You can’t improve what you can’t see. What does that mean?
Imagine going to the gym and working out with a goal of gaining 10 pounds of muscle, but never checking your weight.
How would you know if you were making progress, plateauing, or even regressing?
Or imagine spending $100,000 on advertising for your business, but never looking at any analytical data to see how many of your customers came from that ad.
How would you know that the money you’re spending on that ad is actually worth the investment?
One of the most important factors to achieving big goals in any aspect of life is being aware of your progress.
And in order to be aware of your progress, you have to track it.
You can’t improve what you can’t see.
One of the biggest reasons why people fail and quit when in pursuit of their goals is they don’t have a plan…
And if they have a plan, they don’t track their progress while following that plan.
In the financial world, there’s a concept known as “compound interest.”
In simple terms, compound interest simply means any interest you earn is calculated based on the current total amount.
So every time you earn interest, the interest you earn is calculated based on the original amount plus any interest that’s been earned so far in previous periods.
Because compound interest includes interest accumulated in previous periods, it grows at an ever-accelerating rate.
But what does compound interest have to do with anything?
In one of my previous articles, The Fastest Way to Improve Your Life, I mentioned two things:
- Newton’s 3rd Law (Output = Input), and…
- The quote “We want things simply because they are an option.” by James Clear
James is known for his work on habit formation, and uses the same concept of compound interest as it relates to developing good habits.
If instead of trying to be perfect all the time, you were to simply try and improve yourself by 1% every day, then after one year you would end up 37 times better than when you started.
But in order to achieve this, there are two requirements:
- You have to set a specific goal (we’ll use the acronym SMART).
- Never miss twice in a row.
First, in order to set a SMART goal, the goal has to be:
- Specific: you need to know exactly what you want to achieve.
- Measurable: you need to have a way to track your progress.
- Achievable: you need to set a goal that’s challenging but still realistic.
- Relevant: it needs to be important to you and align with your values.
- Time-bound: you need to set a deadline for achieving your goal.
So instead of saying:
“I want to lose weight for the summer.”
You would say:
“I want to lose 15 pounds by May 15th.”
Great, we have requirement number one complete!
So how do we ensure we meet requirement number two and never miss twice in a row?
If your guess was “track your progress,” then congratulations…
But in order to track our progress, we have to have a plan.
This is where we simply use SMART again.
Instead of saying:
“I’m going to workout everyday!”
You state your specific intention as:
“I’m going to workout for 60 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 5:00 pm.”
Then, using a technique known as time-blocking, you literally add those events with their dates and times to your calendar.
Consciously make space for them in your life so you don’t have to think about it.
Last, but certainly not least, you begin tracking, with the intention of never missing twice in a row.
- Print out (or draw) a blank calendar
- Add the dates, times, and activities
- Hang the calendar somewhere that you’re forced to see it every day and every night.
- Every day that you complete your task, mark it off your printed calendar.
Now instead of your goal being to lose weight for summer, the only goal you have to focus on is getting to the gym today for 60 minutes.
In 2 months time, the compound interest effect will have taken hold, and you’ll have met your goal while never having had to think about tomorrow, next week, or next month.
You switch your focus from the big long-term goal, to today and this moment’s current action instead.
And guess what?
This entire process I just explained…
Can literally be used in any capacity, for any goal, in any part of your life.
It doesn’t just work for the gym and health.
Want to gain 100,000 TikTok followers over the next 12 months for your online business?
Follow the same process.
SMART Goal: “100,000 TikTok Followers by March 30, 2024.”
We’ll average that out and say that’s roughly 8,500 new followers per month.
SMART Plan: “I’ll post 1 TikTok video on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:00 pm; I’ll post 1 TikTok video on Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00 pm.”
SMART Progress: Print your calendar, and track your progress for 1 month.
At the end of that first month, look at your numbers.
Did you get at least 8500 new followers?
If yes, then your plan is working, and continue to follow it.
If not, how many did you get?
Was it only 4250 (half)?
Then perhaps you need to double up on your video output for month #2.
(and don’t forget about the automation tools we talked about in the previous post like Later and TweetHunter! Some apps, such as TikTok and YouTube, have native/built-in auto-schedulers so you don’t even need a separate auto-scheduler app to pre-schedule content.)
The point is, if you don’t track your progress:
- You won’t know what is or isn’t working, which leads to feeling lost and confused.
- Feeling lost and confused leads to inaction and inconsistency.
- You won’t see where or how you need to improve, which leads to anger and quitting.
But if you do, you’ll:
- Feel organized and know exactly what you have to do, when.
- Know what is and isn’t working effectively.
- Be able to see how your small actions are affecting the big picture
Awareness + Accountability = Progress
And remember, the goal is:
Progress, not perfection.
Check out my previous article to learn about the millionaire method to financial freedom.
Whenever you’re ready, hhere are 2 additional ways I can help you:
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→ The Full-time Freedom Codex is a self-paced online video course where I teach you how to quickly and easily create, automate, and monetize digital content based on your hobbies, passions, and interests. You can learn more by clicking here.
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