Measuring and evaluate your progress
As we saw before with the SMART acronym a big part of a well defined goal is to make it measurable. This is so important because else how would you know if you are progressing or simply staying were you are? And only things that are measured can be controlled and used to increase performance and effectiveness.
So how to measure your progress? This highly depends on your goal, but should be related to the deconstruction and SMART goals you set before. In this post I started with a quite coarse definition. For an effective measuring process you probably would need a little more fine grained approach.
This plays a role in the productivity and motivation section that is to follow, but dividing your progress in small chunks is crucial not only for having small successes that motivate you but also to cut down the huge and daunting task into small bits that seem easy or at least easier to accomplish.
Again this is best demonstrated with an example. So for the example this would look like this:
Setup python development environment and what is at a core needed to work with python.
Define an application that you want to be able to build in 2 weeks from when you define the goal. And when this is done the next one. etc.
Do this for several applications, or adjust a simple application to a more complex one. The measurement then is simply if it does what you defined earlier in a sufficient way.
As I know myself a little, I will take some assignments on websites like fiverr just so I have a definitive deadline I cannot cheat. With this I can measure if I can earn some money on it, and if it the amount of assignments is increasing etc.
Also to evaluate your progress on a more general note:
Track your activity and write down your issues and if they occur over and over or if you have different problems and on what level do those problems occur. How much of the basic stuff do you have to google on a regular basis etc.
Another very effective measurement tool that also can help to motivate you is to create a chart with a timeline, when you start. Mark down all the milestones from your deconstruction and then move along with those goals and see if you can achieve your milestones and in what manner. For my python goals it can look like this (it is super coarse grained, but is simply here to demonstrate the idea, I will go into this in my subsequent posts dedicated to the learning of python)
Another evaluation technique you could apply is the PDCA cycle, which I will not explain in detail here but is a quite interesting concept.
With some inspirations on how to measure your progress we will now proceed with the next part of achieving your goals on the next page.