You know when you don’t think about something for a long time and then suddenly its gets thrust into your awareness several times in a week? These are things I tend to pay attention to, and this week the issue of goals keep showing up for me. Now I’m a pretty motivated person, I have dreams and goals (see my survival guide to chasing your dreams), but what I’ve been reminded of this week (several times) is the importance of writing them down, breaking them into small steps and tracking your progress.
I’m pretty good at doing the first two, but I tend to fall down on the last stage. The problem with not recording your progress is that it allows you to ignore the fact that you’re not keeping on track. For me, the consequence of not tracking is that I let things go. My motivation wanes and I don’t progress towards my goals as well as I’m sure I could, even taking all my health constraints into account. I find myself making the same resolutions over and over again without ever really getting there.
I, perhaps, use the excuse of wanting to be kind to myself for not keeping track. It’s important that I don’t pressure myself to do more than I can do, depending on my energy levels on any particular day, so I avoid pushing myself with a tracking system. Or that’s the way I’ve been seeing it. But does a tracking system really have to push? It doesn’t have to be the record of failure that part of my subconscious imagines it’s going to be. It’s true, tracking could be used as a tool to beat myself up with, but when you see a big stick you don’t have to hit yourself with it, you could use it to support yourself in your steps forward instead. Perhaps I could be compassionate about the way I use the tracking tool?
If I track my goals and find that I’m not achieving what I want to in certain areas, all it does is highlight that these areas need looking at again. Am I expecting too much of myself? Is there some kind of block that needs to be overcome? What can I learn from this?
For quite a long time now I’ve been doing quite well, my health has definitely stabilised. I’ve not had so many viral crashes, my energy levels are definitely a little higher, and I manage to feel well most of the time. And I’ve achieved all that without tracking my goals! But I have to admit I’ve reached a kind of plateau. I still want to believe that I can get even better but I have to face the face that its not just going to magically happen. What I’ve been doing so far is working really well to maintain a certain level of health but if I want to get better I need to be willing to take some small steps forward. I’ve always had an idea of what my next steps are but now I’ve written them down and I’ve made myself a spreadsheet to track how I get along.
Have you written down your health goals?* Have you broken them down into tiny steps. Have you identified the first steps? How are you tracking your progress?
*Health goals should always be discussed with your GP or Healthcare practitioner