The second part of the SMART Goals method is to measure your progress on the goals you set. Because without a way to measure progress, you won’t know if you are making progress on your goal or achieving it. When progress is measurable, you can track how far you’ve come, stay focused and motivated by celebrating the small milestones you’ve reached along the way. To help you assess your progress, you need a set of criteria to measure progress.
Similar to the “Specific” step used with SMART goals, you will need to answer a few questions about your goal as criteria for measuring progress data:
What is the indicator of progress?
How many or how much refers to progress as an indicator of what success looks like for your specific goal. The progress indicator refers to how you decide to track the progress you have made. This varies greatly depending on the goal. If it’s a business goal, the progress indicator might be gross sales. Or it could be the number of pounds lost per week if your goal is to achieve a healthier weight. It’s important to track how far you’ve come within the scope of your goal, as this will help you focus on your end goal. Motivation is increased by being able to celebrate the milestones of your progress.
Let’s take the same goal as above: lose 10 pounds by exercising more. More specifically, “I will go to the gym for 45 minutes every weekday morning before work to lose 2 pounds per week.” Now not only is the goal specific and clearly stated, but we have also added the metric for the goal, 2 pounds per week. In this case, the indicator for measurement would be the scale. In business, an example might be, “I will increase brand awareness through social media to increase gross profit by 20% per month.” The metric and indicator is profit increase over previous months.
It has been shown that using the SMART Goals method leads to a higher success rate in achieving goals. Measuring your goals is an important part of this process. By tracking your progress, you are able to be more motivated to pursue your goal and maintain a stronger focus.
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