It doesn’t matter what your goals are. At some point, you are likely to struggle with motivation. Unfortunately, even a momentary dip in motivation can sometimes be enough to force you to abandon your goals and revert to old habits.
When you set yourself a goal, it’s crucial that it’s clearly defined. This means that you should be in no doubt when you finally achieve it. If you have set yourself their right type of goal, your progress should also be measurable.
How you measure progress will depend wholly on the goal you have set yourself. For example, if you have set yourself the goal to fit into your favorite size 8 jeans, you might choose to measure your waist size of body fat percentage each week. If however, your goal is to run a four-minute mile, you might measure and record your times for 800m at maximum effort every couple of weeks.
Measuring and recording your progress has a number of different benefits. Firstly, it breaks your goal down into small manageable chunks. If you simply focus on losing weight or getting fitter, before your next weigh-in or time trial, you will feel like you are in control. Secondly, by regularly measuring the progress you will regularly get the confidence boost that comes with seeing yourself move closer to your goal. This boost will give you the motivation you need to take in the next few weeks and steadily continue on to your goal.
If you measure and record your progress it can be worthwhile spending the time visualizing your progress. If for example, you are measuring your body fat percentage or weight each week, you might choose to enter this information into a spreadsheet. If you’ve done this then you are only a few clicks away from creating a visual graph that shows you slowly working towards your goal. You could even do the same thing with a piece of paper. This visual element can be a powerful weapon when you feel your motivation dip. Why not put it on your bedroom wall…or the door of the fridge!
People often make the mistake of ignoring the importance of effective goal setting and regular measurement. Though these things may seem insignificant when considered against the far off goal you are working towards, in many cases, they actually make the difference between success and failure!