Welcome back to the first week of the new year! I had the distinct honor to once again write a blog post for the Breathe Writers Conference blog – but this time, it was not a general submission call, it was a special request! I was GEEKED I tell ya!
The moderator of the Breathe blog asked me to write about how using a “habit or activity tracker” could help with our writing goals, since I find the exercise of using a habit tacker to be a very good way to help me stay on top of some very key areas in my life. Such as water intake, writing, time in devotion and bible reading, and a couple more items, but I think you get the gist of it!
Without further ado, I am going to put up my posting for Breathe below, I hope you, my fans, might consider using a ‘habit or activity’ tracker to help mark your progress in becoming more of who God created you to be and to stay on top of your new years resolutions and goals! Below is of course geared towards writing, but you can fill in the blank with whatever you fancy or would like to make sure is being done on a daily basis!
Ah, the fresh smell of a new year! As writers we often aspire to fantastic goals of how we’re going to write 1000 plus words per day, and we’re going to blow the dust off last year and make it happen THIS year! The question becomes, how are we going to make sure we keep and stay on track of our writing progress throughout month, let alone the year?
May I suggest using the ever-popular bullet journal, habit or activity tracker?
The wonderful thing about an activity tracker is that it’s a visual reminder. We are built for sight – we all love seeing the words we write appear just before that pesky blinking cursor. (Ever wonder about that word? Its’ root is curse…eek!) Even those who prefer the old school method of writing by hand love watching their words flow from the nib of their pen.
I have a tracking system that that flows well with my virtual obsession with graph paper. One of the greatest sights is watching the line I have designated for my writing fill up with beautiful red squares!
In tracking my writing I use 3 symbols to designate the type of writing I am or am not doing. If I write a blog post, for singlesliceofcheese.wordpress.com, my dystopian novel, or other writing geared towards a larger audience, I get the coveted full red square (I promise I am not a communist, red is just my favorite color!).
If however, I choose to write out my prayers for the day or only write a personal email, I get 3 or 4 hash marks filling in my square. If I am negligent and don’t write, I get an ugly red X.
Using the varied symbols method helps me to see what types of writing I did throughout the month. Some months, the line is a lovely shade of red, others, sadly look more like a one sided game of “tic tac toe”. In all of this, when I see my favorite color taking up most of the line, it becomes a race to see if I can fill the rest of the days in a similar manner.
While creating fantastical worlds, phenomenal characters and plot twists, we don’t want to over complicate how we track our progress, so here are some practical tips to “make it happen!”
- Find your notebook! It could be anything, from a fancy leather bound volume to a simple $.25 back to school, 1 subject wire-bound notebook. Whatever it is, make sure you’re willing to write in it!
- Identify your desired way of tracking the months and days. Some folks draw a calendar, some, use the days of the week, others draw a block with the dates…experiment to find your style.
- COLOR! Using your favorite colored pen, pencil, crayon or marker, discover how you want to make your writing month sing!
- Have FUN! Keeping track of your writing progress should not feel like tracking your mileage for the IRS.
- Start NOW! Make this your best writing month, turned into year!
2 thoughts on “New Year, New Goal Tracking”
I love the idea to use colors and hash marks to track writing. And that this is not mileage tracking. Ha! I’ve tried multiple methods but nothing has really stuck yet. I’m a sometime bullet-journaler and currently using Power Sheets – A One-Year Goal planning system. They have a way to track daily goals but I was just using check marks and filling in the blocks. I’m going to incorporate colors and hash marks now, thanks to your post!
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Beth, I am glad I could be of assistance to you and your goal tracking system! I really like the idea of a bullet journal – but I am more of a data keeper who loves color… I find that when I use different colors, it helps to make the piece more fun and who doesn’t like fun? Besides, when it’s fun, we’re more apt to do it and thus make the progress we were aiming for all along!