Concrete Goals Tracker 2010 Updates

Concrete Goals Tracker 2010 Updates

Concrete Goals Tracker Updates

Pursue Tangible Results to Achieve Greater Goals

The Concrete Goals Tracker (CGT) is the original Printable CEO™ form, created one evening in 2005 to alleviate my desire to have a “trusted personal CEO” that would tell me what to do. I figured since I couldn’t hire anyone to do the job, I might be able to go the cheap route and print one up on paper :-)

Designed for Minimal Tracking Effort

Task list The idea is pretty simple: every time you complete something on the “worth doing” task list, you award yourself points. ONLY things you’ve done that produce tangible benefits are worth points, and the point scale is weighted so the most goal-directed criteria earn the most. Goal-supporting achievements, which tend to happen more frequently, are weighted less. It’s up to you whether a task “counts” or not toward your goal. You can even award multiple points for a single task if it makes sense to you…try your best to optimize!

The list shown here is designed to create a successful freelance practice, based on the idea that “showing and talking about your work leads to more work”. It lists categories of tasks that can be framed as being productive relative to your overall goal. For a freelancer, that’s making stuff and showing it to people, and also talking to people constantly so you are on their mind. It all pays off when you get that check. There’s a small business version too in the downloads section.

Tracker As you accomplish various goal-related items throughout the day, fill in the appropriate bubble to log the points. At the end of the day, you will see how well you did (or didn’t). Each CGT form tracks an entire week, so you will see how you did every day, and week-by-week…and most importantly, what you did to move yourself along your path. Since the items on the task list award points only for tangible results, you will have made actual progress.

The theory behind the form itself is described more in the original 2005 post on the Printable CEO and the followup Making of the Printable CEO; there is a good bit of video game design psychology embedded in this paper form.

Overall Application

The CGT has evolved into a bunch of other forms that help visualize different aspects of my workday, and I no longer use it daily because it actually did its job: it got me focused on some processes that actually deliver meaningful result; all I had to do was focus not on what they were, but how I could tell if I was on the right path or not, and whether my daily output was really helping me forward. The idea is pretty simple: by focusing on making things that people can see and counting what you’ve done in a simple daily manner, you plant the seeds for daily progress. This is a high level guidance tool, much like the way a good manager will tell you what she needs and you pick your own way of making that happen without a lot of micromanagement. With luck, this is a form you use to get started in a new direction, and then you will pretty much know what you need to be doing. I haven’t heard much feedback about it lately, but the general impression I have is that people use it for 2 weeks to six months, then move on.

The concept is translatable to different fields too. For example, there was also some interest from a magazine, so I created a small business edition based on that.

Make New Year’s Resolutions Printable Lists with the Editable Versions

There are “write-your-own” PDFs with suggested methodology for how I put together a good “worth doing” list, which is an art in itself. I’ve written instructions on how to create new year’s resolutions using these forms. By using the make-your-own printable versions of the CGT, you can put together a pretty decent goal tracking kit using either 8.5×11 paper, index cards for you Hipster users, or mini-book formats (pocketmod compatible, even). There is also an editable Excel version.

Note: You’ll need to use Acrobat Reader to modify the text fields in the editable PDF versions.


Download 2010 Concrete Goals Tracker Printable Forms

Standard Form


3×5″ Index Card Printable Formats

Index Card Formats


PocketMod / MiniBook Format

The End Result

How to Fold


Editable Excel Goals Tracker

Excel Editable

  • Download Editable Excel version. It isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done. Use to create your own variations in points. Note that this is not an interactive calculator or tracker spreadsheet as is.

For an overview of all the forms available, visit The Printable CEO™ Series Page. Enjoy!

23 Comments

  1. Tobias Zimpel 12 years ago

    Hi David,

    thanks for the great work. I often used your PCEO-Forms before, and they helped me a lot.

    However, I would enjoy a CGT form designed for professional bloggers with things like write content, marketing, etc. pp.

    Since you blog yourself, I wonder if you could put together a form especially for pro bloggers. I guess that there are many people out there who would find such a form useful, too.

    TIA!

    PS: I wish you all a great 2008!

  2. cone johnson 12 years ago

    The download labeled “Editable Excel Goals Tracker” doesn’t appear to be an editable excel doc; might it need to be updated? (I’d love to have one to use – looks great)

  3. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Tobias: That’s a great great idea…I totally need to do that!

    Cone: It’s a ZIP file archive that contains the Excel document, which is the way that software is usually distributed online. You’ll have to double-click it to open it, and then you can get the file inside. I just double-checked the download and it is working fine for me. Here’s a link describing how to unzip a file. Good luck!

  4. Rod 12 years ago

    Hi David!

    First of all: thanks for the tools you’ve created! :D

    I’ve read about PCEO in your blog months ago, but it took some time to me to figure out the meaning and uses of PCEO’s tools (maybe cause my English knowledge :P). At the end I started using the Concrete Goals Tracker and the Compact Calendar (a little bit).

    In my own CGT I have three +1 points and I’ve found that during the day I do many things that fits in one of these three points. In your schema you’re using just 4 boubbles to take note of each kind of point, but it seems I need something like 8-10 bubbles.

    So I have a question: there is a non-design motivation for your 4 boubles? Or I have chosen to general +1 point?

    Maybe my question is better in a forum about CGT usage, I don’t know, but I would be glad if you leave a comment about that (or a post :D)

    Bye!

  5. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Rod: There’s no specific scheme I had for that point distribution, other than it seemed about right for my application. In general, though, I wanted to keep there from being TOO many things to track, and have the things themselves generally applicable so people could apply them “creatively”. This appeals to tricksters so they can try to justify an extra point or two, and in this case it’s actually OK because the form’s intent is to encourage directed action of ANY kind to develop the CEO mindset.

    If you’d like, I just opened a forum thread on creating CGT Task Lists. Feel free to post there!

  6. cone johnson 12 years ago

    Thanks for your reply – I had no problem downloading or unzipping – I should have been more explicit. Once unzipped there were only xml files. I’ll be the first one to admit my excel knowledge is limited so I don’t know how to get those open in my excel app.

  7. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Cone: That’s very odd. There should be exactly one .XLS file in the archive, which you can double-click for Excel will open them. This is assuming that you’re on a Windows PC with the .XLS filetype associated with it. If you are seeing anything else other than a file called “PCEO-CGT01-Excel.xls” after you unzip, you are either downloading the file somewhere else (not from this post), your unzipping utility is somehow not working, or you might be unzipping the wrong file (the archive is named PCEO-CGT01-Excel.zip)

  8. Sergei Shelukhin 12 years ago

    Bah, and where do I put learning and creative work/coding done merely for the improvement of skills, to try out a new technology or master the process of doing something (unbillable and not intended for publishing)?

  9. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Sergei: To answer that, ask yourself what can you physically produce as a tangible artifact. So if you learn something, what did you MAKE that you can (1) show to someone or (2) explain to someone? If you focus on delivering tangibles, that helps the point values stay meaningful. It would otherwise be pretty simple to say, “oh, I read something and learned something” and that by itself isn’t useful or credible. But saying “I learned this, and made this program to demonstrate that I learned it” works. You’d award yourself 5 big ones.

    If learning is your primary goal and not billables, I would create my own custom list.

  10. cone johnson 12 years ago

    David: Mystery solved. It worked like a charm when I downloaded on my PC laptop. Upzipping on Mac yielded those weird xml files. :-/

  11. David 12 years ago

    Thank you for all of these non-traditional traditional tools.  Thought it was only me who prefered (needs) paper to think, plan, and explore.

    As a member of the literati generation who has ascended to the digerati, I simply cannot plan anything on-screen.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a Word doc, excel, or a digital project planner; must have something to “write on.” 

    Write, as in pen on paper not pixels on a screen. 

    Kudos from a “born again as tech savant” fifty-something!

  12. Victor 12 years ago

    David, this is a great site and an excellent work.

    Thanks for your help.

  13. Amílcar Tavares 11 years ago

    Dear David,

    I love your work and I’ll try to use them this year to achieve my goals.

    Thank you!

  14. harry 11 years ago

    Thanks Dave, that’s a great goal tracker!

    Thought you’d be interested in checking out a nice goal tracking web app http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com.

  15. Kalle 11 years ago

    Thanks a lot for the PocketMod version!

  16. harry 11 years ago

    David,

    How did you print it on that 3×5’ index card? Or did you just print it on normal paper and cut it up?

    Harry

  17. Dave Seah 11 years ago

    harry: I actually printed it on cardstock and cut it by hand for the photo. You could use Avery templates too (the template # should be listed on the PDF). My printer actually can print on 3×5 and 4×6 index cards if I take the time to set it up, but it’s kind of a pain.

  18. harry 11 years ago

    Thanks David.

    It might be a good idea to sell those index cards already printed. I’d love to find and buy something like this in a bookstore.

  19. EJ 11 years ago

    Billable work = 10
    Maintaining or new relationship = 1

    You are going to be a lonely man…even with $ in the bank

  20. Dave Seah 11 years ago

    Harry: It would probably have to be part of a complete system; it’ll take a while to get that into the stores, but this year I’m going to take a stab at integrating everything together.

    EJ: Keep in mind this is for building a freelance graphics business, so the sample weighting is skewed toward that. In my case, I already spend a lot of time relationship building, so I don’t need additional incentive there. This is explained in the original 2005 post, but I have neglected to reiterate it here.

  21. Nora 10 years ago

    Hello David, I have been trying to use your forms for a while, but my calendar is a computer program. I need it because I have many repeating appointments. (I am a therapist.) But I love the look of your forms and particularly appreciate the emergent task planner. Just wish I could get my calendar to transfer data into it for scheduled appointments. I would love to be able to put them together.
    Nora

  22. Stelgard 10 years ago

    Hi,
    I really like these templates. I’ll try to use some of them in the next days.
    Btw there’s an error in te “PCEO-CGT03x5-AcroEdit.pdf” file. The year is set to “2009” in 2 of 3 of them. Can u make the year field editable? Just to reuse these next years…ty

  23. shane 9 years ago

    this is exactly what i’ve been looking for – why not make something like this an app as opposed to printing out forms?

    regardless, this is awesome and something i use every day