Foliotek Blog

How to Set Measurable Goals

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Cheesy joke that doesn't make sense, right? That's the point! There is a clear difference between bikes and tigers. The same holds true for Goals and Measurable Goals. While some claim they are the same because they both focus on accomplishing a task, measurable goals take it a step further to give greater focus on how you got to the 'what'.

So how do you take an ordinary goal like 'be more organized' and turn it into one that you can measure? We first have to start at the basics; think about the specifics when planning your goal like you would when planning a road trip:

CURRENT LOCATION:
Where are you now? (What are you currently doing to meet your goal?)

DESTINATION:
What is the end result when completing your goal? (Set your final expectation before knowing how to get there!)

DIRECTIONS:
What steps can you take to get better? (These will all be measurable tasks towards completing your goal)

By creating specific, measurable tasks, you are able to keep track of your goal and easily see when you make progress. So, how do you make something measurable? Remember: don't make your goal so huge that you'll never be able to meet it. Break down your goal into manageable tiers that help you figure out different areas of your goal to focus on. In the example below, we've split the overall goal of 'be more organized' down to mean an organized desk, inbox, and notes.

Next list tasks that you can do to make that specific area of your goal successful and include a number in each task. By including a number, you force yourself to measure the task in some way (red text in the example below). For example, you know you're taking steps to meet your goal when you spend three minutes each day putting supplies where they are supposed to go on your desk.

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By doing this, you are setting yourself up for success in meeting your goals! Once you get in the habit of meeting your daily tasks, you can create new tasks that help you continue to meet your goal or even create a new goal to work on.

As I mentioned in the How to Take Initiative blog post, "Change can take time, and even though your colleagues or employer may not notice a change, take encouragement in knowing that you are working behind-the-scenes to improve yourself!"

What goal will you work on first?


How to Take Initiative

Another email flies into my inbox from a colleague who always seems to come up with awesome ideas to improve our workflow. I'm in awe at how many side projects she seems to be completing and wonder how she comes up with some of them. She has a level of initiative that I just wasn't quite grasping in my own work-life. Fast forward a month, and I'm the one sending out emails filled with tips for new ways to decrease steps in a current process. Because I recognized a quality I admired in a colleague, I was able to implement opportunities for initiative in my own work.

Initiative: The ability to assess and initiate things independently; the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do

Initiative is a word that isn't thrown around lightly. In an office setting, it demonstrates one's ability to think outside the box and come up with ideas and solutions to problems or situations. For example: Finding a more efficient way to accomplish a goal that benefits the entire team.

Each of us could find several ways to improve ourselves in a particular area at work, but instead of getting bogged down with the idea of overall improvement, focus on one characteristic at a time.

GETTING STARTED

  • Look for a quality you admire in a colleague (or just one you want to work on for yourself!) then focus on this quality and think about it in the tasks you complete each work day.

  • Focus on the process you're taking to complete a task instead of simply going through your typical workflow. This will help you see parts of your current process that could go even smoother or quicker. Once you start recognizing this in your own workflow, you find ways to improve it both for yourself and your colleagues, and therefore; you improve your company.

  • Implement a change each day, whether big or small, that demonstrates your ability to excel in the quality you chose. These changes will begin to add up.

  • Don't get discouraged if your efforts aren't noticed by others for awhile. Change can take time, and even though your colleagues or employer may not notice a change, take encouragement in knowing that you are working behind-the-scenes to improve yourself!

Today I challenge you to pick a quality you admire in someone that you wished you could improve upon in your own life and start actively looking for ways to implement change! Comment below what quality you want to work on first!