What I Am Tracking

I mentioned that I have implemented a daily tracking system but didn’t go into great detail about what exactly I’m tracking. If you’re interested, here are those details.

    What I’m tracking

  • Wake time – Between my wife and I’s school and work schedules, our daily routine fluctuates greatly. Out of curiosity I’ve started noting what time I actually wake up each day. There is a strong possibility that I will also start noting what my mood is during the day, as I assume these (combined with my sleep amount) strongly reflect each other.
  • How long sleep? – Likely just as important as wake time, I will eventually compare this metric with other items such as how I feel during the day, mood, energy level, etc.
  • Did I floss? – A habit that I’m trying to build, and that I’ve noticed is much easier to do when I have this external motivation to do it.
  • Active? – I explained this in the previous post. Working up from being fairly sedentary to more active each day.
  • Productive? – I have so many projects going on each day that it’s easiest to simply note if I did some worthwhile work each day than anything more specific. The goal is to do something that moves a project forward. Tiny steps consistently done will help me get to my destination.
  • Network? – Take at least one action each day to connect with another person. This may be a business, scholarly, or personal connection. It can be a face-to-face meeting or a quick email. Like the productivity goal, a consistent effort in connecting with people will help me grow a strong network over time.
  • Write love note for my wife? – Sometimes it is easy to overlook writing a daily love note for my wife, but this daily reminder is helping me to meet that goal.
  • Complete school work? – There is always something to be done, even if it’s not due just yet. Why not go ahead and do something, so that it’s not all left till the last minute.
  • Read? – I read a lot, but so much of it is online or purely for school. I am making myself read some for personal reasons, whether it is fiction or non-fiction.
  • Sketch something? – I will soon be a certified artist. To build on that I am in the process of incorporating art into my daily life on a more regular basis. Like networking and being productive, the goal is to simply work on art in some form each day with the knowledge that a lot of little steps will help me to achieve long-term goals.
  • Drink more water than other types of beverage? – I’ve noticed that when I don’t drink enough water I run out of energy fairly quickly. To further complicate matters I’ve noticed that I might drink a lot (coffee, juice, tea, etc) but they aren’t as effective as water. So the goal is to drink more water than anything else. – So far, so good. Consciously being aware of this has helped me to feel better for the last week.

It’s amazing how such big goals can be condensed down into one or two word questions, each of which can be tracked so simply. Those tiny, daily steps make huge progress possible, and far faster than one would expect.

What daily steps can you take toward your goals?

8 thoughts on “What I Am Tracking

  1. Rebecca Burgener says:

    Tracking things really does help give an extra kick of accountability. I just recently taped my daily routine covered by a page protector to my table. I can mark things off as I go then at the end of the day celebrate by wiping it clean.

    It doesn’t track things long term, but at this season in life I think I would find that discouraging.

  2. Untemplater says:

    Love it! I like tracking things too. Flossing is so worth the few minutes it takes! And that’s awesome news about your artist certification. I started drinking a lot more water after I bought a thermos and a water bottle that I keep on my desk. I try to drink hot water every other time I feel like tea since it’s healthier and completely caffeine free. Skipping tea doesn’t work all the time, but I’m getting a bit better at it. 🙂 -Sydney

    • Matthew says:

      I love the idea of skipping every other tea. Recently it has occurred to me that I’m probably drinking too much coffee, and this is a wonderful strategy to help with that. Thanks!

  3. Brad says:

    Wow what a list! I love that you included writing a daily love note to your wife! What an awesome idea! Those notes will go miles to benifit your marriage, and I have to imagine that some day many many years from now, your kids or grand kids might find them and be newly encouraged and even taught about how a real man really loves his wife!

    Awesome gift to her and to generations to come!
    God Bless,

  4. Carly Miller says:

    Your list is inspiring! The tasks are small on a daily-scale, but they lead to huge things. Tracking is such an amazing idea for keeping yourself accountable to leading the live you want to live, and knowing you’re always on a path.
    Something that really helped me in this process is having an accountability partner.
    So many times I wanted to give up, or skip a task one day and the thought of breaking my word to my partner was the only thing that kept me on task. It forces me to do whatever it takes to get it done.
    I call my accountability partner every day, and we each get three minutes to say 1. Did we complete our task yesterday? 2. Whats our new task today? and 3. Any lessons learned?

    • Matthew says:


      I love the idea of having an accountability partner. Knowing that you have to actually tell someone that you were unsuccessful would certainly help keep one motivated!

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