A tracking form helps you persist

The research says that journaling and tracking your progress greatly increases your chance at persisting at something that’s important to you. In my experience I have found this to be true. I’ve been using a tracking form daily to help me persist since October 20, 2010. I just wrote on mine this morning.

Here’s how I use the tracking form. Take the concept and make it your own.

  • The date I put on top is the start date. After the date in smaller type I include inspiration to encourage me and focus me. I don’t often change the inspiration part. I also don’t often notice it. But it doesn’t hurt to have.
  • Each form lasts for two weeks. The first week is on the left side of the day column. The second week is on the right.
  • I include current items in the following ‘buckets’ of my life that are important to me: work, music, exercise, nature, health, each of the 4 Ps of At Your Best (passion/play/purpose/persistence), and inner work.
  • I focus on what’s most important to me that could otherwise be buried in the tugs of a myriad of small urgencies that life and work blithely hand out.
  • My work examples: revamp website, blog writing, newsletter writing, current client work that demands greater focus
  • My exercise examples: flexibility, aerobic, strength
  • My health examples: icing painful areas, posture, physical therapy exercises, tendonitis stretches, sleep log (when I fell asleep and woke up), what hindered or help sleep, whether I took a siesta
  • My inner work examples: meditation, mindfulness, and whatever old fear I’m working on to loosen its grip on me.
  • I place the greatest importance on some aspect of the ‘big stuff’ I’m here on earth to do. That big stuff, if not tended, can lay forgotten.
  • The things that I actually end up tracking invariably are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic.
  • Mine is double-sided. Most people would be well served to make their forms single sided.
  • I print it out on yellow card stock and put it on my clipboard.
  • I mark it by hand, ideally by the end of the day.
  • I find it helpful to also look at it at the beginning of the day, but don’t always get to that.
  • I’m at my best with this form when I feel the pride of filling something in, with no berating for all the things I didn’t get to. Everything counts, even five minutes.

A tracking form is not for everyone, but it might be for you. Give it a try and let me know what you come up with.

Tracking Form example1Tracking Form example2

Click here to download this tracking form

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