Why metrics matter to me

Performance metrics matter. We know this and yet we continue to track things that have little to do with our goals. The better alternative is to make sure that you're measuring progress against the things that matter most to you and your future. Here are four steps to think through that process.

I'm trying to move away from outputs-- such as number of contracts-- and focus more on outcomes. Did I create a connection with a client? Did a client come back after the project to ask more questions or start another task? Would we both want to work together again?

What do you track on a regular basis?

Welcome back!

Welcome back!?! I say that in part as a greeting and part as a little personal pep-rally.  The buying, wrapping, cooking, celebrating, honoring, remembering, and forecasting-- it's all done for 2015. I'm both a little sad and immensely grateful that "things" will be getting back to normal this week. 

How were your holidays?  Great, I hope. The Christmas part, frankly, seems like a distant memory at this point. We had the kids home for the last four days. I'm obligated to say how wonderful that was-- and it was, of course-- but it's all-consuming and has the effect of erasing my short-term memory.  What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the holidays... 

So what's true for me about the ups and downs of the holiday season is that a perfect storm is created with the over-buying, over-eating, and over-self assessing.  All of this is done just in time for New Year's Resolutions. We're all feeling pretty icky so it's no surprise that most of us spent a little time over the last couple of days coming up with a couple of goals or, at least, acknowledging that last year's resolutions are still undone so they can just be dusted off for 2016.

Goal-setting is something I look forward to each year. I have a lengthy process that includes a lot of google image searching with some Pinterest pinning breaks (for recipes and outfits totally unrelated to whatever I'm trying to accomplish.)  This year was the mostly the same. I'll be serving my existing clients in new ways and working on winning a couple of new ones along the way.  I'm really excited about that.  I'm finetuning my writing to focus on the audience most near and dear to my heart-- younger, professional women facing many of the same challenges that I did earlier in my career. So, I'm really excited about that too. I have the common ones around health, finances, and personal relationships that are really more reminders of my values instead of out-in-out goals.

There were a couple of things I found interesting and helpful this year. This blog post about writing your goals in the past tense-- as if it were a year from now-- came from my wonderful author coach, Angela Lauria.  It's an interesting way to think about it.  After I read hers, I rewrote a portion of mine and was surprised about how easily the words spilled out. And I don't know about you but I'm dying to see the pictures of her upcoming Medieval Ball wedding!

If you're still on the fence about whether or not writing goals down is for you or not, my question would be this... if nothing changed next year, would that be ok? Most everyone I know is interested in some kind of continuous improvement. I'm a big believer in personal goal-setting and this quote from Zig Ziglar sums up why..."With definite goals you release your own power, and things start happening.”  

So get after it! Your 2016 is waiting!