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6 min read

Stay on track with this Notion goals template

By Nicole Replogle · June 3, 2024
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I'm always on the brink of reorganizing my whole life. I have what feels like a million aspirations—from running an ultramarathon, to writing a novel, to building yet another side business. But without a way to get my thoughts down on paper, my brain just feels perpetually overflowing with ideas, with no follow-through.

So I do what I always do when I want to get organized: I turn to Notion.

My goal tracker in Notion is a cross between a vision board and a master plan. It takes me from brainstorming to planning and execution—and even lets me track healthy habits that will get me to my goals faster.

Here's my Notion goals template in case you're also looking for a way to declutter your mind and start making headway on that next ambition. To add a copy of the goal template to your own Notion workspace, click Duplicate in the upper-right corner. Then keep reading to learn how to customize it.

Get the template

How the Notion goal-setting template works

A Notion goals template dashboard

Let's start with a quick tour of the template dashboard. 

  • On the left, you'll see links to three sub-pages: Goals, Tasks, and Habits.

  • The middle panel shows a gallery view of the Goals database. You can click on each goal to see its properties and page content. 

  • On the right, there's a progress bar widget showing the current place in the year, month, week, and day—which helps visualize how much time you have left to complete this year's goals. 

  • Underneath that widget, you'll see a simple list view of the Tasks database, displaying any tasks due in the next week.

  • Finally, there's a habit tracker at the bottom of the page. A new entry will appear automatically each day so you can check off your completed habits—and the line graph below will update to show your progress over time.

The habit tracker in a Notion goals template

How to customize your goal tracker template in Notion

The best way to make progress on your goals (especially if they're long-term) is to break them down into actionable steps and habits that you tackle one day at a time. That's why goals, tasks, and habits are the building blocks of this template. 

When setting up the goal template for yourself, I recommend starting from the big picture and working your way down to the everyday habits and action items that support your longer-term ambitions. 

1. Customize your goals

To create a new goal in the Goals database, you can either click New in the gallery view in the main dashboard, or click into the Goals page and add a new goal to the gallery view there.

Adding a new goal in the Notion goal tracker

The new goal will auto-populate with brainstorming prompts I created to help me set up new goals. Feel free to add notes as you work through the guide if that's helpful to you. 

The brainstorming prompts from the Notion goal tracker template

Start by thinking about the big picture of what you want to achieve, then refine the goal using the SMART framework: it should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

The next sections provide space for you to brainstorm about any relevant tasks and a logical timeline for completing your goal. You can also write down any regular habits that might help you achieve your desired outcome (for instance, if you're training for a half marathon, you might want to focus on drinking plenty of water and stretching before bed).

This Notion goal-setting template gives you two ways to track your progress: task-based goals and numbers-based goals.

Task-based goals

Task-based goals are simple. You'll envision a specific accomplishment (like traveling to Europe or remodeling your kitchen). Then, work your way backwards from that endpoint by breaking down the goal into the action items it will take to get there. Maybe you'll need to find a contractor, pick paint colors, and order appliances. 

As you add tasks to each goal, the Total tasks and Tasks completed properties will automatically track how many tasks you have left before your goal is finished. The progress bar property will automatically update to reflect your progress.

Adding a task-based goal to the Notion goals template

Numbers-based goals

The other type of goal is numbers-based. Instead of thinking in terms of concrete tasks to accomplish, these goals have a numerical objective—like reading 50 books or running 500 miles in a year. This approach works well for more open-ended aspirations that don't have a specific end result but instead are about building skills or tracking a hobby. Trying to reach a numbers goal is a great way to gamify your progress, even if you never want to stop growing or learning.

In that case, you can manually enter your goal number in the Objective property for that goal. As you make progress toward your goal, you can then enter the completed number into the Completed property.

A numbers-based goal in the Notion goals template

The Progress property will identify which set of tracker properties are being used for the goal, and it'll generate a progress bar automatically.

2. Add tasks

Once you've decided on your goal, it's time to break it down into actionable steps (if relevant). You can add tasks from directly within the goal by clicking + New in the related tasks list. Add due dates and notes to each task as needed. 

Adding a new task to the Notion goals template

If you like, you can also add tasks from the to-do view on your dashboard or by clicking into the Tasks page and adding an item there.

Adding a new task in the personal goal tracker section of the Notion goals template

Keep in mind that if you don't add a task directly within its related goal, you'll want to select a goal from the task's dropdown so it's associated with one on the backend.

Selecting a corresponding goal for a task in the Notion goal tracker template

3. Start tracking your habits

The habit tracker in a Notion goals template

The last part of the Notion goals template is a habit tracker. You can use this tracker separately as a way to gamify your healthy habits, or you can incorporate habits related to your current goals. 

To customize the habits, click on the three dots at the top right of the database, and select Properties. 

Selecting More > Properties in the Notion goal tracker template

Then, click into any of the checkbox properties to change its name. If you want to track more than five habits, click + Add new property to add a new checkbox.

Adding a new property to the Notion goals template

If you add a new property, you'll need to update both the Progress and Progress message formulas. Start by copying this text (but insert the name of your new property instead of habit): 

+(prop("habit")?1:0)

Then, paste it between the pair of end-parentheses in the Progress formula.

Screenshot of Notion formula highlighting the pair of double end-parentheses

You should also paste it between the double end-parentheses in these three places in the Progress message formula.

Screenshot of Notion formula with each entry of double-end-parentheses highlighted, except for the last pair

Repeat that process for each new checkbox property you add. 

Then, if the total number of checkbox properties in your database is more than five, you'll also need to update the 5 in the Progress formula to the correct number.

Screenshot of Notion formula with "5" highlighted

 And do the same in each of these three spots in the Progress message formula.

Screenshot of Notion formula with each "5" highlighted

The process is similar for removing habits. For example, if you delete the "Meditate" checkbox property, just delete +(prop("Meditate")?1:0) from everywhere it appears in both formulas, then update each 5 to reflect the new number of habits you're tracking.

And you're all set! If Notion formulas intimidate you, don't worry—the only time you'll need to mess with the formulas at all is if you add or delete checkbox properties. You can change the names of habits without affecting the progress formulas, so feel free to update your habit tracker as your goals and routines change. 

Automate your goal-tracking

The best way to ensure you stick to your new goals and habits is to find ways to simplify your record-keeping. Setting up automated workflows can keep you organized and on track without needing to be glued to your Notion goals template every day.

For example, here are a few ways I automate my Notion goal tracker:

  • Setting monthly reminders to check in on my goals. That way, I can stay motivated and make sure things aren't falling through the cracks.

    Schedule monthly events in Google Calendar with Schedule by Zapier

    Schedule monthly events in Google Calendar with Schedule by Zapier
    • Schedule by Zapier logo
    • Google Calendar logo
    Schedule by Zapier + Google Calendar
  • Sending copies of tasks to my to-do list app. It's handy to see related tasks inside my goal tracker—but on a daily basis, I only want to check one to-do list to see what's on my radar for the day.

    Create Todoist tasks from new items in Notion databases

    Create Todoist tasks from new items in Notion databases
    • Notion logo
    • Todoist logo
    Notion + Todoist

    Create Motion tasks from new Notion Database items

    Create Motion tasks from new Notion Database items
    • Notion logo
    • Motion logo
    Notion + Motion
  • Updating my goals from other apps. For example, anytime I record a new run in Strava, I update the Completed property in my yearly mileage goal.

    For every new Strava activity, send a totals and stats report to Notion

    For every new Strava activity, send a totals and stats report to Notion
    • Strava logo
    • Notion logo
    Strava + Notion
  • When I was freelancing, I also used this automation to track progress toward my yearly freelance income goal based on totals in my business spreadsheet.

    Add items to Notion databases from new rows in Google Sheets

    Add items to Notion databases from new rows in Google Sheets
    • Google Sheets logo
    • Notion logo
    Google Sheets + Notion

What will your first goal be?

Feel free to experiment by adding properties that work for you, setting up useful automations, and incorporating the goals databases into the rest of your Notion workspace.

For instance, my reading goal is linked to my book tracker so that anytime I mark a book's status as "Done," the goal's progress updates. I even have a filtered view of my Notion goal tracker embedded in my bookshelf page for quick reference.

Nicole's bookshelf database in Notion

I hope this Notion goals template is as useful for you as it's been for me. The beauty of Notion is its customizability, and it's a powerful tool for helping you get your brain down on (digital) paper—and then building beautiful systems for actually getting things done. 

Related reading:

  • How to use Notion as a to-do list (with template)

  • How to create recurring tasks in Notion with a template

  • The Notion note taking template you need to stay organized

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