The things you measure have a funny way of improving. It almost looks like magic. Measuring those things in your life that matter is a powerful way of emphasizing and improving them.
For example, it’s hard to know if your diet is working if you don’t check the scale regularly. Are you getting stronger in the gym? You can’t know for certain if you don’t measure yourself.
Tracking your results is essential in order to know if you’re making progress.
How you spend your time determines the quality of your life. Measuring is one way to prioritize the things that you should be spending time on.
Consider these ideas:
1. When you measure something, the thing you measure changes. In the world of quality control, it’s well known that once you start to measure something, it changes. The people involved begin paying more attention and begin doing a better job.
- You’ll notice that the same thing happens to you in your own life. Once you begin measuring your calories, you’ll notice that you begin eating better. When you weigh yourself each morning, you’ll notice your weight begins to slowly move in a healthy direction.
- If you track your spending, you’ll spend less. If you track your savings, you’ll save more.
- You can see a surprising amount of progress for doing such a small thing.
2. You can make adjustments. When you measure things, you’ll notice your mistakes. If you’re measuring your calories, a cupcake doesn’t look quite the same. Whether you’re trying to lift more weight in the gym or have the best lawn on the block, by measuring your results, you’ll know when you’re getting off-track. Your mistakes become more visible and meaningful to you.
- You’ll also notice what you’re doing well.
3. You can see progress. Nothing is more motivating than progress. When you diet and measure your weight, you can see progress and will find it easier to stick with it. When your savings account grows, you feel better about saving money. Most people won’t stick with something for long without seeing progress.
- Measuring gives you a way to notice your progress.
4. It gives you focus. When you measure something, it becomes more important. You have a million things you could pay attention to each day, but when you choose just a few to measure, you create focus. Measuring something makes it important.
Things you can measure:
- Pushups, sit-ups, pullups
- Steps taken each day
- Calories, grams of carbs, protein, and/or fat
- How many resumes you send out each month
- How many pages you read each day
- How many minutes you meditate each day
- Money spent and/or saved
- How much quality time you spend with your children each day
What Do You Want to Measure?
Think of something in your life that you’d like to improve. How can you measure it?
If it’s something easy to measure, you’re all set. However, not everything can be measured objectively like money or calories, but there’s always a way. You can rate your impression of something on a scale of 1 to 10, such as your happiness.
Make a chart of your progress each day. This can easily be done with a spreadsheet, but some graph paper and a pencil can work just fine. Use whatever method works for you.
What matters most in your life? Are you currently measuring it? If you’re not measuring it, how can you know if you’re progressing toward your goal? There’s tremendous power in focusing on something and measuring it regularly.
What will you measure?