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Better Goal Setting and Tracking: 50 Books and 21 Tools to Achieve Your Goals

To kick off the first #Bufferchat of 2015, the Buffer team joined in as guests for a chat focused on goal setting and tracking tips and tools. With personal improvement as one of our 10 company values, it is a topic near and dear to our hearts.

Check out the full Storify recap here.

goal setting and tracking

What are your goals for 2015?

  • Sunil: “Personal goal for 2015: Would love to bring back meditation as a habit again. Last year was on and off for me. Also hoping to eat healthier, w/ more protein and reducing the simple carbs and sugar I eat, challenging for a vegetarian.”
  • Courtney: “I’d love to read a book a week for 2015. On pace so far, haha! I blogged about all my personal goals for 2015 to help keep myself accountable!”
  • Patrik: “For 2015, I’m excited to explore the possibility of getting a house, traveling, and contributing to open source projects.”
  • Dave: “I’m super excited to travel to and work from new locations in 2015, and planning a thorough declutter!”
  • Adam: “Big goal I have for this year is to stretch a bit with remote working. Would love to explore and expand my remote horizons! Currently looking at getting out and working somewhere once each week. Potentially w/my family. :) Also – I would love for this to be the year I stick my nose in code!”
  • Mary: “In 2015, I’d like to keep working on finding the place in the world that makes me happiest. Have any of you guys found that? Maybe getting a dog should be on this list too for me! :)”
  • Nicole: “I’m hoping to finish my in-progress novel this year :)”
  • Mike: “My main focus for 2015 will be on building some good habits during the year, like meditating, writing and having less stuff.”
  • Tom: “Stick to a more consistent exercise routine, to improve my webdev ability and learn more about our webdev/ops stack.”
  • Daniel: “Going into 2015 I think one of my biggest goals is to start blogging more, and to travel as much as possible :-)”
  • Niel: “Learn more languages (Spanish + Xhosa) & work on growing an attitude of gratitude. Fitness goals still being formulated!”
  • Jose: “Learn more about functional programming, travel to at least 2 new places and keep working out”


What tools do you use to track your goals?

How often do you check in on your goals?

  • Tom: “I usually track and measure my goals weekly :)”
  • Mary: “I try to remember to be patient with myself too and tune into happiness above all! :) For things like running 3 times a week, well 3 times a week! :) For big ones, I’d like to do this more.”
  • Dave: “My plan for 2015 is to check in on my long term goals monthly.”
  • Daniel: “With so many of my goals being daily actions, I find myself checking in and reflecting on them before bed (well, I try to!)”
  • Adam: “I tend to look at things on a weekly basis. Helps me to keep on track, without feeling consumed. I can be a bit obsessive at times. ;)”
  • Courtney: “I’ve noticed that goals I can break down into daily actions are more likely to be achieved. :)”
  • Patrik: “I check in on my goals whenever I find that I don’t have a good idea of where I’m at. I am generally quite relaxed with it!”
  • Mike: “Daily, my girlfriend and I talk about it a lot, and at @buffer we chat about them daily on our pair calls as well!”
  • Thomas: “I try to think about my goals on a daily basis and have posted reminders around the house to help keep me on track :)”

What makes a goal attainable?

  • Dave: “Building a habit, and also sharing goals with people helps with accountability and mutual support :)”
  • Patrik: “I’ve found that goals that are flexible, specific, and written down somewhere work the best for me.”
  • Mike: “Has to be worth it :) I feel there’s almost nothing unattainable if you are passionate about it!”
  • Niel: “For me, it depends on the goal. Ones that are between “I have to commit to this” & “that’s almost impossible” motivate me!”
  • Daniel: “I think one thing that really helps me setting (and reaching) goals is to make small step goals towards something bigger.”
  • Adam: “A thought out plan, realistic expectation, and support. From there, it comes down to follow through. Support would be my big one! :D”
  • Mary: “For me, breaking it down into small pieces. Like when climbing a mountain, ‘I’ll make it to that rock then take a breather’.”
  • Amy: “Not giving up on it ;-) <3”
  • Courtney: “Even when a habit is attainable it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Love this post from @joelgascoigne on that”
  • Tom: “Breaking a goal down into small, actionable items. Keyword is small! Take it day by day, and do a little at time.”
  • Thomas: “I think that seeing how those around you can benefit from your goals helps make them more attainable :)”

What role does community play in reaching your goals?

  • Dave: “the support and inspiration I get from my team takes me so much further than I would get on my own!”
  • Mike: “A key one! Sharing my goals and journey with the people around me makes me happy. I feel extremely lucky to share them daily with my gf & @buffer peeps on the pair calls & on mastermind sessions w @rdutel
  • Tom: “Community support is vital for me, and transparency helps hold me accountable (personal choice, YMMV!)”
  • Patrik: “Community plays a huge role! It can be so rewarding to share your goals & challenges and learn from other experiences.”
  • Amy: “My community loves and supports me when I don’t know who to do it myself. <3 My community is also often better at recognizing my progress and reminding me than I am. This is why I draw visuals. Ha.”
  • Courtney: “Letting people know about my goals can feel scary (what if I fail?) but it’s so great for encouragement and accountability”
  • Adam: “For me – it is huge! The size of the “community” may vary, but that support can make all the difference.”
  • Daniel: “For goals like blogging and exercise (two I’ll be working on in 2015) having a community of friends for support is huge.”
  • Niel: “Definitely has a role. Having someone “check” in on your progress it a super great motivator! It keeps you accountable.”
  • Mary: “I think it can play a huge one! Being part of a culture where goals are encouraged and supported has helped me tremendously.”
  • Thomas: “Community is everything for me :) It is amazing to think that we are all at different stages of the same journey.”

Best books for inspiration on setting goals:

Thank you so much for everyone who joined in on this great chat!

Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/noon Eastern and join our Google+ community for the latest news.

What are your goals for the year to come? Share them with us in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

  • Catherine Brook

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