The New Year is here and everyone is off to the races to achieve their big goals they set on January 1st! How to set goals is another whole topic that I address in many different spots, but this post is more for the journey on the way to achieve your big goals. Most people fail to see their dreams come to a reality, below is one more step to take to NOT become a statistic.
Pass go AND collect $200
When you are initially refining your goals, you have already done what was needed to make sure they are specific and measurable, right? The obvious reason to do this is to determine whether or not you actually achieved what you were shooting for (plus to give yourself a deadline.) However, we want to be able to also monitor the process and having measurable checkpoints along the way enable us to do this.
We all know the people who are spreadsheet junkies. They will create amazing pivot tables and formulas extremely complex, in addition to getting some sort of odd satisfaction with how much memory a spreadsheet occupies in their hard drive. I’m not saying you need to get to their level with a spreadsheet but you do need to have an intentional method to track progress. How frequently you do this and what tool you use depends on the goal but you should make sure primarily that you are consistent. I would even say a tractable goal could be how often you track things.
One method of tracking is to keep a journal. This can look like many different things. Perhaps it’s a notebook that you keep your daily notes/thoughts in (side note, invest in a quality bound notebook here, you’ll want it to last and your notes are worth the investment.) It could be a spreadsheet or an online log of some sort. Alternatively, maybe it’s photographs (selfies or pics of another object) that you use to track progress. As you can imagine, some of the above tracking methods can be public, but others are private, either are effective depending on the situation.
Setting the stage
Going back to the earlier point of having measurable progress steps, lots of variable to consider here. For example, if you want to reduce your debt, perhaps you track your outstanding loans on a monthly basis to watch principal balance. If you’re wanting to lose weight, keeping a weekly log on body weight is appropriate. If you are wanting to create or break a habit, daily tracking on how many times you do or don’t do something will make it quickly apparent if you are on track or not.
As Darren Hardy outlines in his book “The Compound Effect” the key to progress is small steps done consistently over time. To help recognize this, it is helpful and encouraging (usually) to go back and look at where you’ve been. This can help build momentum or perhaps get you on track. Calculating progress and checking goal end date will allow you to adjust either the pace of your habit or behavior, or possibly adjust your goal end date accordingly.
As with the effort, maintaining these habits continually over time will influence the outcome. The beauty of tracking not only is a recurring reminder of what you are trying to accomplish but can amplify your efforts (or lack thereof) in reaching them. I challenge you to identify those goals that you are really wanting to achieve and get logging!
- Make goals measurable
- Be consistent with tracking progress
- Find the best method for you to record your progress
- Track the proper metrics to make sure you are on track
- Go back and review progress occasionally, I recommend monthly
- Stay consistent
Ryan’s background is drawn from over 20 years of bodybuilding, wrestling and power lifting. Having a degree in Exercise and Sports Science, in addition to being certified in both sports nutrition and personal training, Ryan’s experience is backed by continuous education. He is a professional natural bodybuilder, winning titles without the use of performance enhancing drugs and has competed in 20+ contests over the past two decades. Ryan also is a competitive power lifter and holds national records in power lifting as well. A specialist in adding size and strength, Ryan has helped hundreds of clients reach their goals and continues to help many individuals add quality mass with strength, in addition to helping many lean up while sculpting their physiques. He also has spoken to many audiences regarding health, nutrition, personal development and motivation. Contact him only if you want some serious results! Contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.