We set goals for the amount of money we want to earn, books we want to sell, or weight we want to lose. These are what the authors of The 4 Disciplines of Execution call lag measures. We can't control the lag measures.
There are also lead measures:
- The number of sales calls you make
- The number of words you write
- The number of days you go to the gym
In 2013, I realized that writing 1000 words a day was my lead measure. I didn't even know my book had the WSJ best-seller list until a friend told me.
The lead measures are in your control. You might fall short of your goal, but at least you'll make progress towards it. And you might end surpassing it all together.