How to keep track on your improvements while archiving your goals

To have goals is one of the most important motivators and the driver in our life. Someone without any goals is going nowhere.

But only to have goals is not sufficient enough. You also need to keep track on your improvements, otherwise you end up wondering why you did not achieve them, even though you seemed to be working on it all the time.

One way to do this, is to use Ian Smiths online tools Joe’s Logbook and Joe’s Goals, which I already announced in a comment to this post, where I promised to write about it. So here we go.

The idea is quite simple, inspired by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin developed the famous 13 virtues, to cultivate his character and developed a method to keep focused on them. This generally was just a simple table, with the rows where entitled with the virtues, and the columns with the dates. Now whenever he failed to achieve one of his goals, he made a dot into the current field.

Joe’s Goals goes one step further. It divides goals into positive and negative goals. While the positive goals are the ones you want to achieve, the negative ones you want to avoid. In the end, the negative points are subtracted from the positive ones, so you have a feeling about your overall improvement.

I think this is quite a nice idea – and for all of those who are not interested in doing this online: It can also easily be done the pen and paper way. And if you want to add more focus on your actions, you can use the hack from Leo Babauta, which uses shading to prioritise tasks and goals.


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