GoalsOnTrack Blog

A systematic approach to achieving goals and getting results.

3 Simple Methods I Personally Use to Achieve New Year Goals

Let me start by wishing you a Happy New Year!

If you are thinking about making new year resolutions or creating new goals for this year, allow me to share with you three simple methods that have worked very well for me and many others over the years.

1. Write it down. Write down your goals, resolutions, or any changes you want to see in your life. Make it a daily routine. It will work wonders for you. Trust. Me.

2. Work on it every day. Focus your effort on one or two most important goals and make it a point to do something for it everyday, even for only 5 minutes. Write it down. Think about it. Talk about it. They all count.

3. Be willing to restart. Some goals are not meant to be achieved at first go. Accept the failure and simply restart. Things often turn around for better after no more than three or four tries.

Finally, adopt a good goal system to keep you organized and movitated. Please take advantage of our first day of the year sale to jump start your 2017.

When you order, simply apply this promo code to save $20: 2017

Have a great year!

Harry

What’s New for 2014

I hope you all had a great time during the New Year holidays and you are all getting on track with your 2014 goals. In this post, I’d like to share with you some of the current developments with GoalsOnTrack and a few things we’d like to do in the new year.

The main thing we have been working on lately  is the new iOS app which will be a universal app supporting both iPhone and iPad, with optimized layout for each platform (new Android app will come later in the year). It’s been taking us a while and I am happy to say that it’s coming along well and we are almost there. If you are interested in being a beta tester, please let us know.

The app performance is one of things we are always trying to improve. We have had a little bit of trouble with our hosting providers at the beginning of the month. It must have caused you some inconvenience. I apologize for that and I just want you to know that we take this seriously and we’re doing everything we can to ensure maximum performance and availability of the service.

In addition to the new mobile apps, we’ll also improve on some of the existing features in the next few months, such as goal progress tracking, recurring tasks, more ways to track habits, vision board and reporting. We have received many valuable feedback and suggestions from you. We appreciate that very much and are always open to your ideas on how to make the program more useful in helping you achieve goals.

Also we will be looking at adding more goal templates and perhaps supporting languages other than English. So if you have any suggestions or comments in these two areas, please do let us know. Again thank you for your continuing interest and support and wish you all have a prosperous and successful 2014!

How to Reach Goals When Progress is Hard to Measure

By Harry Che

Perhaps the most frustrating and unmotivated thing about working toward a goal is when we don’t see any progress. Or what we see, we are not that sure it is the real progress. When this happens, we must come up with better ways to define and measure the progress.

For example, say our goal is to start a business. For this type of goals, it’s difficult to find a quick metric that can measure our progress accurately. However, what we can do is to create many mini goals, or sub goals, or milestones for it. Whatever you call it, the key is to create a path that lines up the middle points and connects where we are now to where we will be when the goal is reached.

Back to our example, we may create this “progress path” for mapping out how we get from the start point to the end goal, which is that a business is successfully started:

Path:

  • Point 1. Start point, wherever we are right now.

  • Point 2. Collected a good set of business ideas.

  • Point 3. Evaluated and decided on one business idea to go with.

  • Point 4. A product prototype is created.

  • Point 5. Product prototype received market/user feedback.

  • Point 6. Product is adjusted or improved based on feedback.

  • Point 7. A website and sales tools have been set up.

  • Point 8. Received first order.

  • Point 9. Delivered the first product.

  • Point 10. Business has been started.

As you can see, this path contains 10 points, whenever we reach a point, we will have made a small progress, which in this case is 10%, 20%, …, until we reach point 10, we will have reached 100% of the goal.

Now for each point, we may want to further break it down if this looks too vague or overwhelming. We could use the similar progress path method to list out the sub points for reaching each bigger point. As we complete these sub points, even if we haven’t reached the bigger/parent point, we can still measure our progress. For example, if we add 10 more sub points to point 1, then whenever we complete a sub point, we make progress of 1%, 2%, 3%, etc. So on and so forth.

If we could systematically break down our goals so that they can be effectively measured, then making progress is simply a matter of completing whatever that smallest step we need to take. As long as we keep doing this, consistently and persistently, no goal in the world we cannot accomplish. If there is a path, then we can reach the end goal.

Study Backs Up Strategies for Achieving Goals

Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews has advice for those who put ‘stop procrastinating’ on their list of New Year’s resolutions: Share your goals with a friend.

Research recently conducted by Matthews shows that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.

Matthews became interested in the study of procrastination about 10 years ago after reading an article in Fast Company magazine about the “1953 Yale Study of Goals.” The premise of the study — that people who write down specific goals for their future are far more likely to be successful than those who have either unwritten goals or no specific goals at all — has inspired the teachings of many self-help authors and personal coaches.

The only trouble is that the study was never actually conducted. The 1996 Fast Company article debunked the Yale study as little more than an often-quoted urban legend.

However, Matthews’ research now backs up the conclusions long attributed to the mythical Yale study.

“With the proliferation of business and personal coaching and the often anecdotal reports of coaching success, it is important that this growing profession be founded on sound scientific research,” Matthews said.

Matthews recruited 267 participants from a wide variety of businesses, organizations, and networking groups throughout the United States and overseas for a study on how goal achievement in the workplace is influenced by writing goals, committing to goal-directed actions, and accountability for those actions. Participants ranged in age from 23 to 72 and represented a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

Participants in Matthews’ study were randomly assigned to one of five groups.

Group 1 was asked to simply think about the business-related goals they hoped to accomplish within a four-week block and to rate each goal according to difficulty, importance, the extent to which they had the skills and resources to accomplish the goal, their commitment and motivation, and whether they had pursued the goal before (and, if so, their prior success).

Groups 2-5 were asked to write their goals and then rate them on the same dimensions as given to Group 1.

Group 3 was also asked to write action commitments for each goal.

Group 4 had to both write goals and action commitments and also share these commitments with a friend.

Group 5 went the furthest by doing all of the above plus sending a weekly progress report to a friend.

Broadly categorized, participants’ goals included completing a project, increasing income, increasing productivity, improving organization, enhancing performance/achievement, enhancing life balance, reducing work anxiety, and learning a new skill.  Specific goals ranged from writing a chapter of a book to listing and selling a house.

Of the original 267 participants, 149 completed the study. These participants were asked to rate their progress and the degree to which they had accomplished their goals.

At the end of the study, the individuals in Group 1 only accomplished 43 percent of their stated goals. Those in Group 4 accomplished 64 percent of their stated goals, while those in Group 5 were the most successful, with an average 76 percent of their goals accomplished.

“My study provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of three coaching tools: accountability, commitment, and writing down one’s goals,” Matthews said.

Source: Dominican University of California

New Features: Quick Add/Edit Tasks etc.

We have just released two new features that allow you to quickly add or edit tasks in just one text input box. Click the “Quick add task” link on either Tasks or Dashboard page to add tasks. The quick edit feature is available only on Dashboard page.

1. Quick Add Task

To enter a quick task, just click the “Quick add task” link and enter your task name in the text box, and then press ENTER. You can continue to enter more tasks this way as it’ll auto focus to the next quick add edit box.

All tasks added this way will have “Today” as the due date. On Dashboard page, all your quick tasks will be automatically added to a default goal called “Daily Todo List”. You may change this goal to any other name you like.

2. Quick Edit Task

On Dashboard page, move your mouse cursor over a task name listed under the Due section, then click the task name. You will be editing the task name with an in-place text box. Press ENTER key when you are done. Like adding quick tasks, you can also include tag or set hours within the task name such as “#CALL Make an appointment 0:25″, which will create a task named “Make an appointment” with tag “CALL” and estimated hours set to 25 minutes.

We also fixed a few minor bugs around Tasks page and Habits page. Hope you enjoy the new features and improvements. Let us know if you have any feedback or more suggestions!

New Features on Calendar Page

Recently we released an upgrade which includes a few new features around Calendar page and some small fixes here and there. Most of the new features have been added based on your requests. We appreciate your continued support and interest. Please let us know anything you can think of that may help you achieve your goals.

1. View more tasks by status and tags

On Calendar page, now we have added a new column to the right, dedicated to two navigation sections. One is viewing tasks by status, such as Active, Completed, or All. The other is viewing by task tags. Tags listed here will only include those that have been assigned to your active goals.

2. Use your own colors for goals

We have added support for assigning colors to goals. Using a given goal color, the calendar page will display the tasks that belong to that goal using its goal color. By default, if you don’t assign any color, a default gray color will be used. To assign colors, go to Goals page, just edit a goal and pick the color you like. When a color is picked, the goal section title will also show in a gradient version of that color as background.

3. iCalendar feeds

We have also added iCalendar feed for “All Goals” on Calendar page. Instead of sync your GOT calendar with an external calendar, one goal at a time, you can all sync all your goals with just one iCalendar feed. To get this feed, simply copy and paste the link shown next to the “Calendar for ” dropdown list and make sure “All goals” is selected. Otherwise, you will be getting the feed link for that selected goal only.

Hope you like the new features and improvements. As always, any questions or feedback is much appreciated.

More Ways to Track Your Goal Progress

Just wanted to give you a quick update on what’s new with the GoalsOnTrack. We have made some improvements to the goal progress tracking functions so that now you can specify a starting point for your goal. Once you enter a start progress, your accumulative progress percentage will be based on that, toward your goal progress target.

This will be convenient for setting goals like savings goals. For example, if you set a goal to save $10,000, but now you already have $5000 saved before you start this goal, you can then put $5000 as the progress start.

We have also added an option for you to manually update a goal progress, without using the task outcomes. This will be useful if your goal’s measurable progress doesn’t exactly correlate with task completion. For example, for most weight loss goals, you can manually enter your exact weight as a way to update the goal progress. Or for goals like, reading a book,  you can put the exact page number as the goal progress.

These new features are entirely optional, and if you don’t need to use them, do nothing as they will not affect in any way how your goals have already been setup.

Harry

Words of Wisdom on Goal Setting

You miss 100% of the shots you never take. ~ Wayne Gretsky

Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets. ~ Nido Qubein

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. ~ Anthony Robbins

Write it down. Written goals have a way of transforming wishes into wants; cant’s into cans; dreams into plans; and plans into reality. Don’t just think it—ink it! ~ Author Unknown

Nothing happens unless first we dream.~ Carl Sandburg

When a goal matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to accomplish what at first seemed impossible. ~ Nido Qubein

The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move. ~ Brian Tracy

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~ Author Unknown

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement. ~ Brian Tracy

Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. ~ Les Brown

Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive. ~ Robert H. Schuller

It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement. ~ Mabel Newcomber

Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal. ~ Elbert Hubbard

If one does not know to which port is sailing, no wind is favorable. ~ Seneca

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. ~ Henry Ford

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible. ~ Doug Larson

Goals are dreams with deadlines. ~ Diana Scharf Hunt

To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.~ Kofi Ann

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. ~ Orison Swelt Marden

First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end!~ Aristotle

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach. ~ Benjamin Mays

The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.~ Jim Rohn

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.~ Jimmy Dean

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Every day you spend drifting away from your goals is a waste not only of that day, but also of the additional day it takes to regain lost ground.~ Ralph Marston

Goals are simply tools to focus your energy in positive directions, these can be changed as your priorities change, new one added, and others dropped.
~ O. Carl Simonton

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things. ~ Albert Einstein

By losing your goal, you have lost your way.~ Kahill Gibran

Top New Years Goals 2013

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