Secret-4-Measure-your-Progress1The fourth and final secret to being your most prosperous self is to measure your progress and take time to reassess your path.

When you measure the right things, you stay focused on what is important. This is critical is a world of chaos, as it is easy to be attracted to the next shiny object of attention. That shiny object may need someone’s attention, but if it’s not part of the intention for your life, it doesn’t need your attention. Measuring gives you a clear way to check in and make sure your actions are on point.

Let’s continue with the example from the blog post on secret two. Your intention is to live a life of joy and beauty and your top 5 goals are:

  • a new kitchen
  • a trip to Europe
  • a college education for your children
  • a vegetable garden
  • financial independence at age 67

What kind of measurements might you put in place for your new kitchen? Different structures will require different kinds of measurements. For example, if you plan to pay cash for your new kitchen, your first measurement might be how much you have saved relative to your budget for the new kitchen. Since you are measuring a cash activity, and cash moves fast, I suggest you measure frequently. For example, if you get paid every 2 weeks, then measure your savings progress for the new kitchen every 2 weeks. If you measure once a quarter, it is very likely you’ll get off track and the money you were saving for the new kitchen will become a new coat, dinner on the town, or a new lawn mower, or just get lost in spending a bit more than you intended in your everyday life.

Once you have the money in hand for your new kitchen, your measurements will turn to the other activities needed. Step one is to put a blueprint together so you can begin construction. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then your measurements may simply be setting aside the time to do the drawings and get your thoughts together. If you need help, your measurements might be, find an architect or design/build contractor. Breaking that down further, you may start by asking your family and friends for references and give yourself a deadline to research and contact potential vendors. In these steps, your measurements are likely focused on your timeline with key completion points.

It sounds trite, but what gets measured gets managed and what gets managed gets done. If you want your dreams to live outside your head and into your life, develop the right measures for each goal and get in action!

Sometimes you sabotage yourself on the path to creating your dreams. It isn’t always easy to really know what you want. Measuring progress can give you information that your goals aren’t inspiring. If in fact you don’t take the actions needed to create the goals you identified, it may be that you aren’t truly committed to your goal.

Think of this as your unconscious informing you that you are out of step with your true desires. If this happens to you, simply step back and honestly ask yourself this question, “Am I willing to take the actions, that is sacrifice my current time, money and energy, to create this future goal?” Maybe it is someone else’s goal, but not yours. It’s Ok to recognize you’re off track. Simply choose again.

Every goal requires a sacrifice today to gain your vision of tomorrow. That is why inspiration is so critical to setting your intention and goals. Sacrifice is hard. Depending on the goal, it may take years, many years to accomplish. If it doesn’t inspire you, it isn’t likely you’ll succeed. So periodically check in and ask yourself, am I inspired by my goals?

It may also happen that your life changes and you change our mind. You live in a dynamic world that is ever changing. Just because you were clear yesterday, as new things happen and yesterday’s clarity may become today’s blurry. For example, perhaps you always wanted a lake house and you’ve been actively saving for the down payments and looking at property. Then your parents call to tell you they just bought a lake house for the whole family to enjoy. You may still want to pursue you own lake house, but maybe you’d like to repurpose that time and money to something else. It is your life and your choice to create it in any way you desire.

Every 6 months to a year, take time to reassess your intention and your goals. Look at where you are with each piece and assess your progress on your path. Take time to celebrate each accomplishment and relish the joy of your perseverance. Feel the gratitude and find, or rediscover, your inspiration.

Life changes. Our external environment changes. You change your mind. Give yourself permission to make new choices when the old ones no longer fit.

In Joy,

To discover all four secrets read Mackey’s blog series, Prospering in a Chaotic World.