How to Track Your Progress in Goal Setting & How to Know When to Quit (Part 3/3 Goal Series)
Being able to track and measure our personal progress is everything when it comes to perseverance and motivation. Today is about tracking your goals and also how to know when to quit.
Today's blog post is part of a 3 part goals series and is all about tracking the progress within your goals and how to know when a goal isn't right for you anymore.
Now, if you haven't read the first two blog posts part of this series, I highly recommend doing that beforehand because the first one is all about alignment and clarity in choosing goals and the second one is all about the strategies in how to actual achieve the goals you've set out for yourself.
First, let's talk about how to measure or track your progress in goals.
The method that I like to use is selecting one day out of the week and part of that day, so maybe a one to two hour block on Sundays or Saturdays or whatever time works for you to go over progress and to track your goals.
I know it can seem annoying to take time out of your week to do this, but it is so important because this is where you really get into that brainstorming space and creative space in how to better reach your goal and maybe even readjust the course a little bit. It's a really good thing to set aside some time during the week to set an intention to see how far you've come but also where you stand along the line in getting there.
I'm assuming you read the first and second part of this goal series, so you were extremely selective, in alignment and also specific about your goals. You always want to set goals with metrics. As I stated, I believe in the second part of this series, so you can measure them. Without a measurement or metric, it's hard to gage the progress. Progress and seeing our progress is extremely motivating because it lets us know how we're doing in the process of goal achievement.
The metrics will of course depend on the goal itself. A career or business related goal may be in knowing your numbers and how they're scaling. A health and fitness metric, may be in body fat percentage, how your clothes fit, sizing and so on. A metric in completing a project in the house may look completely different than that. There's a million examples, but it's important to always have some sort of measurement that goes along with your goals so that you can measure how you're doing. Reassess, revise and re-evaluate. That's what I recommend in terms of tracking progress! Super short and sweet, but it really does work. So, once you've completed the first two series in choosing goals and achieving goals, just set aside one to two hours per week to go over them and to track them. It really helps bring on more clarity onto what you're going to be doing in the future, but also helps motivate you to keep going. I personally like to set up this practice for more than an hour to two because I do other things within that time, in that white space per week. I like to add in setting up my schedule for the upcoming week or month(s), write out what I'm grateful for and so on. So, if you already have a practice like that, just add in maybe one hour into tracking the progress on your goals and I think that it will do wonders for you in helping you attain your goals quicker but also smarter!
Now, this is my personal way of doing it. Do what works for you and take away what you want :). Of course, there's no one size fits all, but I'm just sharing what I personally do because I really think that you'll enjoy it once you start doing it and once you start reaping the rewards of tracking the progress. If you commit to doing it every single week, it really does make a difference. I hope you'll give it a try!
Now, moving onto how to know when to quit.
How to know when to quit
Most things really come down to making the differentiation, the small, tiny differentiation and distinction between should I put more into it or should I stop?
Should I stay? Should I go? Should I do more? Should I do less? All of these questions, it always comes down to that.
Now I can't say for sure how you're going to know that 100%. That's something only you know deep inside, but I can share some things that have helped me out and I hope in sharing just some of my thoughts on it and how I like to think about it and go about it, it can maybe help you make that decision and bring upon you, new insights.
Have you ever looked back at your goals from a year ago or even months ago and thought that it's not really for you anymore? I don't mean this in any way of when things get hard, you quit. Nope. That's not what I'm saying. Honour the struggle and prompt your brain for that hard work and the reality of it, which I went through, I believe in the first part of this goal series and a bit in the second part. What I do mean though is, when it no longer serves a purpose in choosing that goal, you may need to just take some time out to think about whether it's even right for you anymore.
Say for example, six months ago you thought a goal was a great idea, right? And now it doesn't really fit in with your priorities. That's totally okay! It happens to all of us eventually and you don't need anyone's permission to change things around. It does not make you a "quitter." It makes you smart and someone who realizes when to move on to different things or replace them with smarter things that are more in alignment today for them.
Don't just continue on with a goal just for the sake of continuing on and not quitting or being perceived as a quitter. If it is no longer in alignment or something you need to accomplish in order to reach your over-arching design of your life, your ideal self and what you've set out for yourself in the big picture, then cut it out. You don't owe anyone an explanation as to why you're doing that. Only you know what's right and you know what's wrong for yourself.
Disclaimer: of course I'm talking in a general sense here. I don't know your particular situation, but I do think it'll allow you into a new space to bring in goals that actually do matter currently.
We're constantly changing and growing and you'll be evolved fast forward to even three months from now! I am aware though, that usually right before you hit a gold mine, is when people tend to quit. Perseverance is key and obedience is key and there's going to be struggles, but only you can know the difference in persevering for something because you've said it a while back and morphed through that and when it's just hard and gotten a bit difficult through the process, there's definitely a difference there. If you know the destination is the same for you and still in alignment, and things are just tough, maybe take a break or get creative in the road to get there.
There's a difference between just feeling disheartened or tired when you just need to take a break. Versus, it doesn't fit into your life anymore and things have shifted, changes or maybe you've changed your goals entirely (whatever it is for you).
Sometimes though, we just need to take a break and refuel and rejuvenate. Maybe, take some time off to go out in nature and feel energized again. Sometimes all it takes is taking a step back, getting your mind off of the goal, doing other things in life, and then suddenly you can problem solve and suddenly you have a new perspective.
Now, I am not promoting quitting nor do I see it as quitting if you are being smart about saving future time to work with your life. I'm saying that there's a difference between things getting hard but the destination staying the same in which case, you should continue on and when things have changed completely for you in which case you should let go of that goal and replace it with a new one that's more fitting for you now. Ya' feel me? Okay, good! Glad that's clear.
I'm a huge believer in hard work, but also in hard resting. There's always seasons of work and resting and a lot of the times when people find it hard to achieve a goal, it's because that's all they've been focusing on and so they can't see things from the outside in. Maybe for you, you just need to take a step out of your head, out of that goal to really breathe and relax and see how far you've come. So try to make that distinction between when you're just feeling disheartened and it's been a lot of hard work and you need a break versus when the goal doesn't really mesh with you anymore.
Things will be hard. But if you did the deep work in choosing your goals in the first place, you can trust the process for the most part. But, sometimes, certain goals still come up short. It's not cowardly to begin something and then to quit it. I don't even read books unless I've looked up reviews or read summaries because time is our most valuable asset. So it's important we choose to use it wisely. Right?
One thing I find is that people continue on with goals that they know are not in alignment with them anymore because of the sunken cost fallacy. In other words, because they've already put time and effort into it. We can't be continuing on with something just because we've put time, effort or money into it...because you know what sucks even more? Putting more time, effort and money into it when you know things have shifted for you! When we do this, we block off all the new things, opportunities and ventures that could be replacing them, coming into our lives or that we could be creating for ourselves! Everything is a trade off. Remember that.
One way I like to distinct these things if I'm really stuck is I take out a sheet of paper and I write down a pros and cons list. I write down a brainstorming list and...I just write. You'd be surprised what you come up with and how much clarity you find when you write it all out or even record an audio recording of your thoughts on it weighing out the pros and cons of keeping the goal or moving onto a new venture/goal or dream.
I hope this 3 part goal series really helped you out and if it did, please share it with someone who you think would benefit from it, too! Sharing is caring and teamwork makes the dream work. Feel free to come back to this at any time, not just around New Year's time, but anytime in the year when you just need a reminder of these strategies and steps or maybe when you need a boost in how to know when to quit or tips on how to track your progress. Wishing you all the success in achieving all your goals this year, whether or not they change and shift around!
How do you track your progress? And, how do you know inside, when it's time to let go of a goal and realign/shift onto a new goal or replace it? I'd love to know what works for you! Share them in the comments below!
Sending you BIG love today & always!
My whole heart, ♡
The Happiness Approach Podcast
Want inspo-on-the-go? Listen to the audio version of this blog post here ♡
In this podcast episode, I share with you the third and last part in my 3 part goal series and it's all about how to track your progress for your goals and how to know when to quit.
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Today's QT's: Quote-ables & Takeaways from today's podcast episode & blog ↴
“Things change and that's okay. You owe nobody an explanation nor do you need permission to set new goals, release or replace old ones and set new intentions.”
“If the destination is the same for you, try changing the road in getting there, not calling off the entire trip.”
“Only you know the difference between if you should keep going or give in to moving on.”
“There's a difference between things getting hard and letting go of something that no longer serves a purpose.”
“Sometimes when we feel like quitting, we just need a break.”
“It's not quitting if you're being smart about saving future time in working towards something that no longer meshes with you anymore. That's called being smart.”
“We must take time to track our progress so we can see how far we've come and have a better idea as to where we're headed.”
“Remember, everything is a trade off. Continuing on with one goal, venture or dream means another one is on hold. We all have so many paths we can choose to walk down in life.”