Accountability – If You Don’t Track It – You Don’t Do It!
In last week’s blog we talked about writing goals for the focus areas of your life. If you did your ‘homework’ you are ready for a process that ensures your success. Of course, you have to actually commit to doing the work.
One of the major reasons we fail to reach goals is very simple. We don’t track how we are doing. Then we don’t analyze our progress and reflect on what it means. No tracking equals no accountability. If you followed the model for writing SMART goals, you have a measure of how much or when or some criteria for accomplishing your goal.
So, as we just said, tracking equals success. My number one tool for tracking my goals is my Daily Journal. I have a spiral notebook and record progress on each area each day. Yes. At the end of each day you need to note your progress. Then at the end of each week you take the time to do the inner work. The thinking. The reflecting. The wondering. The ‘what-if’.
My second tool is tracking charts. Now you can use phone apps, notebooks, charts, or any tool that will help you do this important work. Here are a couple examples of my tracking charts. I like having these charts right in front of me each day when I open my computer or tablet. Get in the habit of starting the day by reading your goals for the day. If you don’t plan your day; your day WILL plan for you.
Weekly Tracking Chart [Make one of these for each area.]
|Area of Life||Weekly Goals for Week One||Actions Towards Goals|
|Writing||Big Picture Goal: Work on some aspect of the manuscript daily. That can be actual writing, research, platform planning, taking writing courses, etc.|
|Monday – Platform Planning – Re-read and take notes from online course on platform. Write a list of things you need to do to develop your platform.|
|Tuesday – Find three additional resources on platform planning. Prioritize your to-do list and break it into actionable items.
Work on Chapter 3
|Wednesday – Read notes taken from Disrupting Aging and integrate into manuscript. How does your work coincide with or differ from the AARP philosophy?|
|Thursday – Develop a timeline and complete actionable items on platform planning that are currently possible. Create a new to-do list.|
|Friday – Outline and design a PowerPoint presentation for the speaking engagement in two weeks.|
|Saturday and Sunday – Read and take notes from Dr. Agronin’s book for Chapter 17 and competitive review in book proposal.|
Daily Tracking Chart [Decide which goals you will work on each day by area.]
|Goals: 1. Work on manuscript daily. 2. Increase social media presence/blog focus.|
|Time of Day||Activity||Notes/Comments||Did you do it?|
|7 – 8 AM|
|8 – 9 AM||Transcribed past week’s Daily Journal entries.|
|9 – 10 AM||Analyzed monthly journal entries against goals.|
|10 – 11 AM||Completed monthly reflection and create new goals for next month.|
|11 – 12 AM|
|1 – 2 PM|
|3 – 4 PM||Read and take notes on three chapters in Pipher book.|
|4 – 5 PM||Read and take notes on three chapters in Pipher book.|
|5 – 6 PM|
|6 – 7 PM|
|7 – 8 PM||Responded to blog comments.|
|8 – 9 PM|
|9 – 10 PM|
And finally, each week, is analysis and reflection time. Select your day. I personally like doing this work late Sunday afternoon. I answer each of the Weekly Reflection Questions in my Daily Journal. Then I transcribe all my notes and thoughts for the week in my digital diary. Why do the work twice? For me the hand written process allows me to visually see my progress and I can create mind maps or other diagrams to make connections.
The digital diary gives me the big picture since I have all Daily and Weekly entries chronological in one place. Do what works for you.
Energized Aging Blueprint
You have SMART goals for several focus areas in your life. You have written then written weekly goals for each of the focus goals. You have decided on your tracking system. Congratulations, you have started your Energized Aging Plan. Now, do the work.
- Start each day with reviewing your goals.
- End each day with noting actions leading to progress (or preventing it!).
- End each week with an analysis and reflection of the progress from your Daily Journal entries.
- Reward yourself. I just made Oatmeal Walnut Cherry granola bars. Or take a walk in nature. Just treat yourself well.
- Make adjustments based on sights gained from living the blueprint process.