Maintaining a Goal Activity Record

If you’ve set a new personal goal recently, you probably realize the just how important is is to track your progress, and how the chance of failure increases if you don’t. One way to make sure you track your progress and do the things necessary to achieve your goal each day is to keep a goal setting checklist or summary. Checklists can help you monitor the progress you’ve made (or not), make evident any problems that have set you back and can even reveal whether you are remaining focused on your goal or not. Goal setting charts or journals are invaluable tools that can help insure you reach your chosen goal.

How Should You Track Your Progress Toward Your Goal?
There are as many ways to monitor goal activity as there are kinds of personality types. To determine which approach works best for you, consider these ideas:

How Much Accountability Do You Need?
Your need for accountability will determine what kind of checklist will benefit you most. Perhaps an online forum where you report to a buddy will help you most, where as someone else may need to actually attend a daily or weekly meeting with others struggling to make the same changes. Determine what level of accountability you need, then look for personal goal support systems that will meet your needs.

Do You Need Goal Reminders Throughout the Day?
As you look at goal setting charts, you’ll need to decide what kind of record or list you need. Is it your goal to drink 5 glasses of water in a day, or record your daily expenses? Is your goal something that can be done once a day at a defined time, or does it require multiple updates throughout the day? Sometimes a reminder on your smart phone, or computer, can help keep you on track? The rule is this: Find for the tool that will do what you need in the easiest and fastest way possible.

Are You High Tech or Do You Prefer Pen and Paper?
I’m the uber-technical guy – I love all things electronic and automated. That said, there’s nothing better than a pencil and notepad for jotting down ideas, tracking progress and making notes throughout the day. In some cases a great iPhone app can suffice, but not always. Decide what works best for you, regardless whether it’s high tech of low tech. Does a big desk calendar work best for you, or would you prefer electronic lists and records? You get the idea – just find what works for you and tha’ts the right answer.

Some Ideas to Make The Process Easier:

The following ideas will make using a checlist or journal easier:

1. Keep it Simple
The simpler, and easier, it is to track your progress the more likely you are to do it. If you can simply check off a list of actions or checkmark the boxes, you’ll be more likely to keep your record. Make the process as fast and easy as possible.

2. Reward Yourself – Frequently
We all respond to rewards, even if they are self generated. That’s the reason we set milestones for major goals, to give us short term rewards to shoot for. You need to keep yourself motivated if you are to have any chance to achieve your goal. For example, if you are on a diet, give yourself some simple reward for recording what you ate that day, even if it wasn’t a perfect eating day. It takes discipline to write down your failures, and you may be tempted to stop holding yourself accountable when you see failure. Reward yourself periodically for taking the right actions, even if you’ve slipped in an area.

3. Have a Friend Keep a Record or Summary With You
The mutual accountability of reporting to a friend or comparing notes can help you hang in there when you start to slip.

Studies show us over and over that tracking our progress increases our success rate. You job is to find the way that works best for you, and then use it. As always, steady execution of the simple things will push you over the top.

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