when we get to 31st December, you will know if you succeeded or not, then you will be able to know what next to do or not to do.
- Lead record (lead measure)It is the measurement of some activities that impact on your goal. We like to say that we are committed to our goal by doing A, B,C,. The measurement of this A, B and C is our lead measure. They are activities that foretell the target. They tell us clearly while we are on our goal if we are achieving it or not. They have two characteristics that are vital for you, for me.
- They are predictive – In a sense that once you act on them (i.e. act on the lead measures) the directly affects the goal positively. The volume of rainfall on a farm of onions is a predictive measure of the quality and quantity of yield at harvest.
- It must “Influenceable” in the sense that you have control of over it – Actions or activities that you can control that doesn’t depend much on other people or factors to happen. The example of rainfall on the onions farm is not something you have control over. You can’t determine how much rain will fall on your farm but then – provide irrigation to the farm is predictive and as well in your control. but mind you that does not mean that there can’t be changes beyond humans, which should not stop us from measuring our goals.
Lead measures are actionable commitments. Not all commitments towards your goal are actionable. Why this? Because very few of our actions and activities make our goal happen – like the 80/20 Pareto principle. Lead measures are counter-intuitive. They are usually under our nose but we rarely find them. Speaking from experience, it’s hard to have a lead measure of a goal if you haven’t started working on that goal – because lead measures are found within. Within the challenges, within the processes etc. they are actionable – usually, things we have to do not to think, we know more as we are on it.
So if you noticed, solution is not in having a clear goal (of course helps greatly), is not breaking the goal down into bits we can handle (equally a great idea – it works) nor measuring our progress (without, you can’t tell what’s happening) but coming up with Lead measures: measuring those “influenceable” and predictive activities that directly impacts on our goals.
It’s remarkable how engaged and responsible we are once we locate and start measuring (you don’t have to use a tape to measure – just keep eyes on them) the lead activities. Even when the results are not positive – you feel this creative force that compels you to come up with an alternative lead measure. There is nothing that stops you from achieving your goal once you locate and measure the right leads.
We have failed many times and keep failing in our past goals. That is okay, what is not fine is if we stop trying. If we stop figuring out ways to do what needs to get done. There is no easy way to get things done than to go out there and do it. No level of planning, measuring will help if you won’t step outside and run, read, save, train etc. – why shouldn’t you? Others can – others are doing it and yes, talk is cheap. It’s easier said than done and any how you want to rationalise it, people are still getting things done. Use these simple steps and see how much you can get simple things done.
Start with very simple goals – be very clear and precise, divide them into little bits if that’s possible but above all – find those activities that impact directly on the goal and measure them. for sure you must feel it, that you are achieving your goals, remember to take it easy on yourself, slow and steady they say wins the race, as long as you are on something you might not KNOW, but let me tell you, you are moving, our greedy nature most times makes us feel we are not achieving that which we want, but for sure we are, congratulations.” measure to improve”.