Here are three of the most common goal-tracking mistakes I see people making. Avoid these habits and follow good goal-tracking practices so that you can reach your goals faster.
Common Goal-Tracking Mistakes
Mistake #1: Estimating your goal metrics, instead of tracking them accurately.
When you’re going after your goals, you’ll most likely be setting some goals, tasks or habits that you’ll want to track in a numerical way.
Here are a few examples:
- contact 5 prospective clients per day
- spend a minimum of 2 hours per day on my side business
- study Spanish 30 minutes per day
- work out 4 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session
- no screen time (no TV, computer or mobile device) after 10pm; lights out before 11pm
The reason you want to track metrics accurately is so that you can get the real picture of how you’re actually performing.
If you estimate the time spent or any other numerical figure you’re tracking, you won’t know for sure if you’re on target or under-performing.
“I think I spent about 2 hours on my business yesterday. Possibly 2 and a half. I’m not quite sure actually. Let’s call it 2 hours.” The previous statements are not that helpful compared to, “I spent exactly 1 hour and 40 minutes on my business.”
Accurately tracking time and other goal metrics keeps you accountable so that you can make improvements and adjustments to how you’re working on your goals.
Don’t estimate your goal metrics. Track them accurately.
Mistake #2: Not recording your metrics daily.
To help ensure accuracy, record your metrics as soon as possible after completing the goal, task or habit.
In other words, after you finish your Spanish study session, record the time so that you don’t forget how long it was.
If you don’t record your metrics for 3-4 days and then decide to enter them, it’s going to be difficult to remember.
Make sure you update your goal metrics at the end of every day.
Mistake #3: Not tracking time accurately.
For any of your metrics that involve time, use a stopwatch. It’s the only way to get an accurate idea of how much time you spent on a goal.
Your mobile phone will probably have a stopwatch function or you can use an online stopwatch like this one: https://www.timeanddate.com/stopwatch/
You could also use Toggl which is a free time-tracking app that’s a got a few useful features in it: https://www.toggl.com/
Try these simple habits to avoid making common goal-tracking mistakes. You’ll start to get a better picture of how you’re actually doing with your goals and habits.