Measuring effort vs. measuring progress

Remember in high school when we learned that the best way to set a goal is by making it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) to ensure our success?

What we didn’t learn is SMART goals don’t work when venturing into new territory.

Do you think Albert Einstein wrote down:

“I will uncover the theory of relativity by December 31st, 1915?”

Do you think Christopher Columbus is considered a failure because he didn’t reach India?

Of course not.

Yet we fall under this crux constantly.

“I will lose 20 pounds by next month” despite never losing 5 pounds in our life.

“I want to sell 1,000 copies of my book by next year” despite never selling a book in our life.

“I want my email list to grow 10x in 12 months” despite having zero emails.

Predicting the future is hard enough with a historical basis, how can we predict the future without any?

Without a historical basis, SMART goals fall apart, and actually do more harm then good.

So how do we set goals when venturing into new territory?

Goal yourself on effort, rather than on results. 

I call this the CHEM framework.

Control: The goal should be 100% in your control. Email 30 prospects vs. close 5 sales.

Honest: We’ll be measuring effort in this framework. Be honest with how much work you can actually accomplish in a day. I know millionaires that rarely work more than 3 hours/day, do you really think your 10 hour/day hustle will last?

Experimental: Just because we’re measuring effort, doesn’t mean we’ll be working without progress. Write down your top 10 strategies and follow an 80/20 gauntlet bracket each week until you find your most effective tactic to reach your goal.

Measure: Create a calendar or spreadsheet where you jot down what you did and the results it created. 

I personally use Best Self’s 13 week wall calendar:

Screenshot 2016-08-28 14.56.16

But even a spreadsheet you check daily will work.

This works even when you’re not sailing to find the new world.

Here are a couple examples:

“I will spend 4 hours per week researching the cure for diabetes”

“I will create and follow a meal plan for 10/30 days in September”

“I will email 30 potential affiliates about my course.”

“I will spend one hour in front of my computer without internet each week to encourage writing”

Doing this will ensure you put a goal on your effort vs. getting discouraged with your lack of results.

When venturing into new territory:

Goal effort. Measure progress.

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