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Moving the Needle

Regardless of the goal, big or small, we all tend to measure our successes with the ultimate outcome. Did we succeed or did we fail? Did we win or did we lose?

So called experts tell us that if we achieve 80 to 85% of our goals we are usually on a pathway to success. They tell us if our goals are too difficult (reaching less than 80%), we may find ourselves feeling defeated at the end of the day. And, further if we are reaching all or nearly all of our goals it may be an indicator that we are not setting high enough standards/goals to really challenge us. Hmmmm.

After years of coaching athletes of all ages and abilities in wrestling and now working with clients as a health coach, I may have a little different take on what truly indicates success and how to measure it. First, have to ask, who keeps track of all these numbers (80-85%) and other irrelevant statistical information. I know that I surely don't and I doubt anyone else really does either.

I do feel that I am a "goal oriented" person, but also rarely take the time to calculate or measure my statistical "wins and losses." I do however, monitor closely if I am "moving the needle" in the direction I want to go with any personal or professional growth/goal. I find that might be the single most motivating factor in obtaining or reaching my ultimate goal/s.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is imperative to keep your eyes on the prize, but knowing that you are chipping away each and every day tends to drive us all forward. This is true even though knowing the ultimate outcome is always in doubt since all goals are futuristic. For me, making small gains seems to be the single biggest motivation and confidence builder.

If we are constantly "moving the needle" we also never fail! We will always be better off making an attempt and seeing even the smallest gains. We may lose in the traditional sense, but at minimum, we gain valuable experience regardless of the outcome! My advice...just keep moving the needle and leave the foolish statistics to the experts!

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