How to Set and Track Goals for Yourself and Why You Should Do It

Do you ever wonder to yourself how you could ever possibly accomplish that dream of yours? Or have you ever given up on a goal because you got overwhelmed or bored with it? Your problem probably doesn’t lie in that dream or goal. Rather, there might be something wrong in how you’re going about accomplishing it. Whether your dream is personal, work-related, or something else entirely, setting goals can often help you achieve whatever it is you’re working toward.

Why Achieving Your Goals Is Hard

Many people struggle to achieve their goal–from saving up money to learning a new instrument–because they focus entirely on the accomplishment rather than the steps in getting to the end. With only the end in mind, getting there is vague and undefined, leading to confusion over whether they’re actually making progress. Putting in the time to achieving the goal becomes tedious and boring, and the person therefore settles into something that’s comfortable and familiar, leaving the goal unreached.  

The Benefits of Setting and Tracking Goals

As cheesy as it sounds, having good goals is like having a roadmap to success. They give you something a little more solid to work toward, so the confusion is taken out of the process, which is usually hard enough as it is. With some good progress markers, you can more accurately evaluate your success as you move along, realizing when you’ve made great progress and when you need to devote more time and energy to reaching your goal.

How to Set and Track Your Goals

Everyone is different, so what works best for you is going to depend on your personality. Nevertheless, your best bet is to sit down at the beginning of your progress and focus on “chunking” your work into manageable pieces. Create a kind of syllabus for yourself, and if you’re so inclined, set deadlines for yourself to keep you motivated. You can do this the old-fashioned way with some pen and paper, or use on of the many apps like Todoist or LifeRPG to keep yourself in check.

Chances are, someone else has tried doing what you’re doing, so take a look online to see what the people who found success did to get where they are. Base your “roadmap to success” on the people who succeeded, but don’t be afraid to tailor it to your personality.

Things to Keep in Mind

Regarding goals, there’s a common piece of advice: focus on the process, not just the achievements. It’s probably best that you try setting a habit to regularly contribute to your goal. That way, you don’t get too caught up in how much work you still have to do. After all, it feels a lot better to say, “I accomplished something by working on my goal today,” rather than, “I still have so far to go in accomplishing my goal.”

Every journey starts with a single step, and even if you don’t consider your dream to be a major one, this piece of advice still rings true. By putting a little effort into something on a regular basis, keeping yourself honest, and evaluating your progress, you’ll be more likely to reach your goals. Then, you’ll be ready to build on your success and create new accomplishments to reach for.

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