What's The ScoreWhen we play football we keep score; when we play golf we count the strokes. This is the game of life. We need to keep score so we can celebrate the "wins" and learn from the "losses."
Many of us set goals and celebrate when we reach them. In between those times, many of us have no idea how we're doing. If your goal is to have a new home by the end of 2005, do you know how far you are from that goal? It would be helpful to have a progress chart for things like cash in the bank, credit rating, and even income to debt ratio. Keeping a record helps you quickly compare actual and planned progress. It leads to choices in what to do about the gaps, the distance from where you are now to where you planned to be at this time.
If you are not keeping score, this is a good time to find a baseline.
What's the current situation, your line of scrimmage?
You have a goal
You have developed a plan of action
You know what resources your have
You know the critical success factors, things that must occur or that you must have to succeed.
The object is to move forward from that baseline position. If something interrupts your progress, you will need to evaluate what went wrong and perhaps make some adjustments.
To do this you need to know where the goal line is. What is victory? Does close count? The goal line is your desired outcome, that new house in 2005. It is specific and it is time bounded. The goal line may change over time, however.
You may decide that you can afford a more expensive house than you first thought. Your choices may revolve around what to do with the extra money, buy more lavish furnishings or more square feet.
By keeping score, you can decide what adjustments you want to make. If you're ahead of where you had planned to be, you may want to coast and take a vacation. If you are not as far ahead as you had planned, you have other choices. Do you work harder or extend the time line; say, move it out to the end of 2006? There may be other options like taking on a second job or reducing the size of the house you had planned.
The benefit is that you are in charge because you know the score!
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