Measure Success through Goal-Setting - dummies

Measure Success through Goal-Setting

By S. Renee Smith, Vivian Harte

If you could measure your success, would you say it’s a teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, quart, or gallon? Are you thinking that’s a weird way to measure success? Try it anyway. Close your eyes, ask yourself the question again, and feel for the answer. What was the first thought that came to mind? Did you think about your personal growth, professional progress, or spiritual development? How successful were you?

Now, think about your long-term goal — the goal you’ve set for yourself in the same category. Have you accomplished the goal? Are you moving in the right direction? Are you almost there, or not even close?

This exercise causes most people to think about a specific area of their lives and then measure it. The first area of your life that comes to your mind is your priority. Use the following table as an example, taking your own measurements.

Personal Growth Professional Progress Spiritual Development
Cup X
Quart X
Gallon X

The next exercise, which requires a yes or no, measures what you’ve accomplished against what you said you wanted to accomplish. It’s easier to measure, but a more difficult pill to swallow if you’re not where you expected to be in life. Again, use the example and fill in your own goals and answers.

My Goals Yes No
Personal Growth Goal: To work on myself daily to become a kind,
loving human being by showing patience toward others and
Professional Progress Goal: To become a senior vice president
by age 40
Spiritual Development Goal: To increase my compassion toward
others by volunteering for three events per year that provide
direct contact with people in need of food, clothing, or

As you can see in these examples, the individual thought about her professional success, first measuring it at a gallon, only to realize that her professional goal had not been met. Interestingly, she measured her personal and spiritual life at a cup and a quart, respectively, but then found that she was actively satisfying those goals.

What you’re likely to notice is that you’ve excelled in different areas of your life. This may have caused you to miss a target in one area, but we hope it has resulted in a more delightfully balanced life.