At the beginning of March, I set a goal to read five books before May 1. With my schedule, I knew it was a lofty goal, but part of the reason for setting a goal is to push yourself. Your goals should always seem a little scary and unattainable.
I scheduled a time to read into my daily plan, just like I do for sleeping and eating. Some days went better than others. Because I am voraciously curious, distraction is a huge challenge. I am continually researching people, advertising history, and processes.
I’m sure you can relate to 30 minutes disappearing in the blink of an eye. My research rabbit holes always garner some excellent stuff, but I wasn’t reading the books, which was the scheduled activity.
By May 1, I had read four books but didn’t meet the goal of 5 (I can, however, explain the science of pricing and tell you all about Napoleon Hill). This could have resulted in disappointment and internal scolding. The reason it didn’t and still doesn’t—I measured my progress backward.
I focused on the gain of reading 4 of the books on my list vs. the pain of not having read all 5.
There’s a lot of emotional baggage that comes with goal setting.
This baggage is what holds us back from achieving goals. Negative self-talk, disappointment, and low self-esteem sap your energy and your confidence. You didn’t lose the 12 pounds, you didn’t get five new clients, you still can’t run 5 miles without stopping…bah. The negativity abounds.
But you did lose 6 pounds! You did get three new clients! You can run 2.5 miles without stopping! All of these would be improvements over where you were when you started, right? Always measure against your starting point, not in the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
If you set a goal the right way, you will likely make progress of some sort even if you don’t achieve the final, ideal result. Focusing on that progress will produce feelings of happiness and, even better, confidence.
Confidence is the by-product of past performance.
When you measure your goals by looking at where you started vs. where you ended up, you get the benefit of all the feels— those positive and energizing emotions that will allow you to become increasingly successful. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.
Don’t rob yourself of the joy and benefits of measuring your progress.
Always behind you 1,000%-