Setting goals and tracking your progress is one of the biggest challenge in self-evaluation. For instance, how many times have you set goals but failed to achieve them?
Different people, groups or organizations set goals to achieve within a certain period of time- a week, month, year… Take for example New Year’s resolution where you set mission(s) you want to achieve within the year. As the year ends, you would wish to celebrate your achievements, but does everyone achieve their goals?
Why setting goals is important
Perhaps you have achieved something great which you never planned for and it wasn’t your goal. So you’re asking why then should I start setting goals? For instance, if you played a gambling game and win hugely, was achieving that money (say, a jackpot) among your goals? I bet it is NO. Then why should you be concerned by setting goals? Well, let’s see.
Goals give life a purpose and direction. Life is interesting when you know what you want. It’s even more enjoyable when you accomplish your missions and you have to celebrate your achievements.
Living without goals is like going to an unknown place. If you have ever been in a journey to a place you don’t know then you understand this better. You might not even be aware when you arrive. If you are in such a journey, anyone can easily convince you to move in an opposite direction. This is contrary as to when you are moving in the direction of your goals.
Setting goals leads to a strong self-evaluation. You are able to evaluate yourself to know what your needs and interest are before setting your goals. This is a strong move towards self-understanding.
What to consider before setting goals
- Goals must be set out of personal interests, needs and desires.
- Don’t set goals to impress your colleagues, parents, friends, boss etc.
- Goals should truly reflect you self as people have diverse missions at any given time.
- Your goals should be realistic.
- Plan and organize your time and other resources.
This way, you will not only be on road to achieving something but also, you’ll be on the road to attaining self-satisfaction and happiness.
Tracking your progress
The most important thing after setting a goal is to start working towards achieving it. Ensuring that whatever you do is consistent to what you want to achieve. But you can’t go forever, at some point you need to stop and evaluate whatever progress you’ve made. For instance, if you started a meditation practice and your goal is to make it a daily routine, you need to evaluate the progress you have made within a certain period of time, say a week.
Here are 3 simple ways to monitor your progress
1. Complete personal reviews
A Personal review is essential in knowing how far you are from attaining your goal. There are many ways these reviews can be done.
The easiest yet challenging way is to schedule a non-negotiable meeting with yourself every week, month… I call it challenging because most people never create time to be with themselves yet, you’re the most available person at any time you want to talk to someone. For instance, many people don’t understand themselves, their emotions, their needs due to the fact that they never have time with themselves.
When I say time with yourself I mean the time you spend alone evaluating yourself. Perhaps it can be through meditation. Sleeping should however not be part of this as sleeping time is the time to take rest for your mind and body.
You can also complete personal reviews by filling your notebooks. You can record your progress reports for easy and faster analysis. For example, a person whose goal is to lose some amount of weight in three months can record weekly weight, type of food they’re consuming, exercise progress, etc.
In short, this is what you can record in your personal review:
- What you completed.
- New things and experiments you tried.
- Progress report on a single habit you focused on.
- Long term or short term personal changes you are working on.
2. Show and tell your progress.
People around you can be your greatest road to achieving goals. For instance, being with people who motivates you is so important. Having a mentor whom you are accountable to is equally important.
Showing and telling technique is one of the easiest methods you can use to monitor your progress. Successful people are known to meet at specific times like dinner parties where they share their progress.
You can also set up meetings with your colleagues, family members or friends who can help you evaluate your progress. You must however note that some people will try to demotivate you. In such cases, you must be aware of the people you trust, who can motivate you or evaluate your progress.
In addition, basic accountability requires that you are able to account to yourself. Doing something just for the sake of doing because nobody is watching won’t help. Instead, you should ensure that whatever you do remains consistent with the direction you are going.
3. Goals monitoring tools
With the current internet era, there exist online tools for nearly everything. This is not different for online goals monitoring tools. Just check this website to have a look of these tools. You can always search more tools on the internet.
Don’t break the chain of what you’re doing. If you want to achieve something, make it a habit. This will even make significant progress towards achieving larger goals.
Failing to achieve your goal should only be a learning opportunity. Afterwards, use what you have learnt to achieve your next goals.
Do you track your goals? Do you achieve them? Do you have any tips you want to share? As usual, you can always comment or send a message through the contact page.
Good luck in monitoring your progress!