One of the biggest secrets of successful people is that they measure their progress to ensure they achieve their goals. This concept took me years to actually accept for it’s so simple. How can you possibly lose weight, save the money, earn the income by measuring your progress on a simple notepad?
It can’t be that easy right?
For many years, I’ve read countless number of books on achievement and success. Many authors go in and cover a complicated algorithm on what it takes to achieve success in a particular field. Whether you want to lose weight, you would have to go on a particular diet, gluten free, sleep and lift various weights over the months ahead.
However if you cut out all the crap and look at what it really takes to lose weight, it’s this.
1 kilo of fat is approximately 7,000 calories.
In order to lose 1 kilo of fat, you must lose 7,000 calories.
That’s it. No magical concept, fitness program, nutrition formula etc. You must lose 7,000 calories to lose 1 kilo of body fat.
Now it can’t be that simple right? Well that’s one of my biggest mistakes was ignoring that simple formula and moving onto reading more books on weight loss etc. I wasted years trying out all these other fancy formulas because I didn’t believe it was that simple.
Years later, I got so frustrated with my weight and I finally submitted to counting my calories. A few months later, I lost a ton of weight. I didn’t do any fancy diet, workout program or anything. I just simply counted my calories and made sure that I kept it under 2,000 calories per day.
Eventually, 1 week added up to a 7,000 calorie deficit and I lost 1 kilo. I kept this up and I eventually lost 12 kilos over a few months.
As a result of successfully losing weight, this lead me to understand the importance of measuring my progress. I tried all sorts of workout programs and eating diets but they never worked. The only thing that worked for me was to count my calories every single day. Whenever I would eat something, I would write it down in my notepad, write the amount of calories the food contained (sometimes I would google it) and I would add it up at the end of the day. It was the most boring, unsexy and nerdy thing you can ever do, but it works.
That simple act of measuring my calories made all the difference.
How To Measure Your Progress So You Can Achieve Your Goals In 5 Steps
If you want to achieve your goals, you have to measure your progress every single day to make sure you’re on track. Here are the 5 steps in which you can measure your progress.
Step 1 – Be Clear With Your Goal.
You need to be absolutely clear with what you want. You can’t have a goal saying that you want to be happy, that’s unmeasurable. You need to have a goal where you can measure the outcome so you know you’ve achieved it. Therefore weight loss and losing 10 kilos in 6 months is a good goal to have. Having $10,000 in your emergency bank account by the end of the year is another clear goal. You need to be absolutely clear with what you want.
Step 2 – Define The Daily Steps In Order To Achieve Your Goal.
The next step is to figure out what you need to do on a daily basis in order to achieve your goal. Once again going back to calories, I figured out that I had to keep my calories down below 2,000 per day. Therefore every time I would get hungry, I would make sure I wouldn’t eat any junk or sugary food that would be too calorie excessive.
Step 3 – Put A Metric On It & A Daily Quota.
Once you have your daily steps, you need to put a metric on those daily steps or have a daily quota. This is by far the most important step. You need to have a daily target for the day. It’s like having your own personal scoreboard. When you have a scoreboard, this encourages you to beat the score. It’s even more encouraging than the actual goal itself. Therefore, figure out what your daily quota is and then make sure you hit it every single day.
It could be to keep your calories under 2,000, it could be to keep your expenses down to only $5 per day or write 1 page in your book. Always have a quota.
Step 4 – Track It.
Jerry Seinfeld once tracked his progress by simply putting a check mark on his calendar. Everyday, once he would finish writing his comedy script, he would put a big red check mark on the calendar. Over time, this would form a chain and would encourage him “not to break the chain”. This is a perfect way of measuring your progress.
For me, I have a graph whereby I like to keep my quota within a certain limit. This encourages me to stay consistent and not break the graph. I use a digital notepad on my phone where it’s synchronised across all my computers. So all I need to do is update this digital notepad and at the end of the day, I update my spreadsheet online to view the graphs.
Step 5 – Stay Consistent Over 30 Days.
Once you’ve setup your measurement system, the final part of this formula is to stay consistent for over 30 days. Why 30 days? The reason is because it takes 30 days to form a new habit. Once you’ve crossed the 30 day mark, tracking your progress becomes normal and part of your lifestyle. It actually becomes addictive too.
Measuring your progress is one of the master skills of successful people. I know it sounds so simple but don’t make the mistake I did and disregard it for years. The simple act of measuring your goals is also addictive because you are obsessed in keeping score and making progress.
Your brain actually releases happy chemicals called dopamine whenever you complete a task. By measuring your progress and getting shit done, you’re pumping good chemicals in your brain which is a nice reward while you’re on your way to achieving your big goals.
Stay Strong and Be Relentless.