Goal Tracking in the Workplace: 7 Tips To Get You Started

By Indeed Editorial Team

November 10, 2021

Setting goals is a great way for you to better yourself as an individual and an employee. When you establish your goals, it's important to regularly track your progress and ensure you're hitting each one. The more goals you achieve, the more you'll see yourself grow and improve in both your personal and professional life. In this article, we explore what it means to track your goals, learn how to keep track of them and discover tips for effectively staying on track with your goals.

What does it mean to track your goals?

Goals are the ideas and desired results you envision and plan to follow through by achieving them in the future. You can effectively meet your goals by setting deadlines and tracking your progress. Tracking your goals entails setting clear milestones and regularly self-evaluating to see how you're progressing toward your desired results. This helps you determine what you can improve to more effectively hit these goals.

When you start tracking your goals, you'll typically hold yourself accountable for them, which often increases your likelihood of accomplishing the desired results. Typically, the more goals you motivate yourself to achieve, the more successful and skillful you can become in both your professional and personal life.

How to keep track of your goals

Regularly track your progress toward reaching your goals by checking in and taking note of what you can do to more effectively reach each milestone. Follow these steps to successfully keep track of your goals:

1. List each of your goals

Sit down with your computer, phone or pencil and paper to list out each of your goals. Take time to think about what you'd like to accomplish within the next few months or years. List each of these goals and order them by importance to help you effectively prioritize them.

If you're having trouble thinking of goals you'd like to reach, it may help to free write. Clear your mind and set aside 30 minutes to build a list or write sentences listing what you'd like to accomplish in the future. Review what you wrote and build comprehensive bullet points to help you order each goal.

Related: How To Write an Action Plan To Achieve Your Goals

2. Create smaller tasks to help hit each goal

Review your goal list and determine which larger goals can be broken down into smaller tasks. For instance, if your goal is to receive a promotion, smaller items to accomplish could be to exceed quotas each month, earn an online certification to improve leadership skills and ask your supervisor if you can take on more responsibilities. Breaking down each goal into smaller tasks makes them feel easier to reach. You may also feel like you're efficiently progressing toward each goal as you successfully complete each smaller item.

Related: 10 Career Development Goals

3. Assign reasonable deadlines to your goals

When you have your tasks and goals laid out, you can assign deadlines to each one. Make sure each due date gives you enough time to hit it. Try to factor in other professional or personal responsibilities that may take up a portion of your time to give yourself reasonable allotted times to meet each goal's deadline. When you create deadlines, you're more likely to hold yourself accountable by pushing yourself to reach each goal on time.

4. Review your progress regularly

Take time each week or day, if possible, to review the goals you've set for yourself. Consider how many smaller tasks you've accomplished and if you're on the right path to complete that goal. Checking in on your progress helps remind yourself of past goals you've created to ensure you don't forget to continue working toward your next milestone.

Reviewing goals also allows you to adjust them in case any other circumstances cause you to change deadlines or tweak a current goal to better meet your needs and preferences.

5. Establish a reward system for yourself

A great way to motivate yourself to stay on track with your goals is to build a reward system. Review your goals and tasks and determine which reward you'll provide yourself once you hit each goal. For instance, if your goal is to improve your industry knowledge and one of your tasks is to read five industry articles each week, reward yourself with a meal at your favorite restaurant on Friday if you've successfully read five different articles throughout the workweek.

This gives you the extra push and encouragement you need to improve yourself and hit each goal. It also provides you with something to look forward to and work toward.

6. Build a schedule to follow

To help you stay accountable for hitting each goal, outline your key milestones and deadlines in a schedule. You can purchase a daily planner to write each date down or use a calendar app on your computer or mobile device. Note the dates you aim to hit each task a few weeks to months in advance. Review this schedule daily to remind yourself of upcoming deadlines to prepare for.

Related: How To Set and Track Project Milestones

7. Forgive yourself when you fall off track

Unexpected events will inevitably occur and the circumstances might be difficult to predict or plan around. Because of this, there may be moments when you'll fall off track from your goals due to focusing on other priorities. There may also be moments where a certain task takes longer than expected to complete, causing you to fall behind on the larger goal. It's important to forgive yourself when this happens and use your self-motivation skills to adjust your deadlines accordingly so you can continue working toward your overall goals.

Tips for staying on track with your goals

It's important to hold yourself accountable and regularly check in on your progress with your goals. Here are some tips to help you effectively track your goals:

Form an accountability group

It can be challenging to hold yourself accountable for hitting your own goals, which is why it's a great idea to tell others about them. When other people are more aware of your goals, you'll feel more motivated to prove to yourself and to the other person that you can hit them.

You can tell your friends, family members or colleagues about your goals or you can join an accountability group. They'll often check in with you to ensure you've reached each goal and you can help them make sure they've hit the goals they've set for themselves as well.

Related: 10 Tips for Being More Goal-Oriented at Work

Give yourself plenty of time to rest

It's easier to remember your goals and have the energy to stay on track with them if you provide yourself with plenty of rest. Give yourself a well-needed break from worrying about your goals and focus more on relaxing activities and hobbies you enjoy. After you've rested your brain, you can return to your tasks and goals with a refreshed and open mind that's ready to tackle these items once more.

Download a goal-tracking app

There are many apps that you can download either on your computer or mobile device that let you input and organize your tasks according to your needs and preferences. Many of them will allow you to view and sort your tasks in a visually appealing and productive manner. Some of them are even set up to remind you of upcoming deadlines so you can remind yourself ahead of time and plan accordingly.

If you have any shared goals, you can also share most goal-tracking tools with others for a collaborative and engaging goal-tracking experience. Research popular goal tracking apps online to find one that works best for you.

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