By Jeff Beals
Tracking is the magic ingredient that makes the goal-setting process so powerful.
If you write your goals and put them in a binder that sits on the top shelf of a little-used cabinet, you are wasting a golden success opportunity. Check your goals at least once a quarter, preferably once a month.
As you read the goals, think about what you have and have not accomplished. Determine if you are on schedule. In other words, at the end of the first quarter, you should theoretically have accomplished 25 percent of your goals. At the end of the year, thoroughly review and evaluate your performance on each goal.
I have created a goal-tracking spreadsheet that I use every year. I enter each of my goals (both personal and professional). After each goal, there is a space for the date of completion. I also put in a line for writing notes or descriptive details. When a goal is completely accomplished, I place an check in a box.
Using a simply tracking tool has done wonders for me. Each year, my goal list grows longer, yet I still accomplish almost all of it. Any time I do anything related to one of my goals, I note it on my spreadsheet. This is actually quite enjoyable for me. I derive great satisfaction anytime I achieve another goal.
I keep past years’ goal-tracking information for a record of my life. If I’m ever feeling down on myself or if self-doubt ever creeps into my mind, I can pull out last year’s tracking form and remind myself that I have a lot to be proud of.
No matter how motivated you are and how diligent you are at tracking your goals, there is a good chance you won’t accomplish 100 percent of your yearly goals. Don’t beat yourself up too much if this happens. At the end of the year, simply evaluate why you failed to do it. Then determine if the unaccomplished goal still is consistent with your personal mission, vision and core values. If it is, move it to next year’s goal-tracking list and get started on it earlier in the year. If the goal no longer is important to you, kill it and move on to more relevant goals.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide.
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