Blog / Keeping a progress log
Note: This was originally posted on the Sodaware Blog on November 14th, 2005.
I’ve been keeping a progress log since the end of August, and although it’s still far from perfect, it’s been a great help on my self improvement odyssey. Recently I’ve modified it slightly to use a version of “The Printable CEO”, and although I’ve not been using it for very long, I do feel like it’s made an improvement.
Even though I use computers most of the time, I prefer to keep my log on paper as it means I can review it when I’m not in my office. I also think it gives it some character, although that’s entirely down to personal preference. I also do everything by hand – no printing here. Perhaps “The Drawable CEO” would be a good name for it.
Using both sides of a single page for each week, I keep track of the following:
- Weekly goals
- My points monitor
- My “b-Alert” tracker
- What went right
- What went wrong
I added a transparent pocket to the inside of the book, which I keep my 90 day goals in. I have 21 goals, divided into seven sections. In part two I’ll explain these sections in more detail.
Each page starts with the date, and then the top three goals I wish to achieve for the week. I put checkboxes in front of each goal so I can tick them off when they’re complete. The original system had me setting three goals for each day, but I felt this crowded the page a little too much and also distracted me if I had goals from the previous day that I hadn’t completed.
Underneath this is my points tracker, and then underneath that is my “b-Alert” tracker. I took the b-Alert system from “The Power of Focus” (reviewed here). I also use the goal setting tips from the same book to make sure I’m covering the important aspects of my life. This will be covered in more detail in part two.
The back of the page is divided into two sections. The top two-thirds is “What went right”, where I note anything important that was achieved. Reading over this gives me a boost, and helps remind me of what I’ve achieved during the week.
The remaining third is “What went wrong”, which allows some analysis of where the week could have been improved. I deliberately kept it to a third to prevent myself from being overly critical, and also to focus myself on the major issues.
Where possible I use bullet points, as it makes it easier to scan for a quick overview. It’s useful to look over this during my weekly review, as it helps me find areas for improvement.
In part two, I’ll cover the trackers in detail, and also explain how I ensure I have balance in my goals.
[...] It’s been over a year since I first wrote about my progress log on my shareware development blog, and a lot has changed in that time. I’m still using the system, but I’m starting to outgrow it quite rapidly. As I focus more on long-term goals and my overall purpose, I notice that tracking the really short term goals is a struggle as the long-term vision is forgotten. [...]
I do not have the system in place you have for self reporting your progress. I do use more traditional journaling to measure where I have been, where I am now and to discover and plot my course to where I want to go next.
[...] since I read about “The Printable CEO“, I’ve experimented with keeping track of some personal metrics. Whilst the PCEO [...]
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