Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured gets managed.”
Instead of setting the goal of “lose weight,” set goals to “track weight.” Instead of “save money,” set goals to “track money.” Instead of “write more,” set goals to “track how much I write.” The idea is that if you see the numbers, you will consciously or subconsciously change your actions to manipulate those figures.
To get started, I set up a folder in Google Drive for tracking various aspects of my life. I use Google Drive because it is accessible from any computer including my phone. It is important that however you track your data, you can always access it wherever you are. Inside my tracking folder, I set up several simple spreadsheets for entering my data.
Here is what I have been tracking:
- weight and body fat percentage, as taken in the morning using my bioimpedance scale
- expenditures, including how much I spent and for what purpose
- word counts for how much I write each day
- consumed products, including what I buy and how much I enjoyed it
It is an indirect way of attaining some underlying goals. I track my weight with the goal of hitting a certain weight and body composition target. I track expenditures with the goal of cutting down on unnecessary expenses. I track my word counts with the goal of consistently writing a certain number of words per day. I track my consumed products because I want to write more product reviews online.
Whatever your goals for this year, it’s just as important to have a metric to track your progress by as it is to have the end goal. Set your target and monitor it daily. You’ll be more likely to reach your goals. Even if you don’t reach your goals, you will gain a much better understanding of yourself.