3 Ways to Create Your Own Goal Tracker in 5 Minutes or Less

You are currently viewing 3 Ways to Create Your Own Goal Tracker in 5 Minutes or Less

You may have heard that tracking goals makes you more likely to achieve them. But what you might struggle with is knowing how to create a goal tracker to take advantage of the benefits of tracking goals.

You only need three things to make your own goal tracker, whether it’s on your phone, in a spreadsheet, or on a piece of paper:

  • A place to record whether or not you completed your daily action steps
  • Another place to record if you hit your weekly outcomes
  • Somewhere to write about how you’re doing and what you need to adjust

Prior to this you should have already set your goals and made plans to achieve them. As part of that, you’ll want to have created daily action steps and weekly outcomes to reach your goals. 

Check out this article to learn more about my simple 4-step process for setting goals.

Today we’ll just be going over my top three favorite ways to create a simple goal tracker that you can use to accelerate your success.

1. Use the Notes App on Your Phone

This option is nice because it’s always accessible and you’ve got a lot of options with it. However, using an app does have limitations, such as the inability to write functions to calculate your progress. 

I still use this myself to supplement my goal-tracking spreadsheet because it’s so much easier to jot down how I’m doing or what roadblocks I’m running into. 

To create your own goal tracker with your notes app:

  1. Open “Notes” if you’re on iPhone or “Google Keep” if you’re on Android. Keep in mind that some of these steps may look a little different depending on what phone you’re using.
  2. Create a new note
  3. Title it with your goal at the top, center it, then highlight the text and change it to title case
  4. Write your goal at the top in the format of “I will [thing you want to accomplish] by [date] through [action steps] daily and [outcomes] weekly.” For example: “I will get to 12% body fat by September 30 by exercising for 60 minutes each day and losing 0.3% body fat per week.”
  5. Below your goal, write some principles you want to remember for that goal. You might put something like “every day matters” or write out some exercise or meal ideas. 
  6. At the bottom, write today’s date and then go to the next line. Then, at the end of the day, record how you did and what difficulties you ran into. Also, write about how you want to try to overcome those struggles.
  7. Repeat the process each day, creating the new day’s entry above the previous one so you don’t have to scroll to the bottom every day.

I’ve been using this method recently to review my progress on my goals and is remarkable how effective it is. 

With my goal to write on this website, for instance, I started a note for it, recorded the roadblocks I was running into as I was trying to work on the goal, and came up with a plan to beat them.

Because I’ve been tracking my progress I’ve figured out a way to get over those stumbling blocks to my success. I’m on a path to achieving my goal where before, I was struggling to stay consistent.

2. Create a Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are my favorite because they are so versatile. I love the ability to program functions, use numbers, and have hard data on how I’m doing. 

The main disadvantage here is that it’s harder to “freewrite” about how your goals are going, like you can do with notes on your phone. I solved this problem by just using both, and it works really well for me.

Oh and if you’re worried about accessing your goal tracker on your phone, don’t fret. You can still download the Sheets app and it works pretty well as long as you set up your spreadsheet right!

To create your own goal-tracking spreadsheet:

  1. Open Google Sheets. You’ll have to sign into your Google account or create one if you haven’t yet. 
  2. Create a new sheet and name it whatever you want. “Goal Tracker” is a good start. Remember you can always change it later, and this applies to each of these steps.
  3. I like to change the font and text size to something better than the default, but you don’t have to. I use Calibri size 12.
  4. At the top, write your goal in the format of “I will [thing you want to accomplish] by [date] through [action steps] daily and [outcomes] weekly.” For example: “I will save an extra $150 per month by March 31 by cutting out one unnecessary expense each week.”
  5. On the far left column, type today’s date. Then select that cell and drag it downward, it’ll add all the dates for as many rows you go down.
  6. On the column just next to that one, you’ll write your action step. It might be “60 minutes of exercise,” “publish a blog post,” or “spend 30 minutes with the kids.” You can repeat this with the next columns if you want to track multiple goals.
  7. Click on the “+” in the bottom left corner to add a new sheet for your weekly review. In this one, you’ll write your goal at the top then on the far left column list out questions you want to ask yourself. You might ask things like “What went well?” or “What can I improve on?” Next to that column, put “Week of [last week’s date].”
  8. Each day you’ll go into the first sheet and record “Yes” for whether or not you did your action steps.
  9. At the end of the week, you’ll head to your weekly review sheet and answer your questions for that week. To create a new week, right-click on the column of your previous week and select “+ Insert 1 column left” and enter that week’s date.

This process is more complicated than the notes one, but again, you have far more flexibility with it. Plus, you can automate it with macros and more. 

3. Use Pen & Paper or a Journal

If you want to combine some of the advantages of a spreadsheet and an app, you can just use pen and paper to create a goal tracker. I’d recommend you get a notebook rather than just using individual pieces of paper though.

This is a great option because there are scientific benefits of writing by hand. It’s also helpful to be able to carry a physical item with you to remind you of your goals. I also think that if you get the right notebook, it just looks and feels really nice to have.

The big downside of this option is that if you forget your goal-tracking notebook you’re out of luck. And if it gets lost or stolen, then you have to start over.

You can buy pre-made goal-tracking journals if you want to take the easy route there. I don’t love those because they confine you to one method of recording your progress.

If you get a blank notebook or journal, however, this is how you can turn it into a goal tracker:

  1. On the first page, write your goals. I recommend you have no more than four, and you can check out this article to learn why.
  2. Then each day you’ll go to the next pages and write out each date and how you did with each of your goals that day. Include what went well and what roadblocks you’re running into as well as how you might beat those roadblocks. 
  3. At the end of each week, take a page to write about your overall progress. Ask yourself questions like:
    1. What went well this week?
    2. What do I want to do better?
    3. Which action steps do I need to change?
    4. Are there any goals that I don’t want to work on anymore?
  4. Adjust your process as you find what works for you. There might be better questions to ask yourself in your weekly review, for instance, or you might find you don’t have time for a long daily entry so instead you just write whether or not you did your action steps.

Wrapping Up

To recap what we’ve learned, there are three things you need to create your own goal tracker:

  1. Somewhere to write down your daily action steps and whether or not you’re doing them.
  2. A place to record your progress on your weekly outcomes and other milestones.
  3. A place to write about how you’re doing and how you can adjust your goals to better meet your situation.

You can do this with the notes app on your phone, a spreadsheet, a notebook, and more. 

I’ve been doing this with a spreadsheet and notes on my phone for nearly five years and I can tell you from experience that tracking your goals helps you achieve them, no matter how you do it.