As human beings, it is common to seek completion soon. Checking items off our to-do list and moving on to the next one becomes a habit. One of the important reasons to do a milestone check is because it is easy to track small tasks and stay on track. However, it is necessary to know whether these small tasks are still relevant to achieve our long term goals.
As the famous saying from the book ‘The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey goes, “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”
Hence, it becomes imperative to keep track of our daily progress and accomplishments. At the same time, it keeps us motivated and fills us with excitement to reach our end goal.
When you track your progress daily, you naturally become more purposeful about the work you do. Doing this can make our daily life meaningful.
Here are some tips to quickly do a daily review of your progress:
1. Break down your goals to tasks and action points
The very first step in tracking your progress is to break down your every goal into tasks and then action steps. If you want to start achieving your goals, you have to break them down into steps that don’t completely stress you. When you break down your goals into smaller action points you start feeling more accomplished and hence the entire exercise of Goal setting and Vision board seems to be easily working for you.
2. Look at each day as a new avenue and set smaller goals
Make a habit of doing one thing at a time. The key is to focus on the task at hand and accomplish it with whatever you have. In order to reach any goal, rather than simply looking at the overall progress, focus on completing the task today. This will then translate to your habit and you will be able to progress in a much more relaxed manner.
There’s a reason that you clearly remember the first thing you did on your recent vacation and not the 1500th. Progress gets harder to measure the closer you get to the middle of a goal. In that vague middle zone, the finish line is still too far away to see. While what seemed so clear at the start all of a sudden becomes hazy and uncertain.
If your goal is especially complex, a day can be easier to hit than a goal. For example, if you’re running 21k in that year, you could change your progress from “Run 10k in a month ” to “Run 2k daily”.
Always remember, “Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential.” ( from The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey)
3. Track your metrics on a calendar
If you prefer to track your progress manually using a simple tool, you can track it on your calendar. The idea is simple. Pick a task (or two) that is important for you and then track in how many days you can complete it.
For example, this could be running 5k runs monthly, sorting issues at work or replying number of emails. Your calendar then becomes a large, visual reminder of your progress and work to be done.
4. Write in a diary for 5 minutes a day
This is my personal favorite tool! You can also combine the benefits of tracking your progress with daily reflective writing. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to write about what you worked on. Make sure to note both your “small wins” and any setbacks. At the end of the month, flip back through your notes and see how far you’ve come. It’s amazing the clarity you get from seeing the progress you made over a longer period.
To get the most out of this approach, use a paper notebook rather than a word doc or your phone.
Tracking your progress is the easiest way to stay focussed and motivated towards your end goal. Now with a strategy to measure your progress in place, you’ll always know whether you’re moving in the right direction. No matter how big is your goal.
I would love to know your way of tracking progress. Do let us know in the comments section.
Want to read more about Vision board click here and Make It Happen 2019.