Leap Challenge Day 17: Refine Your Metrics

leadershipPart of refining your objectives is refining how you measure them.

I always gain “sympathy weight” during my wife’s pregnancies. It just happens. The best tool I’ve found to help me shed those extra pounds is a free iPhone app called Lose It!. The reason Lose It! works so well is that it does an outstanding job of leveraging two types of metrics: lead and lag measures.

  • Lag measures quantify actual outputs and end results. Most weight loss programs use the lag measure of your current weight to mark progress (or lack thereof). Lag measures are great for telling you where you are, but they can’t tell you how you got there.
  • Lead measures, on the other hand, measure the activities that directly impact outputs and results. Lead measures are things you can manipulate to produce the results you see in Lag measures. Lead measures for weight loss might be calorie input (how much you eat) and calorie output (how much you exercise).

Tracking your lead measures helps you become more intentional about your choices—in order to move the needle on your lag measures. Not to mention that seeing your progress can be a huge motivator.

Leap Task #17: Brainstorm lead and lag measures for your objectives and write them down in your Leap Journal.

Here are some examples of lead and lag measures for different categories:

Lead Measure Lag Measure
Weight loss: Calorie inputs/outputs Current wieght
Writing: Hours of writing Page count
Business: Employee engagement Customer satisfaction
Piano lessons: Hours of practice Proficiency at playing Beethoven’s 9th

Now that you have some metrics, how do you plan on tracking them?



4 thoughts on “Leap Challenge Day 17: Refine Your Metrics”

  1. I will track my metrics the best way I know how – with a spreadsheet.  All the info in one place, on one big and beautiful table.  This was a good exercise as it points out that there are steps within the steps, objectives inside each objective.  Thanks!

  2. This one is not happening for me yet. I do not like spreadsheets, and I really dislike using numbers to measure things. Plus, I’m struggling with the concept of lead and lag alltogether. Not sure why. Never was very good at this kind of stuff. Guess I’m going to just hope that my plan can come together without this. Not being stubburn but can’t get my mind around this one.

    1. This task definitely speaks to some and not to others. I definitely don’t think you need a spreadsheet to track your goals. 

      I just want to make sure everyone has a way to measure their progress and be encouraged and motivated by it. If you’ve thought through how to accomplish that, then you’re good to go.

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