The “M” in SMART
Measuring your progress for the goals you’ve set is the second part of the SMART Goals method. After all, you won’t know if you’re making progress or gaining on your goal without a way to measure it. When progress is measurable, you can track how far you’ve come, keep focused and stay motivated by celebrating the small milestones you complete along the way. In order to facilitate assessing your progress, you’ll need a set of criteria for measurement of progress.
Answer these questions to get to “M”
Similar to the Specific step used in SMART Goals, you will need to answer a few questions regarding your goal as a criterion for measuring progress data:
What is the indicator of progress?
How many or how much refers to progress as an indicator of what success for your specific goal looks like. The indicator of progress signifies the way in which you decide to track the progress you have made.
Depends on the goal
This varies significantly depending on the goal. If it’s a business goal, maybe the indicator of progress is gross sales. Or it might be the number of pounds lost per week, if your goal is to get to a healthier weight. Tracking how far you’ve come within the goal is important because it will keep you focused on your ultimate goal. Motivation will be gained by ability to celebrate the milestones of the progress you have along the way.
Let’s use the lose weight example
Using the same goal as above, to lose 10 pounds by exercising more. More specifically stated, “I will go to the gym to work out for 45 minutes every day weekday morning before work, in order to lose 2 pounds per week.” Now not only is the goal specific and clearly stated, we have added the quantity of measurement for the goal, 2 pounds per week. In this case the indicator of measurement would be the scale.
A business goal example
In the arena of business, an example might be, if the goal is, “I will build brand awareness through social media, to increase gross profits by 20% per month.” The quantity of measurement and the indictor is the profit increase in comparison to previous months.
Putting the SMART Goals method to use has proven to produce a higher success rate for goal achievement. Measuring your goals is an important part of this process. When you track your progress, you will have the ability to stay more motivated towards your goal and keep a stronger focus.