I talked in my last post about keeping personal records of the areas you are wanting to progress in.
A lot of people use some form of tracking to measure their fitness, and progress in areas related to physical health. But how many people track the little everyday things that relate to other areas of their personal development or career goals?
As an art-maker / designer (and Creative Manager here at hoozyu!) it’s easy for me to track my progress in the areas I’m passionate about. But if I were a musician, or a food blogger, or I was interested in behavioural psychology, astrophysics, or ornithology - I could still keep an inventory of my progress and development.
Whether through documenting things I read and learnt, new skills I developed, my own notes and reflections - or through keeping a record of lectures attended, interesting quotes, inspiration, self-directed projects, and feedback from peers / lecturers / mentors…
By collating evidence of your progress related to a specific goal or area of development you can create a chronological record that allows you to look back and see exactly how far you’ve come over a period of weeks, months, and eventually years.
Why is this important? Well, because visible progress is a huge motivator.
It’s the reason people record their progress at the gym, their running habits, or how many laps they can swim at the pool. Because being able to look back and see the difference - from being a couch potato to running 10km - makes the reward of all that hard work a reality.
It wasn’t wasted time or effort because suddenly you can see the direct correlation between effort put in, and goals achieved.
This same basic principle applies to any of the areas you might want to track for yourself. Not just that, but this record can also become a ‘library’: a personal reference of your own thoughts and ideas, things you’ve learnt and projects you’ve worked on.
For many of us, losing motivation is a reaction to feeling that something we are working on, or a goal we are working towards, has become pointless or unattainable.
But by keeping track of all the elements of our progress we can provide ourselves with ’proof’ of everything we’ve achieved - combatting our own reactive behaviour and allowing us to spot areas that might still need more work or development!
So why not try it out! What area could you start tracking your progress in? If you’re not big on organisation (low clerical interest?) don’t worry about getting bogged down in a complex system for recording your progress (something I am guilty of…!) just think about the easiest way you could keep track.
For you it might be as simple as a note you keep on your phone, where you can write a quick summary each week of what you’ve done, or learnt, or progress you’ve made. Then every month, or couple of months, you might review your notes and think about how you want to progress or develop over the following weeks.
Of course, the more detail you include in your tracking the more you’ll be able to do with the information over time, but even the simplest reflection process can make a big difference towards achieving your goals.
Give it a go!