In effective goal setting, it is important to assess your daily progress towards your goals and your overall use of your time and energy. As John Maxwell so brilliantly wrote in Today Matters, “The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

Jones Loflin has developed what he calls the “5F’s” to determine if you are making progress each day toward your goals. It allows you to quickly reflect on your day and measure your productivity and effectiveness.

Here are the “5 F’s” that Jones uses everyday to track his progress:

What did I move FORWARD today?

The complexity and uncertainty in our days can make it harder to make progress on projects or goals. As Seth Godin writes in Stuck on Enormity, “When a problem appears too large, too intractable and too unspeakable to deal with, it’s easy to give up.” The key is to challenge yourself to take that right next step, whether it’s having a conversation, making a list, or writing an initial plan.

What did I FINISH today?

Because of the difficulty of this season, you need all the mental and emotional resources you can muster to make the best choices. Having your mind cluttered with thoughts of several tasks you started but didn’t finish isn’t helping. if you’re feeling weighed down by such things, set a time block in your day this week for the sole purpose of “finishing.” Discipline yourself not to shift to another activity until you’re done. Free up your brain for bigger things.

What did I FIGURE OUT today?

I’ll use myself as the case study here. I’m developing a series of on-demand online courses and a big step in the process was choosing the right online platform for the courses. I’d been avoiding it because of the many factors involved, but found that every time I worked on other aspects of the courses my mind kept coming back to the choice I needed to make. I finally set aside a whole day and plowed through all the reviews, tutorials, and features of each platform. It felt so good to finally figure out what to do. And don’t confine yourself to figuring out the big stuff. What’s something small that’s annoying you because you haven’t figured out a solution?

What did I do to FOCUS today?

While staying focused is tough on a good day, it’s harder than ever right now. The pull of checking the news or social media to monitor new developments in our world is so alluring. I’m also still hearing from clients that they are struggling to stay focused in a remote work environment or even in their old physical workspace. Don’t expect focused work to happen… create the environment for it to happen.

What did I FAIL at today?

Change has never been easy for me. And I sometimes find that I’ll default to what worked in the past instead of trying something new. Knowing I have to ask myself this question at the end of each day encourages me to take more risk and seek better solutions.

By asking yourself these five questions, they will help you be more reflective so that you can make more targeted “course corrections” tomorrow.


About Jones Loflin: Jones Loflin is a virtual speaker and coach helping people make the best choices with their time so they can thrive. He is the author of several books, including Always Growing and the award-winning, Juggling Elephants.

Topics that Jones speaks on: Leadership, life balance, time management/self- management, change, and resilience.