Goal Tracking As A Part Of Journaling

“It isn’t where you come from, it’s where you’re going that counts.”
—- Ella Fitzgerald

This month I am covering the final gauge I suggest recovering people utilize when journaling with gauges – Goal Tracking.

In the Daily Life Plan Journal, Goal Tracking is the last area of the nine areas that you self assess every day. Instead of drawing a line as with the other gauges, with “goal tracking” we ask you to circle one of three arrows in reference to how you are progressing in achieving your stated goals.

Am I….
1) “On Course”
2) “Slightly Off Course”
3) “Very Off Course”

This simple action is very important in many ways:

1) It keeps your long-term goals in front of you daily.

2) It links your long goals with the present moment always reminding you to ask yourself, “ What can I do today that will take me closer to my stated goal?”

3) It provides you with a historical record of your progress. The daily gauges measures your successes or lack there of. The narrative you add will describe what you have encountered on the path to your goal. It is much easier to remember lessons learned when you have those lessons in writing.

Two very important things to remember while tracking your goals:

One, it is important to be kind to yourself. No one is always “on course.” Life is a continuous series of small corrections that eventually over time pay off. The more difficult the goal the more patience and persistence you must have.

(This is where life coincides with aviation. Pilots strive to be exactly on course, precisely on speed for the conditions, and at an absolute altitude. Do they ever fly these exact parameters for a significant period of time? “NO”, they are always making small corrections balancing their focus on each parameter stated above.)

Strive for perfection, do the best you can do and accept the results.

Two, you should circle the “on course” arrow any day that you feel you are overall on course with your life,  even if you are not specifically involved with daily activities that are taking you directly toward your goals. You should strive balance in your life. You need days off and vacations to replenish your energy and focus. You need family time, recreation time and quiet time. People in recovery must always recognize that maintaining sobriety comes first. Without sobriety, you will most likely lose everything of value in your life very quickly.

If you are living a balanced life, and you are working toward a goal and the time frame is off, consider adjusting your time frame. This will relieve stress and help maintain your sobriety. Simply stated:


In the Daily Life Plan Journal, on the same page as the Goal Tracking Gauge, are three more categories to journal:

1) Daily Task List
2) Monthly Goals
3) Long Term Goals

You may want to change, add or eliminate goals. The primary purpose of goal setting and journaling is to keep you aware of your feelings, desires, successes and lessons learned (some people refer to them as failures, however lessons learned is more accurate for mere mortals).

Goal setting, journaling and monitoring all tie together. We have now covered the major elements of the Daily Life Plan Journal Workbook section. In the November 2009 issue of Serene Scene, we discussed Goal Setting. We covered why setting goals is the foundation to journaling with gauges. Goal setting gives purpose to the time you spend journaling and assessing yourself.

Journaling with gauges helps you monitor the nine areas we have covered each month starting with the December issue of Serene Scene. Again the nine areas we monitor daily with gauges are:

Monitor yourself in the first eight areas by simply drawing a line on the gauge. The last gauge requires you to simply drawing a circle, as mentioned above. I suggest you write in detail about your feelings, emotions, resentments, affirmations, gratitude and joys. You may write under the gauges or on the blank sheet provided for each day.

Just write – don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar, you are writing for you and you only. Write to you laugh and write to you cry. Express yourself openly and honestly, don’t hold anything back.


This concludes the goal setting, journaling with gauges and monitoring our progress part of the Daily Life Plan Journal.

Please look for my futures articles covering: Affirmations, Types of Denial, Personal Finances in Recovery, Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace, My Story.

Last but not least I want to hear from you. I would like your input on the articles and the Daily Life Plan Journal. Fell free to contact me through my website: dailylifeplanjournal.com or through my email: larrysmith747@gmail.com I am available to come to your facility or workplace for a presentation.

Thanks for reading, Larry 949 933-2505