How many times have you set a goal, only to forget about it or never come close to reaching it? Maybe you’ve even tried tracking your goals, like counting calories on your latest diet, only to stop after a day or two.
One of my biggest takeaways from Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before, was that tracking your goals can be really motivating, but only if you have a certain type of personality.
Depending on your personality type (there are four types discussed in the book), tracking your goals may be a huge motivator for you. That said, seeing empty checkboxes could also easily make you want to give up before you even start.
So how can you track your goals so that you actually reach them instead of giving up after the second day?
Tracking goals is nothing new, and it can be a great motivational tool. But it’s important to do it the right way if you want to make progress on your goals! This four-step process will help you set and reach your goals.
Simple Steps to Track Your Goals
1. Determine your goals
The first step to tracking your goals is to actually create and narrow down your goals. Before you can start tracking, you need to have set goals TO track!
Track your health based on your S.M.A.R.T. goals. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, a SMART goal would be to lose 20 pounds (about two pounds a week) within the next three months.
2. Create a plan
As you’re determining your goals, think about how you’ll achieve them. What do you need to do to work toward reaching your goals?
Break down your goal (two pounds a week, if you’re using the example from above).
Then, think about how you’ll do each step. What will help you reach your goal? Are there any activities that you need to start or stop doing to reach your goal?
To lose two pounds a week, you might want to create a menu that includes five servings of fruits and vegetables. You might also want to carve out 30 minutes to exercise five times a week.
3. Decide what you’ll track
Once you’ve broken down your goal and created a plan, think about what and how you’ll track your process.
Create a box in your planner, make an x through each day of your calendar, or track your goals in your Healthy Habits Journal.
Depending on your goals and your plan, you may even be able to simplify your tracking and use technology, like wearing a Fitbit to track your diet, exercise, and sleep.
4. Remember your why
Why do you want to track your goals? Tracking goals is a great way to see progress and hold yourself accountable. But it can be easy to get overwhelmed when you’re first starting. It can also be easy to give up if you see that you’ve missed a day (or two or three).
To stay on track (pun intended), remember why you started. Write it down or tell Siri to remind you every day as you’re rolling out of bed.
Tracking your goals can be a great way to stay focused and actually reach (or even exceed) your goals. But it’s important to track them the right way if you don’t want to get overwhelmed.
By determining S.M.A.R.T. goals, creating a plan, deciding what to track, and remembering your why, you’ll easily be able to track and reach your goals!