Aiming to achieve something ‘exciting” is common in the personal finance community. The goal might be to get out of debt, or hit a net worth of zero, or become a millionaire. Naturally, we set up some type of metric to gauge our progress along the path. An important element of success is knowing when we should change our metrics.
In 2016, we set a goal to hit a net worth of zero. This was the overarching goal and since it was such a high priority, we succeeded with only a few days to spare.
Along the way, we set many other goals to help achieve the larger goal. We set 20 goals, to be specific, of which we successfully hit 17 helping us net over $50K in savings.
A big component was understanding when good was good enough versus when to strive for better or, “best,” results:
This lesson is often intertwined with knowing when to say no:
The end result was achieved because I knew the metric of hitting a net worth of zero was too important to compromise on.
A drastic example would be a goal to successfully cross the street. No matter how you look at it, the metric by which we gauge success will never change.
Blogging brings up an example of when we should change our metrics.
My experience with blogging so far has taught me there are a plethora of numbers we can look at. We can spend all day analyzing and receive some excellent feedback.
There are also metrics that seem important, but really aren’t.
In my case, I used to be focused on affiliate income since so many bloggers share successful income reports. In response, I’ve decided to move my metrics. I’ve scaled back my site’s sidebar and plan on removing more of the ads.
The metrics should be how well is my audience doing with their money; not how well am I doing with their money.
Simply because I see a measurable number that can go up, doesn’t mean I should make it priority number 1.
So, to wrap, changing our metrics is critical when we see a more optimal solution.
Being flexible in our approach allows us to dance in the moment. If we live life with blinders on, we may achieve our goal at the expense of the bigger picture.
When do you decide to change the metrics on a goal or a task?