How to Achieve Goals the Fun Way!
Gamify your life with a goal tracking puzzle
Setting goals is a piece of cake, but achieving them is a whole different ballgame! Luckily, there are a number of ways to not only successfully meet your goals but also to have fun along the way!
Working toward something can sometimes be really stressful. If you're like me and put yourself under an incredible amount of pressure, your goals can begin to feel as if they're unattainable. In fact, if you put too much pressure on yourself, it can cripple you, and, in turn, this can really make your goals unattainable!
Tracking goals can be a fantastic way to have fun while working toward something bigger. This is particularly helpful if you have a goal that can be easily divided up into smaller segments. Here are some ideas for progress charts (great for tracking your goals!)
Using a Puzzle to Track Your Goals
A puzzle can be the perfect way to track your progress. This is a very versatile way to track a goal as it can be used for saving money for something you want, paying off credit card debt, and even if you're trying to lose weight.
To make a goal tracking puzzle:
- Find a large photo of your goal, so you can visualize what you want.
- On the back of the image, draw out puzzle pieces.
- Cut out each piece and count them.
- Divide your goal by the number of puzzle pieces. For example, if you're trying to lose 20 pounds, divide the number 20 by the number of puzzle pieces. If you have 10 puzzle pieces, each piece would be worth 2 pounds.
- Every time you complete a segment of your goal (like losing 2 pounds), you can add one piece to the puzzle.
- When the picture is complete, you have completed your goal!
This is an awesome way to not only remind yourself of your goal but to actually be able to visualize your progress.
Sticker Charts Are AWESOME
Goal Tracking with a Sticker Chart
Sticker charts are a fun way to track goals that relate more to day to day activity. These are perfect for goals that can't really be divided up into segments. Both positive and negative activities can be tracked using a sticker chart.
Create a sticker chart by listing positive daily activities, such as brushing your teeth, exercising, eating an apple and by listing negative activities (behaviors you'd like to get rid of) like drinking pop or buying something you don't really need. Put a sticker on your chart every time you complete these activities.
Joe's Goals is an online sticker chart that you can use to mark your achievements (and negative activities) as you complete them.
Online Fundraiser Thermometers
A fundraiser thermometer is very similar to the puzzle idea, but has one slight difference: you must meet a specific "segment" to be able to add a piece to the puzzle. With a fundraiser thermometer, you can add more to the thermometer each time you meet any part of your goal.
This idea is not only useful for money-related goals, but it can also be used a for a weight loss goal, using pounds or ounces instead of dollars.
You may have seen these drawn out on poster board, but fortunately, you can use an online fundraiser thermometer which you can hide away in an unpublished blog post if you'd like to keep your goal private.
What's nice about an online thermometer is that the code for the thermometer adds all the color for you, so there's no guesswork involved in how much color you should add in relation to how much of the goal you've completed. Also, there's no red marker all over your hands!
If you backtrack a little, you can make a quick edit to reflect this.
The Fantastic World of Graphs
Graphs might remind you of falling asleep in geometry, but they actually can be fun when you use them to keep track of spending, saving, or paying something off!
Bar and line graphs are the best kind of graphs for keeping track of financial goals, especially when you're tracking a long-term goal, such as paying off credit cards or a car loan! There is a huge a variety of tools you can use to create graphs on your computer from Excel and Open Office Calc (free and awesome) to websites with free graphing apps (the National Center for Education and Statistics has some free, kid-friendly graph-making tools)
Going Public: Share Your Goals with Others
Nothing is more fun than sharing your goals with others! Sharing your goals with others is a fantastic way to get motivated as well as have a bit more accountability than if you go it alone. Here are some awesome ways to get involved with others:
- Share your goals on your personal blog. (You can even post your thermometer there!)
- Get involved in a forum where others are working toward a goal.
- Join a goal setting community like where members list and share their goals with each other.
- Post your goals on Facebook and keep your friends informed. Nobody really knows how to cheer you on like your friends and family!
Remember when setting a goal to make sure it's something you actually can achieve. Setting a goal that is impossibly difficult is a great way to make you feel like giving up. Break up your goal into smaller, more achievable segments and remember to have fun with it!
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Melanie Palen