As hard as it is for me to admit, I used to be terrible when it came to tracking my goals. Setting them in the first place was fine. But figuring out how I was going to achieve them was another story.

Goals can be overwhelming when we set them without thinking what they really mean to us. Along the way, we end up realizing they are too big or they’ve made our lives busier than we thought. This is why a tracking system is so important, because it can help you achieve your goals little by little, so you know you’re making progress.

What a lot of people don’t realize is there’s no quick fire way to make your goals come to life. You meet them by taking action. And continuing to take action. Over time, goals that were once an idea inside your head turn into a brand new reality. The process, the parts where you take action and measure your progress is where your dreams really come to life. It’s all about the journey.

[clickToTweet tweet=”There’s no easy way to make your goals come to life. You meet them by taking action. And continuing to take action.” quote=”There’s no easy way to make your goals come to life. You meet them by taking action. And continuing to take action.”]

Before we get started, know this: your goals matter. Your goals matter enough to make them happen. They matter enough to take action and they matter enough to help you see how far you’ve come.

So to aid you on your path, here are five steps you can take to help you track your goals for maximum success.

1. Know Why You Want to Achieve Your Goals

Setting a goal is one thing, but knowing why you want to achieve it takes your goals to another level. Write out why you want to grow each particular goal you set yourself and connect it to something that matters to you in the big picture. Remember, your words don’t have to be perfect. Be brave and just get them down on paper.

Here’s a little note about setting goals. You’re a work in progress. Don’t worry if, as you grow through a new year, your goals shift slightly too. They aren’t set in stone. You have the freedom and power to change them whenever you want.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Goals aren’t set in stone. You have the freedom and power to change them whenever you want.” quote=”Goals aren’t set in stone. You have the freedom and power to change them whenever you want.”]

2. How Will You Feel When You Have Made Progress on This Goal?

Think of one of your goals right now and imagine it. You’ve made some great progress or even achieved your goal. How will that make you feel? It’s all about the progress you make, no matter how big or small.

What’s also important to remember here is the positive effect you’ll have on others if you take action on your goals. Really good things could happen to others because of what you achieve. The possibilities are endless so write them all out. This can act as a big source of motivation when you need it.

3. Outline Starting Steps Instead of Action Steps

When I set goals, I used to list out some action steps. But I realized this left me feeling stuck, because I had no idea where to start. That’s when I realized — starting steps are way more important to define than action steps.

Depending on what your goals are, your starting steps could look like different things. If one of your goals is related to building a new fitness regime, you might need to research types of exercises that would be most beneficial for you. Or if one of your goals is related to learning a new skill, a starting step could be to buy a book about the topic.

You might think these starting steps are small and don’t matter. But it’s actually these first steps that are the most important and will build the foundation for your success.

[clickToTweet tweet=”When it comes to goals, focus on your starting steps, not your action steps to build a foundation to follow through.” quote=”When it comes to goals, focus on your starting steps, not your action steps to build a foundation to follow through.”]

4. Use Encouraging Words and Celebrate Your Progress

Write down an inspirational quote, give yourself a strong pep talk or some encouraging words to go with each goal. It’ll remind you why you’re working towards your goals in the first place.

It’s also important for you to celebrate your progress, not just when you achieve a goal. Every little victory should be a celebration. Whether it’s a special treat or creating something as a way to remember the progress you made, give yourself something to look forward to. Giving yourself a reward will keep you motivated to take action on your goals.

5. Look for Guidance

Once you know the goals that are important to you, think of people you admire in relation to those goals. Think outside the box too. If one of your goals relates to finance, you might want to look into speaking to a financial coach. Or, if there’s someone you admire, look for them online and see if something encourages you.

People and resources can always help you on your journey. Seek them out.

Now for some parting words — you can’t do it all and do it well.

Pick the goals that mean the most to you and let go of the ones that are unnecessary. This way, you’ll be able to track your true progress and succeed.