I still can hear my professor’s voice from grad school echoing through my head repeatedly… “What gets measured gets done.” I am not going to say that this mantra is full proof nor will I say that things that are not measured do not get done, but it is amazing how if you are willing to go through the process of measuring things… to keep track of them, that they often seem more likely to get done.

In work, that is why it is important to not only have things that are measured but to think about the implications of what may be ignored due to the items that are chosen to be measured… Often in the workplace, whether a small business or a large corporation, this has led to the arrangement of a balanced scorecard where different things are measured to hopefully alleviate not having one important thing sacrificed for the sake of another.

In financial planning as it exists today, there often are tendencies to try to focus on one thing in terms of looking at priorities. Though there is definite power in focus, especially if one is willing to sacrifice other areas of one’s life to achieve something, this may not always be practical or advisable. Often it is not.

In goal setting, many may have made New Year’s resolutions as it related to health and wealth. These may include a goal to lose so much weight by such and such point, or to be able to complete a certain activity by a certain point of time, or to have accumulated X number of dollars.

I have completed a number of marathons. It involves a lot of training and a lot of time. I had to sacrifice other things in my life to be able to do these things. Though I reaped a number of benefits, including feeling better physically and in the training for one of them, losing a fair amount of weight, I also had less time that I spent on my relationships and some of them may have suffered accordingly.

Part of the beauty of planning is in trying to find the balance of what should be measured. What should be priority? What should we make certain is kept in the picture so it does not suffer? How often will we check in to make sure that we are going in the right direction? Are we prepared to readjust if our goals have unintentional side effects?

What measured does get done… and it can be used for significant benefit. It is also important to remember that there is more than just one thing that most of us face.

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