Measure Progress, Not Perfection

Written by Posted On Thursday, 31 October 2019 05:00

With 2019 quickly coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about your business planning for the upcoming year. When you measure what you expect, you can back up and inspect how you got there…or not.  As you focus on new business plans, new strategic initiatives, and fervent resolutions to finally lose that weight, or to get more money in savings, inspecting your progress will help you avoid defaulting to old habits.  

Did you know that an airplane has a unique competitive advantage to stay on course over you?  Yep, it’s true. Airplanes have a built-in guidance system that continually adjusts the nose of the plane to make course corrections, which keeps the plane headed to the correct destination.    People, however, don’t have a gyroscope, and even with the best of intentions can easily lose sight of their intended goals. The goals you commit to at the start of the new year may go by the wayside quickly, as you revert to your more comfortable (and habitual) behavior.    

To help you fast-track your business planning for 2020, here are some success tips to keep you focused on reaching your goals.

• Identify your top three goals, which if accomplished by this time next year will make you feel super successful.
• Decide what it will take to achieve your goals by focusing on only one week at a time.  Create a master weekly checklist with activities you want to complete every day of every week. Be sure to include both personal and professional goals.
• Develop an action plan for each category. Take prospecting for example, and block one hour per day every day of the week.  If your goal is to exercise for better health, then add a one hour workout to your action plan. If you want to focus on your personal relationships, make a specific weekly date night one of your goals.
• To stay focused on your daily habits, decide your top priority that must be accomplished every day or on specific days that will move you closer to your goals.  

At the end of each week, look at your progress and review your process. Plenty of people start the race but only a handful actually complete it. Did you miss a few hours of prospecting?  Add those hours to the following week to stay on target. It’s easy to lose forward momentum by reverting back to your comfortable, old habits—so stay vigilant.  Stanford University’s Dr. B. J. Fogg is quoted as saying, “There is just one way to radically change your behavior, and that is to radically change your environment”. 

What will you change in your environment right now?  A great start is to close your door and windows (as in Microsoft) to get more done early in the morning to avoid interruptions.  If getting in better shape is on the agenda, partner up with a friend or neighbor for consistency and to help keep you accountable.  Is your desk a mess? It’s time to clear up all those papers and files that distract you from your vital projects and goals.

We cannot improve what we cannot measure, so change your focus and zero in on what you do every day to allow yourself the joy and exhilaration of getting what you want out of life.   The finish line is yours one step at a time if you head in the right direction! 

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Terri Murphy

Terri Murphy, Communication engagement specialist, author, speaker, consultant, and Master Coach with Workman Success.  She is the author of 5 books, TedTalk speaker and co-radio host on Contact: or Email:

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