We’re halfway into the first month of the new year! For many, this is right about the time that all of those shiny, exciting new goals and resolutions begin to fall off our radar. Or we simply find conveniently-timed excuses to put off the goals that seemed so inspiring on the first of January.

“I’ll just go to the gym tomorrow.”
“I’ll start working on my book next month.”
“I’ll start looking for a new job in the spring.”

We get it. We’ve been there—nearly every new year, in fact! But you don’t have to let these goals slip by you this year. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or even just a little bit lazy, there is a simple way to ensure that you make incremental progress toward the goals that are most important to you—and that’s to track them!

It’s often (actually, pretty much always) that you learn and grow the most through the journey toward your goals; not when you reach the actual destination of achieving them. So, there’s great incentive to be had in noting your progress along the way.

How can you track your goals best, so you don’t fall off track? Here are just a few of our favorite tips for tracking your own journey toward reaching those resolutions:

Find an Accountability Partner

It always helps to have an outside source of encouragement and accountability when working toward new goals. Find someone who you can share your resolutions with—and together, decide on a timeline and a marker of progress. Maybe you want to meet with a running group or personal trainer twice a week. Perhaps you want to write 500 words before you check email every morning? You might want to go to one new networking event to make new connections every month. Whatever your goal and however you want to track your progress toward it, share it with someone who can check in with you, motivate you, and keep you accountable to the guidelines you’ve set.

Schedule Regular Personal Check-ins

It’s also helpful to set aside time to review your goals on a regular basis. Pick a schedule that works for you—you might go over your goals every Sunday night or at the end of every month. The frequency or day doesn’t matter so much as the commitment to keeping your goals top of mind, and tracking the progress you’ve made in the time that’s passed. By pre-scheduling dates with yourself (or your accountability partner!), you’re more likely to want to get a “good review” when you know a check-in is coming up. (Funny how our minds work, isn’t it?)

You can also use the free Monthly Goal Tracker printable from Day Designer as a written, tangible plan to come back to each month and measure your progress on three specific goals. Re-visit this sheet at monthly check-ins to note your progress and how you might maintain or improve in the next month!

Try Not to Break the Chain

There’s a reason we recommend using our Monthly Goal Tracker printable—it makes your progress visual! It can be hard to stay motivated when you don’t have a tangible reminder of how far you’ve come—and how close you are to reaching the important goals you’ve set for yourself!

Another motivating way to keep track is to pick a spot in your planner to track your progress every day—then, try not to break the chain. Here’s how it works: For every day that you make progress toward your goal or goals, mark an “X” on your calendar. There’s interesting psychology behind the fact that we are motivated not to “break the chain” of X’s—in other words, you are motivated to continue making progress, simply because you can see how far you’ve come (and can’t stand the thought of “starting over”). It’s simple, but effective. Try it and see how long your chain becomes!

How do you track your goals? Will you be using any of the tips we shared? Let us know in the comments below!

Day Designer is the strategic planner and daily agenda for living a well-designed life. It can be a trusted tool for setting goals, creating a plan, and taking action each and every day – offering yearly, monthly, and daily overview pages. Choose from our Flagship Collection or A5 Luxe Collection.