How do you measure personal success?

January 18, 2010 at 12:41 PM 9 comments

Now that I am settled into my new job as mini measurement guru at Edelman Digital, I think it’s about time I thought through some serious personal and professional goals. Because it’s the age of crowdsourcing I figure the best way to start the process is by asking y’all for advice!

For those of you who have written out professional or personal goals, how do you start? Do you have a timeline for your goals? I know that many of the answers may be, “it depends.” But what I’m trying to get at, I guess, is what is really reasonable?

Growing up during this time and with this technology, I have started to wonder whether the goals I have imagined for myself are completely outdated anymore or if they’re still unreachable. And being a measurement nerd, I know that I will want to be able to measure milestones as I go, and I will want to be able to analyze trends. Is that too much? Is that too in depth for my personal life?

At what point do goals stop being helpful and start becoming a burden and weight on my mind? I would love to hear personal experience with personal or professional goals that you have or have not reached. How did you go about setting them? How did you track or measure your progress? At what point did you declare your goal achieved or not?

Please share your comments and ideas with me. I know that I will probably evolve my own methods as I go, but y’all are a smart bunch and will provide a great jumping off point.


Entry filed under: Life as an AAE, Measurement, Social Media, Twitter. Tags: , , , .

DR. WHAW? – January 15, 2010 Your audience is the entire world, so show your entire self

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Matt Cheuvront  |  January 18, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    I am all about personal goal setting – I think there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel to get through the darkness. Last year – setting goals and meeting/exceeding them was pretty much the theme of my existence.

    I told myself I had to quit my old job and get myself to Chicago – I did it.

    I told myself I had to find a job in Chicago and not ask anyone for money – I did it.

    I told myself I’d pay off my credit by the end of 2009 – I did it.

    I pushed myself to develop freelance business as a realistic and reliable source of income – And today it very much is.

    I told myself I’d marry my fiance on May 8,2009 – and well, it looks like that’s going to happen as well.

    One thing I’m not a fan of is setting these MASSIVE goals. I think you have to set small ones, achievable benchmarks throughout the journey. Sure I want to start my own business, open up a coffee shop, write a book, write MANY books, start a family, etc. etc. We all have LIFE goals, but it’s the little ones along the way that keep us going – that maintain that drive, that motivate us to keep pushing upward and onward.

    This same practice can be applied to business. Set big goals (I want to increase revenue by $1,000,000 this year) and then set mini-goals that will get you to that point.

    That’s my take – and by golly – I think you inspired me to translate this into a post of my own. Cheers!

    • 2. Rebecca Denison  |  January 18, 2010 at 3:27 PM

      Thanks for the great comment, Matt! It’s helpful to know what goals you’ve been setting for yourself.

      One big thing I want to do is become invaluable to my company in terms of measurement and monitoring. I want to have my hand in everything and anything measurement. But I’m unsure how long-term or short-term this goal should be? I think it will be a matter of playing it by ear a bit and talking to anyone who can offer advice within the company.

      I like that you suggest to have overarching goals with milestones and steps to get there. I think I often forget that I must have an idea how to get from Point A to Point B and just decide I want to be at Point B in one year’s time.

      Can’t wait to see your post! Keep me posted, ha ha.

  • 3. Mark W Schaefer  |  January 18, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    I am now 49 years old. I have a loving wife and family. I love what I do on my job every single day. I teach wonderful students and provide meaningful guidance to my clients. I am healthy and financially secure enough to live comfortably and use my blessings help others in need.

    And I realized recently that I don’t have any goals any more. No big ones any way. I think the best goal for a young person is to get yourself to a point in your life where you can happily have no goals. : )

    • 4. Rebecca Denison  |  January 19, 2010 at 10:12 AM

      Mark, thank you. I get so focused on goals sometimes that I forget the most important thing in life will be not to have goals anymore.

      Sometimes I am just so impatient and setting goals helps me to feel as though I’m getting closer to where I want to be.

  • 5. Tim Jahn  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    I think of personal success as happiness, which definitely can change over time.

    If you’re happy right now in life, then you have personal success. For some, that definition of happy might change in a week, 5 years, or 25 years.

    But as long as you wake up every day smiling (or at least smile a good part of the day!), I think you’re successful.

    • 6. Rebecca Denison  |  January 20, 2010 at 11:46 AM

      You make a good point. I really do try to measure too much, and there are just some parts of life which cannot be analytically measured. Huh. Who knew?

  • 7. Nathanael  |  February 20, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Hey everyone 🙂
    Just wanted to give you all that link:
    there you`ll find a book about having success and so on…
    Highly recommend it 🙂

    All the best and regards,


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