Did you make New Year’s Resolutions this year? Did you choose a word for year? Did you instead create short challenges and mini goals?

Regardless of how you set and plan goals for yourself, setting goals and planning for success can be time-consuming. If you have taken the time to make a plan, you are on track. But now that you have a plan, how do you succeed in following through?

Planning is time-consuming. Follow-through is hard. How do you make sure that you continue towards succeeding in your goal?

There is one simple task that will help. Write it down.

If you set up a schedule and put it in a prominent place, you will be constantly reminded of the goal you have set. You will either see record of the steps you have taken…or you will see blank spaces.

Updated for 2017: Get the 2017 Daily Habit Tracker here.

I have found it to be highly motivating. Over the past few months, I have recorded:

  • bedtime & wakeup times for myself
  • bedtimes for my daughters
  • number of burpees in a day
  • minutes exercised
  • miles run
  • number of books read to my daughter per day
  • water consumed
  • daily devotion read

These items are all simple to track. The single easy task of writing it down helps me to feel accountable to my goal.

I’m adding a new goal for this year. Yes, I realize it’s after New Years, but I’m not concerned because there is nothing magical about January 1. I am starting this goal today. I’m going to make sure I read to my 3 year old every single day.

For how long?

One Simple Task to Help You Follow Through on Your Goals

I am not giving myself a minimum number of minutes. I’m setting a low goal and am not setting an ideal number. Life happens and there may be a day that I cannot meet the ideal of say…20 minutes of reading.

I can always do more. And I probably will do more.

Runners often say that it’s the first mile that is the hardest. It’s getting out the door. Once you have made the decision to get up, get your clothes and shoes on and you head out the door you have accomplished the hardest part of the run…unless you have a crazy interval workout or 20 miler planned.

Whenever we cozy up on the couch under a blanket with a stack of books, I wonder why we don’t spend more of our days that way. But some days I get distracted and pass up that precious time. Now that I have set the attainable goal to just sit down and read, I have a feeling that we will be enjoying even more books than before.

And this is where the One Simple Task comes in. After reading, I will put a X on the date. Simple. Done.

Free Printable: Children Reading Tracking Schedule 2015

Get the 2017 Daily Habit Tracker here.

Free Printable Habit Tracker


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24 comments on “One Simple Task to Help You Follow Through On Your Goals”

  1. Hmmm. The reading to the toddlers I have covered, b/c they’ll randomly come up and hit me with their books if I don’t pick up on their subtle cues. I think I’ll use this approach for getting writing done!

    • Ha! It sounds like you are set for reading! I hope that it works well for you in any writing goals you may have.

  2. I’m not so much about New Year Resolutions – but it is a great time to reevaluate my goals and set some new ones… I did pick OneWord this year (Wonder) and I am working towards a few things! This post reminded me of the vital importance of setting realistic attainable concrete goals instead of vaguely reaching for the unreachable. Small goals met will bring us to those bigger goals along the way! Thanks so much! Glad we are neighbors today over at Kelly’s place!

  3. I hope your time is so special as you cuddle under a blanket and enjoy time together. I like the idea of setting tangible goals, like you described were you write them down. Thanks for the tip. You made life seem a little easier today!

  4. Visiting you today from Woman2Woman. Wow, you’re talking about writing things down AFTER you did it, is that right? I usually write it before, like a to-do list that I may or may not look at again. (Yes, I’m unorganized.) But recording afterwards is a step up in accountability with yourself!

    • Yes, I am talking about checking it off as I do it. I printed off the calendar printable and each day when I read to my daughter, I just put a quick X on the day. It’s a quick and easy way to hold myself accountable!

  5. Emily,
    Thanks so much for visiting my online home today! I love this idea of recording the minutes and how fun to read to your three-year-old every day — savoring the days — that’s what I plan to do too! :)

  6. Love this and thanks for the printable! I wrote down my goals for the month and have them on the fridge. Makes you feel good when you get to cross things off that you accomplished :)
    Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Talk!

  7. Great tips! I’ve always thought that writing things down is a huge help for staying on track. It’s such a simple, doable thing that makes a major difference. Vising from Frugal Friday – hope you have a great weekend!

  8. It’s true…just getting out the door is the first step. Just taking the time to make one first step in the right direction is a step in the right direction! Thank you for your inspiring posts…you are really kicking me in the boot to get going this year! xoxo

  9. I am a big believer in writing things down when you want to keep track or stay on target for a goal. My husband just started writing down everything he eats because he wants to be more on top of his diet. There are so many uses for this system!

    • Yes, I have done that for a time as well. While I could not do that every day for an extended amount of time, it was super helpful to do it for a few weeks. A nice reset. :) You tend to feel more accountable when writing it down. Thanks for reading!

  10. I have used a similar system for my work-outs: distance ran in upper right-hand corner of the day’s square; time it took in upper right hand corner; check mark if I stretched good first. It is indeed a helpful and motivating technique.
    Thank you for continued encouragement!

  11. I like the idea of setting my goals where I can see them. I currently have them in the back of my planner so I don’t get to see them often which means I’m not often reminded that I need to be working on them.

  12. Thanks for the great hints, writing it down is something I think is important when we are trying to achieve something and then we can always go back and have a look at what we have done. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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