Our days are filled with numbers. Meetings, emails, site traffic, comments, Tweets.
If you're in the marketing world, your aim is often to increase some of these numbers. Your job might involve increasing search referrals, optimizing comment conversations, doubling the number of Tweets sent per news article published.
The march is always upwards. There might be intermittent targets for performance optimization, but rarely (if ever) are any of these targets final. For example, a 10% traffic increase this year will be followed by a demand for a 10% increase next year.
But how much is enough?
When I first started blogging, my only goal was to create great content. I wanted to hold myself to an editorial schedule and publish articles and essays my readers found useful.
My goals for traffic? As a new blogger, traffic didn't even cross my mind. I was, thankfully, more concerned about content than watching analytics.
Several years and thousands of words later, and things changed quite a bit. When I started blogging daily in January, my very public goal was to use the increased content production to increase my readership: I wanted to see a million visitors hit this site.[ref]To-date I've had ~125k visits. Obviously quite a ways to go.[/ref]
But it occurs to me now, would a million visitors be enough? Or would I just continue to bump my goal upwards after reaching it?
Very rarely do we reach a milestone without looking past it to see what's next. Actually, more often than not we already start looking to what's next before we even reach the milestone in the first place!
A milestone is a marker along a path from point A to point B. We're constantly defining milestones as they're a great way to measure progress - but progress towards what? We define the benchmarks between points A and B, but fail to define what point B is exactly.
Even when we do define point B, when reached we treat it like any other milestone along the way to something greater.
Is meeting an objective not enough?