How to set goals that actually make progress, feel good to you, and show you how to move towards the bigger picture in a way that forces you to enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

Measuring Your Goals: A How-To Guide to Continuous Success

August 9, 2023


We’ve all been there- setting goals that look impressive, but when you get down to it you’re actually not making progress towards the life you dreamt of living. Today I am sharing everything I know on how to set goals that actually make progress, feel good to you, and show you how to move towards the bigger picture in a way that forces you to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. 

I’ll let you in on a little secret, setting goals with priority to enjoy your life starts with setting measurable goals. In the world of SMART goal-setting, the letter “M” stands for measuring, which is a fundamental principle that paves the way to your desired destination. Measuring your goals is like having a perfectly tuned compass guiding you on the right path. In this episode, we will explore how to set our SMART goals in a way that works not just for the one goal in front of us, but also using it as a tool for life. Remember, life is more than an achievement so this is how we can both live on our own terms while also achieving what speaks to our souls.

Let me show you what I mean, picture this: a life filled with continuous success and positive changes, where you’re constantly reminded of the incredible progress you’re making. Sounds like a dream, right? But guess what, it’s totally within your reach! Hold onto your butts with this one, because I’m going to teach you exactly how to use reflections as a tool for continuous success which will allow you to live with a constant reminder of the positive changes and progress you are making in your lives right now before you even reach your final destination. Stay tuned for 5 steps to do the dang thing for yourself.

5 steps to measure your goals: the easy way

Here’s the deal plain and simple: when you’re setting measurable goals you should be specific and quantifiable. The easiest way to do this is by understanding that your goals should have specific targets that will serve as benchmarks for success. Remember, success is what you define, not society… moving on… In case you’re like me and remember very little from 5th-grade math,  a quantifiable goal means it has a number that can be used to measure actions helping you track your progress effectively. Here’s an example: instead of saying, “I want to be a morning runner girlie (or guyie)” you can say, “ I want to start running 5 days a week for 1 hour a session”. This is your goal, it doesn’t mean that’s where you are today, but this is what you’re working towards. Once you have the big goal written out you can start finding ways to track how you’re going to reach this goal. Why is this the best way? Because if you’ve never run before, starting with an hour per day, 5 days a week is unsustainable. So we need to create a measurable roadmap to build up to our big goal. Long story short, without measuring progress, it’s difficult to know if you’re on the right track.

How to turn your big dreams into bite-sized goals

Now you’re probably wondering, how do you do this? The first step is taking your larger, dream-worthy goal and breaking it into smaller checkpoints, then using that as a path to get where you’re trying to go. Now, if I’m being honest this is a simple step but not easy. It’s easier to do it wrong. When you’re setting these smaller goals it’s so important to keep in mind that 1. These are merely suggestions and 2. You must keep an open mind and a flexible mindset that embraces adaptability and creativity. I don’t know about you but life has rarely gone exactly how I planned it. If you get too caught up in your small goals only living for the regimented check box to check box, not only do you miss out on your life as a whole, but also you may be check-boxing yourself in the wrong direction. 

Why you should check in with yourself for yourself

You may be asking, how do you avoid falling into this trap? By setting check-ins. First, you want to look at your goals timeline, then break down where you want to be by the year, the month, the week, and the day.  See, many of my big goals are 5 plus years away, so it can be easy to get caught up in the wrong task or the wrong priority which is moving me in the wrong direction. If I don’t make space and take time to reflect on where I am, and where I am moving, I may overwork myself into burnout, quitting, or a long detour I have to work my way out of. Now it’s important to note, you’re not a fortune teller. You don’t have all the answers, all the right steps you need to take, if you did wed all be where we want to be already. This is simply taking what’s worked for others, and over time adapting it in a way for it to work for you. 

How to assess yourself before you wreck and stress yourself

Once you’ve broken down those goals and you begin working towards them, set reminders to track your progress daily. How did you feel? Are you moving forwards? Are you moving backward? Are you living how you want to live? Remind yourself how far you’ve come and where you’re moving towards to keep you on the journey, not just hyper-fixated on the outcome. You may be thinking, omg this is more work that I won’t see immediate results from how do I make space for this? And I get it. I do, so let’s address it.

Why you need to treat yo self.
You’re welcome in advance.

Not convinced this will work for you? I get it, it’s taken me nearly a decade to dial this down on my own, Luckily you’re not alone- I got you! One method I have used since I started setting and achieving goals, I am talking all the way back in my childhood gymnastics days, is through rewards. I use rewards as motivation to keep moving forward. It’s also a way to pause, reflect, celebrate, and recharge to keep chipping away at your dreams. When I was a young gymnast, if I met my podium goal, I would reward myself with a new leotard or something a bit more spendy for a normal purchase. This kept my eye on the prize (literally) even when these moments weren’t my bigger dream. See as fun, as winning regional gymnastics competitions was, it wasn’t the NCAA scholarship I was gunning after. Rewards keep you moving, even when your dreams feel lightyears away. I know what you’re thinking, another awesome excuse for a shopping trip! Awesome! But not to rain on your parade too hard, make sure the prize matches the effort. If you sent one email, a fancy new purse doesn’t exactly reflect the work you put in. Find a balance for yourself in what will keep you motivated but without breaking the bank or exploiting your own motivation. 

The perks of working with the woo

Now, we’ve hit the practicality but now imma help you add a little woo. When you mix the woo with putting in the work, lemme tell you the magic happens. I never realized I was being woo, I thought I just fell into something that worked but once social media took this idea by storm I realized I was far ahead of the game. What is this magical not-so-secret?  Using your subconscious mind to work for you when you rest. Let me show you what I mean. Your brain is always looking for 1. The path of least resistance and 2. Whatever you tell it to look out for. For instance, when you want a new car you tend to see that new car everywhere! This is due to your reticular activation system, since I’m not a scientist I encourage you to look into how this scientifically works for yourself, but I’ll show you what it looks like in use towards your goals, not just new cars! 

How does this align with measuring your goals? Well when we show our brain what we want, it works in our favor to make it happen. We can program our minds to look for avenues to make us closer to our dreams. One easy way to do this? Visualization. When I was training for the Paralympics, I knew I wanted to win. Luckily, I knew what the venue looked like, I knew what snowboarding felt like, and I knew what a medal around my neck would be. Anytime I was doing long cardio or resting in my home I would visualize my success at the games. I could hear the crowd, the wind in my ears, my name being called on the podium. I could feel my body on the snowboard, how it felt to step onto the podium, the nerves, and the anticipation of being at the games. I visualized successful scenarios, I visualized when scenarios went wrong and how I could correct them, and I visualized how everything could come together to get me on the podium.  I channeled all of my senses so I could trick my brain into thinking I had already accomplished this goal time and time again so when the day came, I was ready. Long story short, programming the unconscious mind to align with goals can be powerful. All it takes is being specific, attaching emotions and feelings to your goals, identifying and overcoming limiting beliefs or potential downsides, and visualizing your success. I am telling you, it works. 

How to make self love a priority

Here’s the deal, you can utilize all of these tools and you will be successful but that doesn’t mean you’ll be fulfilled. I am telling you this not to scare you, I am just all about being upfront and honest. I am begging you, you can not forget this step. It doesn’t matter how big or small your goal is, it is crucial to balance self-love with your goal achievement. They are not mutually exclusive meaning your self-love can exist without achieving your goals just as your goals can come true and you will not love yourself. My whole mission is to teach you how to have both. 

As you set these benchmarks for your goals, it is imperative you consider your overall well-being and do not sacrifice things that bring happiness. Nothing in this world is with having at the expense of enjoying your life. Tracking your progress also includes tracking your mental wellness, your relationships, and how you balance your life. I am not trying to be negative when I say, your goals may not always come true, but when you love yourself you’re able to hold space for yourself, pivot, or hang in there longer to make that goal a reality on a new time lion.  Remember, the whole point of your dreams is to experience and enjoy the journey toward goals, because THAT is where LIVING happens, my friend.

All it takes is making time to rest, recover, recharge, and find ways to be present and mindful in the experience. Still not entirely convinced? Practicing mindfulness allows for reflection on how achieving goals makes you feel and helps ensure alignment with personal values and desires. Don’t know where to start?  Don’t worry, I got you. I have a whole blog post on mindfulness for beginners here.

Before I go, and now that you have the gist, let’s create a life that’s meaningful, fulfilling, and full of zest! Remember, it’s not just about crossing finish lines; it’s about savoring each step and letting our goals empower us to be the incredible souls we’re meant to be. You’re probably wondering how to learn more about this, listen to my Gold Medal Mindset podcast episode on measuring your goals for continuous success (at the top of the page) to delve deeper into living on your own terms towards goals that matter most to you. Don’t want to miss out on more? Sign up for my newsletter here to never miss a beat! Thank you for being a part of my journey and thank you for allowing me to be a part of yours. Enjoy the ride. 

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