There is an idea floating around today that if you put in 10,000 hours of work, you can become an expert, or at least very very good at something.
This is an oversimplification, but it makes intuitive sense: The more you do something, the better you get.
The idea of 10,000 hours comes from a study in 1993 that looked at violin players at an internationally recognized music school. Based on interviews, the study found that good musicians and the best musicians practiced around 10,000 hours before they were 18 years old.
Sometimes, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we don’t achieve our goals because we’re not doing the work.
On the other hand, sometimes, we can put in an incredible amount of effort and still not get the results we want.
Have you ever heard the phrase, you need to work smarter, not harder? It means that sometimes, just working hard isn’t enough.
(Psst, teachers – check out this 2021 New Year’s Resolution lesson plan!)
SEOT Step to Success #3 is to MEASURE PROGRESS.
Find something you can count or measure to see how much you’re improving. If the numbers aren’t going in the right direction, we need to ask ourselves what could we do differently?
NOTE: This is different from keeping track of the number of days you work on your goal.
- Keeping track of your goal streak is about effort
- It’s a trick we use to help us put in the time (instead of just forgetting about our goal and playing on our phones.)
- Remember, just because you’re working on your goal doesn’t mean that you’re working towards your goal. Does that make sense?
Imagine my goal is to visit my family who live in a different city.
I can get in my car and drive all day in the wrong direction and still not end up at my family’s house.
In this example, counting the number of hours spent driving doesn’t necessarily track my progress towards my goal.
(I mean, normally it does, if I’m driving on a road that leads me to my destination. But when we’re working on goals, it’s not always obvious if we’re doing the right stuff.)
Something else I could measure might be the number of kilometres from my current location to my final destination. If the distance gets smaller, it means I’m probably getting closer to my goal.
Take a moment to think about your goal.
What could you measure to see if you’re making progress?
What number do you need to reach in order to have a little celebration?
- Is it the mark on your next quiz?
- Is it the number of math questions you can solve correctly in your homework?
- Is it how far you can run in a certain amount of time?
- Is it the number of followers you have on Instagram?
Try it now!
If we can find something to measure, we can optimize what we do to give us the best chance of achieving our goals. Good luck!
Good luck and don’t forget to check out our Goal Setting Slideshow!