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Personal Success Measurement: Set Your Own KPIs for Work and Life

Learn how to formulate and track your key performance indicators for personal success measurement at work and home.

Motion Blog
at Motion
Oct 13, 2023
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You may be familiar with the acronym KPI, which stands for key performance indicator. It’s a term businesses use for specific metrics that measure success, such as 1000 new customers by the end of the year or a 20% increase in net profits in quarter two.

Business KPIs measure collective success — a group of managers and employees working together to bring consistent results that grow the company.

But what about individual success? How do you know you’re functioning at your best and are successful, both at work and in your private life?

That’s where personal success measurement comes in — your own individual KPIs.

When you know how to measure your success, you’ll always know if you’re on track to reaching your personal and professional goals. Read on to find out how to define your success metrics at work and home.

What is personal success measurement?

Personal success measurement is more than reaching external milestones.

Traditionally, personal success has been pinned on financial wealth, material possessions, and social standing. But now, in many parts of the world, it’s more closely tied to personal accomplishments and fulfillment, and it isn’t necessarily hinged on societal expectations. Basically, there’s been a shift from external validation to internal satisfaction.

A person climbing a mountain

One important consequence of this shift is that what constitutes success for one person may not be a valid criterion for another. Success is becoming individualized — and for good reason. Your life’s journey is unique, so why shouldn't your success metrics be as well?

Some important characteristics of personal success KPIs

Individualized KPIs offer a more holistic perspective on personal progress than the business metrics your output at work may be measured against. Think of them as a blend of tangible results and emotional fulfillment.

It’s important to understand the balance between quantity (how much you do) and quality (how well you do it) and recognize the value of qualitative achievements to achieve a real, lasting measure of success.

By embracing your personal KPIs, you empower yourself to define and track success on your terms. They act as customized markers that help you steer clear of generic, often misleading benchmarks that may not fit your unique measurement of success.

For example, making six figures may be less of an achievement for you than raising your family or broadcasting a podcast influencing thousands of people.

Building on this foundation, let’s explore how to best define and measure your personal success.

Personal KPIs: Crafting the metrics that matter most to you

True measures of personal success aren't dictated by external accolades but by individual well-being and fulfillment. Choose these metrics carefully, so they truly reflect what is important to you.

Here are six areas of life to consider for setting your personal KPIs. We’ll look at how each of these can measure your workplace success and true success in your personal life.

1. Living by your core values

Knowing your core values is critical in determining your own success. They’re the ultimate measuring rod of how you are doing in life.

An image of Benjamin Franklin

‎Ask the man on the $100 bill. Benjamin Franklin, one of America's Founding Fathers, drafted a list of 13 virtues to live by. This self-imposed moral code arose from his realization that a well-defined approach to personal development could lead to a more meaningful life.

His 13 virtues were temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility — each described in a way that made it easy for him to put that quality into practice. For instance, his guideline for “silence” was: “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”

For Franklin, this wasn't just a casual experiment. He diligently started his mornings with the question, "What good shall I do this day?" and concluded with an evening reflection, "What good have I done today?" This systematic, introspective practice demonstrated Franklin's unwavering commitment to personal growth.

Living by our core values will inspire us with purpose and self-respect, just as it did for Ben Franklin — especially when we let our values shape our daily actions and long-term personal and career goals. After all, true success stems from authenticity or living in alignment with what we value most.

To determine your foundational set of success measurements, identify and list your most important personal principles and values. For instance, you might select courage, integrity, positive mental attitude, commitment, and mindfulness.

The next step is to turn these into measurable activities that translate into personal success at work and at home. Here are some examples.

Work-environment KPI examples:

  • Courage: Stand for a principle you believe in without becoming defensive or aggressive.
  • Integrity: Resist peer pressure when it pushes you in a direction that doesn’t support your integrity (e.g., not joining in gossip about a colleague).
  • Positive mental attitude: Stay positive, even if a conversation takes a downturn.

Private-life KPI examples:

  • Courage: Acknowledge a harmful habit and embark on a course of action to overcome it.
  • Integrity: Always be honest in your interactions with family and friends.

Now formulate one or more value-based KPIs to measure your own personal success:

  • My core value KPIs for my work environment are:
  • My core value KPIs for my private life are:

2. Being productive

Personal productivity leads to a feeling of value and self-worth. When we accomplish tasks, we validate our own capabilities and reinforce our belief in ourselves.

Plus, being productive builds momentum: no matter how small, every effective act is a stepping stone for the next. It's a positive feedback loop where accomplishment fuels further targeted action.

Work-environment KPI examples:

  • Stay focused for a specific period, such as working for two or three hours on a project or task without allowing yourself to become distracted.
  • Complete at least one important task every day.

Private-life KPI examples:

  • Consistently work on a project that means a lot to you.
  • Keep a clean, tidy house or apartment.
  • Regularly engage in a hobby.

A person making a quilt

‎Formulate your own productivity KPIs:

  • My productivity KPIs for my work environment are:
  • My productivity KPIs for my private life are:

3. Attaining financial security and wise money management

Achieving financial security is essential for a stress-free and fulfilling life. It's not just about earning more but managing, saving, and investing wisely. You want to make informed decisions that compound wealth over time. Proactive, small steps will lead to the goal.

Work-environment KPI examples:

  • Contribute a fixed percentage of your salary to a 401K every month.
  • Attend financial literacy workshops or seminars offered by your employer or online.

Private-life KPI examples:

  • Regularly review and adjust your monthly budget so you're living within your means and can save for future goals.
  • Meet with a financial planner or advisor every quarter or once a year to ensure you're on track to meet your financial goals.

Formulate your own financial KPIs:

  • My financial KPIs for my work environment are:
  • My financial KPIs for my private life are:

4. Building and maintaining genuine, meaningful relationships

Personal and professional relationships add depth and richness to our lives. Yet, in a frantic world, we often skim the surface of our interactions with other people.

Genuine relationships provide a safety net during tough times. They offer comfort and understanding, alleviating feelings of isolation or despair. That’s critical when 58% of Americans express they are feeling lonely.

Being valued and understood in an authentic, positive relationship can strengthen your self-worth and self-confidence.

What constitutes real success for you in personal relationships? Here are some suggestions for what to select as your own KPIs.

Work-environment KPI examples:

  • Ask three colleagues daily how they’re doing — and respond genuinely when they say, “Great, and you?”
  • Share something about your private life with a coworker to deepen a relationship.
  • Have a meaningful conversation with a coworker that isn’t about work.

Private-life KPI examples:

  • Spend quality time with family members (parents, spouse, siblings, children, grandparents, grandchildren) daily or weekly.
  • Go out to lunch or dinner with friends once a week.
  • Get to know a neighbor you haven’t interacted with before.

Formulate your own relationship KPIs:

  • My relationship KPIs for my work environment are:
  • My relationship KPIs for my private life are:

5. Devoting time to skill mastery and continuous learning

Mastering new skills and learning new things keeps the mind open and agile. But this doesn't necessarily mean enrolling in countless courses or amassing certificates. It's about cultivating a mindset of curiosity.

To make room for your curiosity to exert itself, it’s helpful to set aside dedicated time each day or week to learn something new. Whether it's reading books on a range of unfamiliar topics, joining online webinars, or even participating in local workshops, fuel your passion.

A person in a library

Work-environment KPI examples:

  • Take a new skill training course once a month.
  • Connect with a colleague from a different department once a week and ask them about their work.

Private-life KPI examples:

  • Read a passage from an inspirational book every morning to set the right tone for your day.
  • Watch a documentary on an unfamiliar topic once a week.

Formulate your own learning and skill mastery KPIs:

  • My learning KPIs for my work environment are:
  • My learning KPIs for my private life are:

6. Leaving your legacy

Nobody is an island. Your actions and decisions have ripple effects that impact the community around you and the world at large.

Reflect on the legacy you want to leave behind. How can your skills, knowledge, and passion serve a greater purpose? How will this world be better because you contributed your best self to it?

An excellent place to start is by writing an impact statement that defines what positive change looks like for you. Then, set meaningful KPIs for your legacy. This will help you focus intentionally on what you want to leave behind.

Work-environment KPI examples:

  • Regularly share your best job insights with teammates.
  • Mentor a younger colleague.
  • Create a manual for the parts of your job that are not commonly or easily understood.

An employee sharing information with coworkers

Private-life KPI examples:

  • Work weekly on sorting out your photos and labeling them for your children.
  • Write a book that reflects your unique understanding of life.
  • Pursue a weekly volunteer opportunity in your community.

Formulate your own legacy KPIs:

  • My legacy KPIs for my work environment are:
  • My legacy KPIs for my private life are:

Customizing your KPIs: Your journey, your metrics

These six areas are examples picked from the vast tapestry of life. Customize them as you see fit, or select your own areas of personal success measurement.

For example, some other areas where ongoing success measurement can help keep you focused include:

  • Physical fitness
  • Emotional well-being
  • Living a more creative life

As you work on your KPIs, it’s essential to revisit them and adjust them to your changing circumstances regularly so they reflect your current values and aspirations.

How to track your personal KPIs

Once you have selected your KPIs, how do you track them and measure your success?

Let’s revisit Ben Franklin for some good ideas. His autobiography detailed how he created a grid or chart for each week, with a column dedicated to each virtue.

Franklin could visually track his progress by placing a dot in the column of a particular virtue when he failed to uphold it on a given day. He aimed to keep each virtue’s column as clear of dots as possible and concentrate on areas where he didn’t live up to his own standards.

Create a similar check-off chart for your KPIs on paper or in a spreadsheet. You could keep track daily and then reflect weekly or monthly on how you are doing.

A page from Motion’s calendar

‎Another avenue is using your online calendar, such as Motion’s intelligent calendar, to track your success metrics categories. This way, you can set daily and weekly reminders, making your pursuit of success more structured and supported.

Using a personal success measurement system for a meaningful life

As we’ve shown, there’s motivational and transformative power in defining and measuring your success — apart from that of the company you may be working for or apart from anyone else’s opinion of what your success should be.

The examples in this article will help you formulate your own personal success KPIs. And to track your success, consider using Motion’s AI-driven intelligent calendar. It can keep you on track so your success measurement efforts will not lose momentum. Try Motion for free for seven days.

Motion Blog
Written by Motion Blog