A Super Simple Way to Track Your Progress

Dear Blog,

Last time, I talked about taking back control on a goal. You know those apps that tell you you’re on a roll for doing a particular thing every day? Well, I decided to start designing a paper version for myself. That way, if I stay up until three in the morning to meet a goal, my “streak sheet” still says I met it.

I got started on the design, but then I got sidetracked. I decided instead to go back to using a bullet journal I had created a couple years ago.

If you’re not familiar with bullet journals, they’re great for keeping track of progress and daily tasks. I use one for my writing and business work. There are a bunch of premade designs you can buy and even print out, or you can design it the way you want with a notebook and a pen.

My regular bullet journal is simple. Nothing fancy. It’s a regular college-lined notebook and I use a pen, a straight edge, and a mini measuring tape to design it. I have a monthly spread and a weekly spread. I keep track of weekly and monthly achievements. And I also have a few other “pages,” one to track the books I read by quarter and another that lays out my publication schedule.

But I also have a special bullet journal for tracking personal things like doing yoga, studying languages, and drinking enough water. One week takes up a single page. There’s a topic list and then to the right of each topic are seven slots for Sunday through Saturday. When I’ve done a particular thing on the list, I put an X in the day slot.

My topic list has eleven items. Below the list is a section to note achievements. But you can have as many items as you want on your list and design it however you want. The sky’s the limit with bullet journals.

As far as a streak sheet goes, I might be satisfied with seeing all the X’s on the page, so there might not be a need for one. I’ll see how it goes.

Keeping track of progress is so important because it reminds us of all the things we’ve actually done. If we don’t record them, we forget that we’ve done them and then we start thinking we’re not productive or working toward our goals.

It’s also motivating because we *want* to see those X’s on the page. It’s a little trigger that gets us to say (hopefully), “Oh, that’s right. I need to do ______ today.”

And if it’s after midnight, guess what? You can still check off the item when you complete it because it’s YOUR design. 😉

Until next time…

Jody Calkins
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