I’m letting the cat out of the bag. I have a fascination with tracking information. You might be completely bewildered by some of the information I’ve tracked over the years.
In high school I tracked what I wore and where I wore each outfit. The tracking process included a coding system that’s fuzzy to me now so many years later, but was something like all tops were letters, all pants or shorts were numbers, and dresses were double letters like “CC”.
I’ve logged the miles I ran, my work outs completed, and a myriad of other trackable, measurable pieces of information.
My fascination with tracking information isn’t isolated to my personal matters. It shows up in my work as well. Tracking a variety of different metrics enables me to see if I am making progress towards my goals.
All my tracking might seem tedious and strange to you. My husband, in all his randomness, finds tracking restrictive and one more task to do that is meaningless to him. For me, tracking simultaneously holds me accountable and gives me incentive! It gives me a visual of the progress I’m making, or failing to make, that I find quite helpful.
When choosing what to track, it’s important for me to choose the information that really matters. Tracking insignificant information won’t bring me closer to my goals and will be a frivolous way to spend my time. Back in the day I tracked what I wore so that I would not repeat outfits – what can I say? I was a teenager, but you can see we how what I tracked helped me to accomplish my goal.
Hopefully my goals have evolved to a much higher level all these years later!
There are all sorts of possibilities when it comes to what to track including…
- The number of cold calls made
- Pages written or writing for a set amount of time
- Time worked on a specific project
- Money spent
- Website traffic
- Where website visitors are coming from
- How you are using your time
- Giving yourself credit for doing hard tasks
- Having a positive attitude
What do you need to track to reach your goals; the baby steps that will help you successfully achieve your goals?
That’s the positive side of measuring or tracking information.
As much as I wish it was true, the reality is, you just can’t measure everything! And sometimes what’s most important can’t be measured!
Zig Zigler said, “Success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things.” So true! How I define success is a huge factor in how I choose to spend my time, what I measure, and whether or not I will thrive personally and professionally.
Ugh! I want it to be neat and tidy; more succinct than that, but just because success might not be defined in a nifty sentence it’s worth dedicating some time to coming up with your own definition of success. As you think it through, and define success for YOU, keep this in mind:
You are not successful when you excel in just one area of your life. True success, takes all aspects of your life into consideration: Finances, Health/Well Being, Work/Career/Purpose, Emotions, Personal Growth/Intellect, Fun/Relaxation, Spiritual Life, and Relationships.
2. A Reflection of Your Values
Your values are what’s “do or die” for you! Success can’t be in conflict with your top five values.
3. Being or Doing?
This is a tough one. Something you will have to wrestle with and is at the heart of how you define success. Is success about your accomplishments or about your way of being?
For me, a component of success is operating out of who God created me to BE. When I am living that way, I believe it will allow me to accomplish much, but there’s a critical distinction about what’s driving me. My motivation matters!
4. Other Focused
In other words, success is the results of serving others in some way; making a difference in the world.
I’m curious…what criteria would you add? What factors into your definition of success?
When your target is crystal clear, it is easier to hit! Success isn’t always about money, titles, or checking off every goal you set for the year. Success can be about obedience and remaining true to who God created you to be. And what’s success for me might not be success for you.
It’s OK for me to measure and track as long as I keep in mind my definition of success. Being consumed by tracking, discouraged by metrics that are other than I want them to be, or far exceeding my expectations can all work against me. The measuring is not the issue, my heart is!
To help me keep a balanced approach to my tracking, I also track personal items like doing something I love every day, journaling, and more because my definition of success encompasses so more than just work.
Maybe you are a happy tracker like me and need to keep all that tracking biz under control. Or perhaps you are more like my husband and would rather take a trip to the dentist than track something, even though tracking might be quite beneficial! Either way, knowing your definition of success creates a target; boundaries, and purpose all wrapped up in one!
How do you feel about the idea of measuring or tracking?
What’s your definition of success?