Why Monitoring Your Goals Is Important
Keeping track of your goals on a goal setting worksheet makes staying on top of your targets possible.
If you’ve developed your goals using the SMART system, your goals have specific, measurable qualities that are easy to monitor. Your goal setting worksheet allows you to see, at a glance, exactly where you are with your progress.
When should you review your goals?
Everyone’s goals will be different, and the timelines will be as unique as your goals. There is no set-in-stone formula for checking the progress of your goals, but there are a few guidelines for helping you keep on top of your success.
Know your end date
When will you have achieved your goal? Each goal should have a target completion date attached to it. Once you’ve established the end date, you should set benchmarks for yourself at regular intervals. Breaking your goal down into manageable sections will not only keep you motivated, it will help you to track your progress.
Many people find that monitoring their progress weekly helps to keep their goal at the forefront of their thinking. The specifics of when that occurs is up to you. Want to start the week motivated? Check on your benchmark progress every Monday. Want to see what you’ve accomplished? Use Friday afternoon as your goal monitoring day. Establishing a pattern of weekly ‘check-ins’ can inspire you to work more effectively at reaching those benchmarks.
Look for progress
If your goal is to lose weight, for example, your weekly check-in may be to monitor how much weight you’ve lost during the preceding week. Are you regularly losing one or two pounds? Are you keeping on track to reach your goals? A successful check-in will have you moving toward your ultimate weight loss goal.
Adjust your goals accordingly
While tracking your progress, you may notice that you’re moving faster (or slower) than you had anticipated. If this becomes a pattern over the course of a few check-ins, don’t be afraid to modify your goals to reflect your adjusted timeline. Moving fast? Change your target end date, or up the goal. Moving slower? Extend the timeline or reduce your target. The purpose of a goal-setting worksheet is to help you reach your goals, not shackle you to a timeline or to make you feel badly. Use the worksheet to help you track your progress and inspire you to reach new levels of success.
Changing your goals
Let me share an analogy. When sailing, you have little control over the wind. You may know where you want to go, but can’t control the way the wind is blowing. What you can control are the sails. You adjust the sails to accommodate the shifting winds, and reach your destination. If outside forces change, it may be necessary to adjust your goals.
Take this analogy into real life. Has the market shifted? Suppliers failed to meet the demand? New competition moved in? Whatever the reason, your benchmarks may need to change, or the tactics you are using may need to change mid-course. Simply make the adjustment on your goal worksheet and continue moving forward.
A goal-setting worksheet is an invaluable tool for making progress. By keeping a record of your successes, it will motivate you to keep working on any type of goal: professional or personal. Regular check-ins can make the difference between setting a goal and reaching a goal. Use your worksheet to keep you on the path to completion.
Michele Bailey is the Founder of My Big Idea™. The My Big Idea™ Personal and Professional workshops provide guidance on setting and monitoring SMART goals. Find out when our next workshop is offered. Or, book your own by contacting us.