Creating a personal goal log is the second step to success. The first step is determining the goal. Rather than put the cart before the horse, it’s best to create a personal action plan before creating a personal goal log. After all, a goal log is a written journal of the steps taken to achieve a goal. If there is no goal, the steps are taken in vain. It’s like a ship that sets sail without a charted course; it’s a waste of time and energy.
Assuming that the personal action plan is in place, here’s how to create a personal goal log to compliment the action plan:
- Determine which goal to accomplish first. If the personal action plan has more than one goal, create a goal log that charts the most important goal to accomplish first. Personal goal logs can track more than one goal, but newcomers to the log tracking process may find it easier to keep track of one goal per log. In short time, it will become easy to track several goals per log.
- Set a date for when the goal should be accomplished. Without setting a date, a goal is nothing but a dream. Be sure to set a realistic date. Setting an unrealistic time frame is a recipe for failure. Take time to mentally go through the goal achievement process before setting a date (the dates are not etched in stone and can be modified if necessary).
- Refer to the personal action plan and chart all progress. The frequency by which to chart progress depends on the goal. Sometimes it’s better to chart progress weekly, other goals monthly and yet other goals quarterly. If the goal is to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year, getting on the scale daily and charting the progress (or lack thereof) may be discouraging. Determine a sensible time interval for which to chart progress.
- Personalize the goal log. Do more than just write statistics such as dollar amount saved, current weight, and distance ran, write about circumstances, feelings and occurrences that may have an impact on reaching the goal. For instance, having to unexpectedly go out of town to tend to a sick family member may interfere with an exercise routine. As a result, the goal to exercise 5 days a week was not reached. Including notes about such circumstances will help to explain gaps in exercise when reviewing goal log progress at a later date.
- Review the personal goal log to see what is working and what is not. Having a goal log is great but it is useless if it sits in a corner collecting dust. Reviewing the log will help to determine if everything is progressing in the right direction. If, over time, the goal log indicates that no progress is being made, it’s time to revisit both the action plan and goal log. Review each entry to find out how to fine tune the necessary actions for greater progress. Enlist help if necessary.
The keyword in personal goal log is ‘personal’. It’s a tool to help achieve personal goals. Once the goal is attained, the log can serve as a motivational reminder of how to overcome obstacles in order to achieve a set goal. If the goal is not too personal in nature, share it to help motivate others to attain similar levels of success.