The new year is always a time for both reflection (mostly thinking about all of the things you didn’t accomplish!) and setting new goals. The problem I have with goals are that they are often too… binary. You will either succeed or fail. Perhaps your goal was to lose 15 pounds, but you only lost 10. While yes, you didn’t meet your goal, you got 66% of the way there!
As an entrepreneur with a background in marketing, and a popular term I see most business-types throw around is “KPI”, which stands for Key Performance Indicator. Companies ultimately focus on the bottom line (“ROI” – return on investment), but KPIs allow different business units to establish their own set of success metrics for their activities (customer acquisition, customer satisfaction, awareness or “buzz” of a marketing campaign, etc.). The benchmarks for “success” are often arbitrary (“We need a million Facebook fans!”), given there will be little history or accepted industry benchmarks to compare to, so KPIs are usually refined over time. Why not use the same logic and apply KPIs to your goals? Having KPIs will also allow you to track progress both during and at the end of the year. And who says you can’t recalibrate a goal if you realize in 6 months that it was over- or under-ambitious, based on data you have collected? Below I’ve outlined a number of my goals for this year, broken up by category. On a binary scale, I will most like “fail” more often than succeed, but at the end of the day bettering oneself by any capacity is still a “success”!
Below I have listed several (but not all) of my goals for this year, along with some KPIs and tools that can be used. Feel free to copy or adapt them to suit your needs.*
* Yes, I realize I am posting this in late January, but that was intentional, as I didn’t want this post to get lost in all of the post-New Year’s madness : )