Goals seldom have a clear start and end date; that would make things too easy. Goals that have a personal development inference aren’t clear-cut, and we often need to work a little bit harder to determine how to measure their progress. Think about when you decided to develop your self-confidence. How did you measure progress along the way? How did you know when your self-confidence had improved? Not being able to measure your goal progress could result in you giving up along the way, without knowing when you have successfully accomplished your goal.
How to measure your goal progress
Goal progress is the last step in the goal accomplishment cycle, but one that is often overlooked. Without it, the goal you set for yourself is not complete, as you’ll never know when you have successfully achieved it. As human beings, we are motivated by progress, and by being able to see it. By getting feedback, we know we’re either on the right track, or we need to redirect and make changes to our goal. Without progress, we can’t establish where we are in the growth process. But how does one measure progress on self-development goals? Before we continue, think of one personal goal you wish to achieve. Make sure that it’s a goal that aligns with you. Now, let’s go back to our example of building self-confidence.
Building self-confidence sounds like a straightforward goal, but is it really that simple?
Here are some questions to guide you in establishing your goal progress measurement.
- How will you know when you’re self-confident?
- What will the impact be if you’re self-confident?
- What will you do that you’re not currently doing when you’re self-confident?
- What’s hindering you from being self-confident?
- How will others see when you’re self-confident?
Looking at the questions, you might notice that the progress measurement will be in your behaviour, your beliefs, and the assumptions you have about yourself or one of your goals. You will probably have to stop – or start – behaving differently to manage your self-confidence.
Until you’re clear about the desired outcome of how you’ll behave when you have self-confidence, you won’t be able to establish the steps to develop. That means that you won’t be able to measure your progress. The answer to these questions is introspective, and requires time to unleash. If you’re unable to relate the end goal to your progress, ask people you trust, and who will give you an authentic answer.
Key take-aways of how to measure your goal progress
- Goal progress is the last step in the goal-setting cycle.
- Goal progress assists us to determine if we’re moving in the right direction or not.
- Personal development goals are trickier to measure in terms of goal progress.
- Goal progress requires introspection and outside input.