Big audacious goals, while noble, can be daunting – especially when you are starting at square one. Sometimes the best thing to do is to step back and focus on something a little easier to accomplish (in the short term). That is doing a little bit better than before.
Competition is a good motivator, even if your only challenger is yourself from a week ago. Take a metric – any metric – and challenge yourself to do a little bit better from day to day, week to week, or even month to month.
The principle is simple. Take your result from the week before, or even the day before, and challenge yourself to add one to that number. One extra sale, one more productive hour, one additional click is all it takes to win!
Ready, Set, Race: Why You Need to Set Up Mini Challenges
#1: Monitor Key Metrics – Get in the habit of monitoring your core business metrics on a regular basis. The best part of setting up mini challenges is it forces you to check your metrics on an ongoing basis, instead of just once in while.
Besides motivating you to pick up the pace if you are falling behind, it also gives you the ability to connect the dots between causes and effects. Take web traffic as an example. A sudden spike caused by an influential retweeter is a lot easier to figure out the day of than it is a month later where it will likely be missed in the analysis.
#2: Force Focus – Choose core business objectives for your mini challenge. Not only will help you focus your thinking on how to improve that objective, it lessens the likelihood that distractions will succeed in tempting you.
One of my favorite sayings is “What is measured is managed.” Awareness brings action, and action will cause whatever it is you are focused on to grow. Often the reason certain aspects of our businesses falter is because we forget about them.
#3: Shorten Your Timeframe – Remember that what happens day after day, week after week is what determines our ability to reach those monthly and annual goals. The simplicity of continual improvement makes it easy to manage and measure.
You don’t need to worry about breaking it down into smaller chunks. By increasing your results every day, or every week, you will continue to make the gains necessary to achieve your overall objectives.
How do you motivate and challenge yourself every week? Share your ideas and tips in the comments below!