Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between motion and progress because I am concerned that I am doing more of the former than then latter. So I have been thinking. How do you measure progress when success is not obvious on a day by day basis? Furthermore, how do you keep yourself motivated to keep working on what you’re working when you don’t know if you’re on the right path? Finally how do you know when to course correct if you realize that you’re doing a lot of motion but little to no progress.
These are tough questions for me but it’s crucial for me to understand how to deal with them because it will allow me to think and act long term on the goals that matter the most to me.
Although I don’t have a definite answer to all of these questions I think that the best way to go about this is to start with the end in mind. What is my end-goal? Then based on that reverse engineer the goal and bring it into the present. Next, ask yourself what can I do today that will help me achieve goal X?
This is easier said than done because it’s really hard sometimes to break down goals into very small units.Nevertheless I’ve found that the best way to address this is to initially focus on one goal and pick a proxy for measuring your progress towards the goal. In some cases you can directly measure your progress. For example, if you want to loose 1 lb per week than you can track your calories and consume 500 calories less than you BMR and after a week you will loose 1 lb. Things might fluctuate week over week die to water retention and what not but on average you will loose the weight. If the goal is more abstract but you can still measure it, then you can use a proxy. For example, if your goal is to get a job in the next month then you can commit to applying to at least 2 jobs per day and sending at least 1 cold email per day. Sending emails and applications wont directly translate into a job but it’s the best way if making sure that you constantly make progress against your goal.
I am constantly thinking about the best way to set goals and move forward with my plans so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. If I can help you with your goals please also make sure to reach out.