Keeping Track of a Million Goals

How do you keep track of all of your goals?

This post was originally an answer, written by me, on Quora. I’m fascinated with goal setting, making progress and becoming a better version of myself but it wasn’t until I started answering the question that I realised that I’m a tad bit obsessed with the tracking part too.

Tracking goals can be mind boggling. There are so many ways to keep tabs on everything that it can be hard to stay afloat. In saying that, a lot can be gleaned from noting down how you're doing. 

As somewhat of a fan of technology, I love tracking my goals with different apps. I’m a modern woman who has a surprisingly amazing ability to lose notebooks and paper but, let’s be honest, I never lose my phone. My process is generally similar across the board.

 

Choose your goal

Do you want to lose weight? Start a business? Drink more water? Wake up earlier? Start a hobby? Paint your house? Learn how to cook?

It’s generally good practice to have no more than 5 major projects/goals at any one time. Here’s the best link I know to pick your top 5.

 

Define Your Goal

Is it a habitual goal? Financial? A project? An activity? Each category warrants a different way of tracking.

 

Define Completion

What signifies that you have hit your goal? If you’re starting a business is registering as a business owner the end goal? Is it opening a store front? Launching a site? Being profitable? How profitable?

On the flip side with habits, the point is that you’re not supposed to stop they’re supposed to be ongoing so at what point to you consider them complete? How many times should you complete the action before it’s a habit? Is it a daily thing or a weekly thing?

The caveat here is that it takes 66 days to fully create and solidify a habitual neural pathway in the brain. Is this the point you consider it complete?

 

Map out Actions

Some things are straight forward like clean the kitchen others are more complex like renovate the kitchen. In both cases, you can chunk it down into smaller more actionable “sub-goals”.

 

Track

Here’s the fun bit and essentially the answer to the question. Many goals can be tracked using different apps. Here are some of the ones I use and a mini breakdown.

SleepCycle

Goal: Create better sleeping habits.

Goal Definition: Habit

Definition of Completion: Routine Bed Time for 4 weeks.

The SleepCycle App is a tracking tool and Alarm clock. So it keeps track of your sleep phases and patterns, waking time, bed time and movement when asleep. I initially downloaded it so I could keep track but now love it and use it continuously as my alarm.

 

Pocket Expense 

Goal: Create and Stick to Financial Budgets to increase net worth and create an awareness of spending.

Goal Definition: Habit, Financial.

Definition of Completion: Created Budgets for different aspect of spending. Sticking to those budgets for 3 months.

Pocket expense is great for keeping track of everything financial. Different accounts. How much you’re saving, creating budgets and using colourful graphs and charts to give you a birds eye view of your month, quarter year or defined date.

 

Asana

Asana is my life. It’s the bread and butter of my goal tracking addiction. It is essentially a project management application for teams to work together towards goals but I find using it alone to be great.

Inside the app you create projects. inside each project you can create tasks and each task can have subtasks, you can assign complete by dates to tasks an pin them to your dashboard to show you, by percentage, how much of a project is complete.

Alternatively you can just create lists with no end date so a project could be “read 52 books this year” Inside that task could be a list of the books you want to read and you can “tick off” each book as complete when you’ve read it.

Once a project is complete, you can either delete it or archive it for later.

Asana is a great tool with the ability to catch everything goal related. Attach files or images and write notes on everything so you can keep track.

 

Health and Fitness

For health and fitness I have an array of apps that track different aspects.

My Fitness Pal

Tracks my Macros for the day. Enter your goal macros, scan or input your food for the day and keep tabs.

Couch to 5k

Tracks everything running related. They give you a new running program each time you log on to get you to your goal of 5k, building slowly with intervals and slowly increasing. Turn on Spotify, turn on the app and your digital trainer will come over the music and tell you what to do.

It tracks, your speed, distance and the route you took on your run so you can keep tabs. This is the one I use but there are a variety of different ones. After 5k you can upgrade (if you’re up to it) to 10k and so on and so forth.

Strong App

I’ve just started my weight training in a new gym. Carrying around a grubby piece of paper with my terrible handwriting all over it wasn’t my style. Enter Strong.

You input your workouts inclusive of exercise type, reps and weight. It tracks each workout for the variables and shows you a complete graph of your progress.

Fit Journey

Keeps track of your fitness variables, weight, bodyfat % and measurements. Keeps them looking beautiful on graphs helping you visually see you move towards your goals.