How to Track Your Goals- Downloadable Habit Tracker

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When I was prepping for my class on time management at the rS conference, one thing that I kept thinking was how you must measure in order to analyze.

Everyone always talks about working smarter and not harder, but what does that truly mean? Should we be delegating tasks? Do we need to cut out some part of our job if it means we can grow overall? Are we to accept we won’t EVER tackle our inbox and therefore we should just get to work?

Everyone’s answer will be different and in order to decide if you need to delegate, scale back or move forward, you’ve got to measure.

Why You Should Measure Goals

At the conference, I shared how we should really be measuring our goals quarterly, monthly and sometimes weekly to see what needs work. But what if you aren’t trying to make a decision on delegating? Or what if you think you’re doing fine? Measuring also helps you evolve!

I’m going to use an easy example that you’re probably familiar with if you are reading a fashion blog: the Instagram algorithm.

Last year, Instagram rolled out a new algorithm where about 10% of your followers see your content. It’s frustrating, it’s upsetting, but ultimately we don’t own Instagram and they can do how they please. When Instagram is a huge factor of my job and brands look at that to measure your value as an influencer on a campaign, it can be down-right annoying.

BUT there is a silver lining. Before the algorithm, your photos lasted 24 hours on the Instagram feed. Then it was no longer to be found and just stayed on your personal page. People couldn’t organically see your photo 4 days after the fact. Now, your photos can last up to 7 days on a feed. What does this mean? We are allowed to really measure. I mean REALLY measure what is doing well vs. what is not.

I started to look into my analytics more {I love the app Planoly for this!} and see what photos were getting comments days after I posted them. I started to see that photos of my home were getting feedback long after I posted, which was a great way to tell me that people want to see more home imagery.

How We Can Get Blinded By Our Work

Ultimately, this opportunity to really measure your feed for 7 days is a huge blessing. While it’s annoying that a photo may tank, it’s also a learning opportunity because it’s easy to get blinded.

For context, here’s a small example of what goes into one styled Instagram photo:

I wake up early, get ready, finish any work e-mails, get Maxi ready. I drive Maxi to my parents’ house {about 40/45 minutes away}, meet my photographer {a 30-minute drive}, shoot for an hour, pay my photographer, drive back to my parents’ house {another 30 minutes}, head back home {40/45 minute} and then post. It’s nearly a 3-hour process that can involve a lot of money {product, photography, babysitting}. Now not every photo requires this, a mirror selfie is simple! I’m just talking about a curated, styled shoot- you get the idea! And I’m just a regular blogger, I can’t imagine what goes into a styled shoot for a travel blogger or a mom that works a full-time job on top of blogging. 

Because of the time that goes into curating content, I can have blinders on when something tanks. It’s easy for me to think, “Well, no one is liking this because only 10% of my readership saw this.” Yes, that is true, but if the 10% were liking my image it would stay in the feed and more individuals would see the photos. Instagram measures the engagement you have the first 30 minutes to an hour of posting and decides from there how long the photo should last in the feed.

The Lessons in Measuring

So while it is a little more difficult to reach your audience, there is a huge measurement opportunity. If a photo isn’t getting comments after day 2, I’m really able to say, “Okay, my audience is over that. They see this all the time on Instagram, they want something new.” It pushes me to create better content and with that comes growth in new ways. Sure, we aren’t all gaining a ton of new Instagram followers overnight. BUT, I like that this pushes me to get more creative in new ways on my blog and to me, that is growth.

And while that is one small example of measuring success, I think it can be applied to SO many more areas of life- cleaning your home, working out, eating clean or even taking care of your skin. It’s easy for me to always blame one factor like the algorithm, but I’m learning to see the underlying lesson as opposed to just looking at what factor I’m blaming.

How to Track and Measure Goals

This little habit tracker below is how I record my habits and goals. Strong habits lead to the accomplishment of goals! I want you to be able to do the same, so my amazing graphic designer, Kendall Hook, made this downloadable for you!

Here’s how this works:

At the beginning of the month {or you could even start now!} print this tracker. Write out your top 3 goals- I always say to make one work-related, one health-related and one personal. Circle the month you are accomplishing this goal at the top and then track each day. You fill in each circle {scantron style!} for each day you accomplish the goal. Keep this paper in clear sight so you don’t miss logging a day. Don’t be stressed about accomplishment, stress accuracy. At the end of the month, tally up your work and then analyze.

What can you learn from analyzing? Everything! Here are two things I’m awful at, I’m not good at working out since I had Maxi and I’m horrible at texting back. I can make excuses like, “I’m busy” or “I’ve got a baby,” but the fact is I’m choosing other goals right now. Right now, I felt it was more beneficial to invest in a few passions with work than it was to workout every single day. I couldn’t really understand that I felt that way until I tracked and until I decide to slow down one goal, I can’t prioritize something else. I’m not saying that is wrong or right, but this habit tracker helped me see that. I would track for months and realized I was accomplishing my work goals daily, but I wasn’t accomplishing my personal goals. I was able to stop making excuses and now I know my plan of action for the next month. I do want to start prioritizing my personal goals with working out, so I’ve accepted that I will have to be at peace with slowing down in another goal. But that’s the great thing about this tracker. If you’re accomplishing one goal constantly and missing another, it can be a little nudge of permission saying, “Hey girl, you’ve worked hard on Goal A, take some time out of that sector and put it towards Goal B.

The Habit Tracker

Habit Tracker to Accomplish Goals

Download the COF Habit Tracker Here

Track With Me

So what am I working on tracking now?

Personal: My upcoming personal goal is to workout more! I know this could definitely be considered a “health goal” but I’m accounting it for personal because I think it will be great “me time.” I will have to scale back in other areas {maybe cooking more simple meals for dinner} in order to do this, but I am excited to start. I remember NEVER missing a day working out before I had Maxi and I want to enjoy it again!

Health: My upcoming health goal is to avoid processed sugar during the week. You all know I’ve got quite the sweet tooth and the more you eat sugar, the more you crave it. I’m always digging into something sweet come 4 p.m. and now my body has become addicted to craving right around that time. I’m only a few days down, but so far, so good!

Work: I need to keep my work area more organized. It’s easy to have things pile up when your job involves a lot of shipping, but I’ve also seen how it negatively impacts time. I’ll have boxes and receipts everywhere and then I just stare at it instead of getting to work. This seems small but I think it will make a huge change!

Goal-Setting Must-Haves

If you’re going to be working hard on goals, there are a few things I live by that make the process a little more fun! These are a bit random and include everything from work habits to cleaning habits, but they may help you.

  • The planner I use is by Sweet Caroline Designs
  • For rescoring credit, I use Certified Credit’s rapid rescore service. For savings, I use a budget binder. You can see my post on it here.
  • I have to have a journal where I can toss out ideas. I write everything from a random reminder to a blog post idea. This journal has no method of organization to it, but at the end of the day, I record those ideas or notes in my planner. I love this one- it must have a spiral!
  • I love to diffuse oils while working. Here are two posts I have on the oils I use. I love to diffuse lemon and peppermint when I work. I love this diffuser and think it’s easy to blend in with your decor.
  • I also have to keep a blanket on me while I work. If I’m cozy, I’ll work better. This is the blanket I live with.
  • If your goal is to get more organized, don’t miss this post! You also need this purse organizer, these lipstick caps and this for your bathroom!

But most importantly, don’t forget flexibility in tracking goals! Life happens that can cause a goal to change and that is okay. Flexibility and evolving are huge keys to success, so don’t get too hung up on the process.

How do YOU track your goals?!

A huge thank you to Kendall for working with me to make this tracker for you all! Her contact info is:

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  1. This is great, and the downloadable will be so helpful to so many! Thank you, Katey. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 09 May 18Reply
  2. Lexi Burton wrote:

    Thank you for writing this! I just started a business and feel like it’s so overwhelming to think about tackling Instagram and every little aspect! This habit tracker will be a great way to focus goals and not just end up having work take over. Do you have a referral code for Planoly?

    Published 09 May 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Lexi! Of course!! 🙂 I’m so sorry, I do not have a referral code. I just found out about them from a friend a few years ago, but never talked to them! 🙁 xo, Katey

      Published 09 May 18Reply
      • Lexi Burton wrote:

        Thanks so much!

        Published 09 May 18Reply
  3. Alyssa wrote:

    I need to be more organized! How do you keep your work space organized? I find that I just have piles of papers and it stresses me out.

    Published 09 May 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      I’m still so stuck on that! I am going to work on getting this space more organized! I’ll for sure share! xo, Katey

      Published 31 May 18Reply
  4. Mallory F wrote:

    Love this post! Makes me want to actually tackle my goals and be more accountable for them.

    Published 09 May 18Reply
  5. Love. this. post. We’re all so busy scrambling to accomplish so many things at once. It’s valuable to sit down and distill your desires into some concrete, achievable goals, whether that’s elevating your wellness, saving for a down payment, being present with loved ones, or all of the above and more.

    Plus, visually tracking your goals is such a great way to draw conclusions about why one goal may be falling behind another. And as you mentioned, flexibility and forgiveness are equally as important as being disciplined about what you want to accomplish! Thanks for sharing your perspective.


    Published 09 May 18Reply
  6. Olivia W. wrote:

    Loved this post! I follow your content for your organization/life solutions more than anything, so these posts are definitely my favorite kind 🙂

    Published 09 May 18Reply
  7. I absolutely love this idea of a habit tracker. Downloaded and on my fridge!

    Fifteen Minutes to Flawless

    Published 11 May 18Reply