One of the most important things you can do in order to be successful as an entrepreneur is to set goals. Some goals require a big-picture, long-game view while others are more immediate. However, no matter what the goal is and how long it may take to achieve it, there is one specific action all entrepreneurs should take in order to make sure they are moving in the right direction to reach their goal — track the progress.
However, there are many ways to do this, and not all approaches work for every entrepreneur or goal. So, what are some of the more effective ways to keep track of your progress toward a goal? Here is what members of Young Entrepreneur Council advise:
1. Break Down the Goal Into Smaller Tasks
We use a system called Metronome Growth System. It is a powerful tool that helps our executive and leadership teams keep track of assigned tasks and goals along with KPIs and progress throughout the week, month, or quarter. Once the goal is set, we create tasks along with subgoals and subtasks. The more fine-tuned the steps are, the more successful we find ourselves in reaching that goal. – Jessica Moseley, TCS Interpreting, Inc
2. Monitor Daily Progress
Find a way to track small incremental steps toward the larger goal and track those small steps daily. Little accomplishments add up to big accomplishments. If a monthly or quarterly revenue target is your goal, find a way to track this daily to ensure you are on target or identify whether or not you are behind. It creates accountability daily. – Shawn Schulze, HomeArea.com
3. Make Goal Tracking a Weekly Task
You can use all the software or note-taking tricks you want, but if you don’t set time aside to actually check in on the goals, then they aren’t worth much. Put some private tracking sessions near the start and end of each week. Use what you discover to book further meetings with project managers. – Ismael Wrixen, FE International
4. Set a Reward System
To keep track of your progress on a goal, set up a reward system for yourself. Write down your goals and choose a reward for each major milestone you accomplish on the way to your ultimate goal. Setting up a reward system will not only help track your progress but keep you motivated, too. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
5. Move the Goal Posts Often
If you aren’t upgrading your goals often enough, then you risk missing out on the big ideas that can transform your business. Making a checklist and marking off your progress toward a goal will get you there, but is that really where you want to be? Travel more, meet new people, learn about life, and stretch yourself and your goals often. – David Boehl, GoLastMinute
6. Plan Your Time Ahead
It’s not enough to say you’re going to accomplish a goal within a period of time without adequately planning how you’ll get there. I like to create my schedule months in advance, with each step of how and when I’m going to complete tasks to get me there. This helps me track my progress day by day, so I know exactly where I stand and what to do to accomplish my objectives faster. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
7. Use a Dedicated App
Apps make it easy and fun to keep track of your progress on a goal. Plus, you can check in no matter where you are. There are a number of great apps for doing this; one is Strides. With Strides, you can track four different types of goals including habit, target, average, and project, and it displays streaks, success rates, and line charts, so you can visually track your progress. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
8. Keep a Journal
I keep track of the progress of my goals by writing and keeping a journal on my nightstand. I take a few minutes to review them every night to ensure I stay on track. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Fem Founder
9. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
When tracking your goals, it can be easy to get lost in the finer details. While it’s not inherently bad to pay attention to detail, you have to always keep your end goals at the front of your mind. Besides thinking about why you want to achieve a goal, you have to be willing to accept the fact that sometimes subtasks need to change so you can meet your goal in a timely manner. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.
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