Creating Action Plans to Achieve Your Goals

Chapter 13: Monitor & Track Progress

Part of creating action plans is making sure that you have effective monitoring and performance tracking in place to ensure you stay focused on your goals. In the following information, you'll learn how to monitor and track your goals.

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Most people that set goals can provide a reasonable idea of whether or not they are making progress in the important areas of your life. However, too often when asked "How do you track your progress?", they can't really point to a specific tool or strategy that actually measures their progress.

Do you know for sure where you are on your personal and professional goals? Could you show someone how you are measuring your success? How do you track your progress?

For example, a financial goal might be to manage expenses within a monthly budget. Establishing the budget is the first part of the equation, but tracking daily, weekly and month-end is key to your long-term success.  

"Whether in your business or in your personal life, if you do not adopt a system for success, you will suffer enormous waste."

Effective leaders are consistently creating action plans that fully support a success outcome, and a critical piece of each plan is tracking.

For every goal set, you need to determine what the tracking tool or mechanism will be that will allow you to regularly measure your progress.

If you are reading this and feeling uneasy because you know that some areas of your life are not going in the direction you would like, then now is a great time to determine what kind of tracking will help you to turn things around.

Creating Action Plans That Include Performance Tracking

There are many benefits to tracking progress to goal.  Less stress and anxiety; improvement in self-esteem, and increased productivity are just a few important benefits.

There is a universal life law that states, "Whatever you focus on expands."  By setting clear goals; creating action plans, and measuring results daily - you'll maintain your focus and move closer to your goals.

How you choose to track and monitor your progress can vary. There are many helpful tools and resources available, which include:

  1. Paper Planner - the more traditional approach (and still highly effective) to measuring progress to goals is simply taking pen to paper. Progress can be tracked on a calendar, a To-Do list, a blank sheet of paper, or some other paper product such as a checkbook register. Use paper if it works, but if it doesn't try something else that will.
  2. Excel Worksheet - create a spreadsheet that enables you to track your progress. Goal tracking templates are available when you open the software, which makes getting started quite simple.  
  3. Goal Tracking Apps - nowadays there are terrific applications available for download on your mobile phone for just about anything. Search the Apps Store for goal tracking apps and choose the one that is right for you. If you never go anywhere without carrying your phone, then this is an easy way to ensure that you also never go anywhere without your goals. 
  4. Outsource Tracking - if you know that you will maintain the self discipline to hold yourself accountable to your goals, that invite someone else to do it for you. For example, joining a support group is a great way to keep yourself on track. You can meet other people in the process who are working on similar goals and they can become your biggest cheerleader, and you can become theirs. 

Regular tracking and reporting is absolutely necessary for realizing optimal results. Track your progress to goal in each of your life categories to ensure that you realize the quality results you deserve.

"There are 309 million people out there that are trying to improve their lot in life. And we've got a system that allows them to do it." 

- Warren Buffett

Success Lesson #26: System Multiplies Ability

In many of the smaller businesses that have never been able to rise above mediocrity, you will find high-priced employees opening mail, sorting letters, sending out circulars, doing all sorts of work that could just as well be done by lower salaried staff.

"This is the day of thinkers, of planners, of trackers."

- Orison Marden

Too few businessmen and women make a proper study of the economy of time and energy of their employees.

The great majority of employers do not know how to project themselves into others and to multiply the powers of those around them by using a system.

Men and women who lack a successful system are continually crying out for more resources, more money and more staff. The more resources they invest in, the less likely that their profits will be substantial enough to carry their business or the household forward.

Misdirected, system-less work will make any endeavor ineffective.

Careful planning and a simple, effective system, will assist someone with a moderate ability to accomplish extraordinary results.

"The pain of the process is only temporary, but the feeling of achievement will last forever."

The person with the more effective system or method is blessed with the most time. Her business and her life tend to go "according to plan" the more she invests time in creating action plan goals. Her success does not depend on always being present or standing at the helm every moment of the day.

The successful person learns to duplicate herself through others who can be depended on to carry out her program.

It is the deep, systematic thinker who invests time for creating action plans that hold people accountable for the actual results. This person demonstrates an executive ability to carry out each step of the plan until he succeeds.

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