I started thinking about the future and setting different goals early in life, but goal setting didn’t always work for me. Sometimes I’d set big goals and do nothing to move towards them. All this did was hurt my confidence. I still found value in setting goals and I still do today, but I’ve learned there is more to it.
I’ve learned that the act of simply measuring may be more powerful than the actual goal setting itself. In fact, I’ve learned that when we simply measure something on a consistent basis that we improve and naturally get a little better. Ultimately, we will end up hitting “the goal” even if we didn’t set it!
For some reason, we tend to resist this. I’ve observed this in myself and also working with others. If I ask, “what is your goal?” Most will throw out an answer. However, if I ask to see where they have been tracking their activity towards that goal, most have no idea.
Tracking our steps and jogging miles is a great example. We could set a goal to start taking 10,000 steps a day. That is a healthy long term goal, but the important part is tracking and measuring it. Simply getting a Fitbit or Garmin is all we have to do. By simply tracking and watching, we naturally start taking more steps each day. Most people will take more steps just because they measure it even if they don’t even set a goal to do so! Every one of us should probably wear a fitness watch, but this applies to all other areas of life as well.
Not everything is as simple as buying a Fitbit. Some areas require more diligence to measure our activities, but I believe the act of measuring is just as valuable if not more valuable than the act of goal setting.
Personal finance is the same. How many people want to be a millionaire one day? How many people actually track their finances and know where their money goes? Budgeting is great, but simply tracking and measuring causes us to manage our money better.
How are you doing at measuring?