Personal Development

Tracking / Expectations

Tracking. That’s an interesting topic. I’ve got a love-hate relationship with it.

I love seeing success. I love money coming into my bank account. I love exceeding my own expectations.

But I also hate stagnation. Money not coming into the bank account for a few days/weeks/months. Nothing happening. No progress. Failing my goals.

At some point in my 20’s I must have hit “rock bottom”. A few consecutive times in a row I must have failed my goals. Less money than expected a few months in a row. Less website visitors. Less success in everything.

That probably made me stop tracking things.

Instead of checking my Dashboards, Google Analytics, bank accounts and all the other metrics multiple times a day I would not even check them once a month.

But that can be deadly in business. And it was in a few instances for me.

It seems I’m still a recovering whizzkid. I got too successful too early on in my life. And since then I was never able to live up to my own expectations.

That makes you do one thing in particular – you stop tracking.

One more missed goal is just too painful.

And once you stop tracking, you stop competing – competing with your self and competing with others.

Therefore, I haven’t really challenged myself in years.

In my view of the world and my life, I’ve mainly gone the easy route in the past ten years. And yes, when I say easy route, I know that I’m in an intercultural marriage with its unique challenges, had two kids at a fairly young age for today’s standards, moved countries half a dozen times in recent years and ran multiple companies at the same time. But I’ve got higher expectations to myself than your average public servant.

So when I did my first ever annual review (using Jason Shen’s Medium post) at the end of December and in the beginning of January, I was happy that I invested more than 10 hours across a few days, all by myself thinking about life, the past year and the upcoming year. I hadn’t spent that much time deeply thinking about those things for a long time.

However, my key moment when I realised I can catapult those annual review learnings and make 2020 not only a 2x or 3x year, but a 10x or 20x year was when I came across Steve Pavlina and his writing challenge. I instantly decided to join/copy his challenge and write myself every single day. The most uncomfortable and challenging thing I could think of.

And also an easy challenge to keep track of. I either publish a post on every single day of 2020 or I don’t. No excuses. No hiding. No BS.

At the same time when I started the writing challenge, I also decided to make tracking a more crucial part of my personal and business life again.

To get started, I’ve ordered a Fitbit Charge 3 that finally arrived today. The last time I wore a Fitbit device was probably 7+ years ago. So I’m super excited to getting back at tracking my sleep, exercise and general health.

I’m planning to use Q1 of 2020 to consolidate my personal and business metrics into one central Dashboard that can be viewed at a quick glance every day.

I’m also working on making the checking of my key metrics a Habit again.

Some say that simply tracking your goals and metrics can already improve them. So let’s see!

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