Self-improvement is an empowering experience that we get to discover time after time when we commit to our goals.
Goal setting is so important for living a fulfilling life that fits your inner self-vision, and so having the correct tools to support you is crucial to your success.
That is why so many goal-setters and go-getters rely on a journal to keep them going.
Why are journals important for goal setting?
When you are on your journey to achieving your goal, it can be hard to stay accountable. The road can be challenging, and you may want to give up along the way.
Having a journal allows you to document your journey so you can see just how far you’ve come – which will encourage you to keep going.
A journal will also help you create a plan of action to follow. After all, a goal without a plan is just a dream. And you deserve to make your dreams a reality.
Finally, knowing what isn’t working on your journey is just as important as knowing what does. By journaling, you give yourself access to this powerful information that will allow you to reassess your plans and move you further in the right direction.
Six things you should write in your diary for goal setting
Now you know why keeping a journal is vital for your goal setting; what should you actually be putting in your diary for a happy, successful goal journey?
Some people may find them cheesy, but having motivational quotes scattered throughout your journal will provide you with the inspiration you need when you’re feeling down and defeated.
You don’t have to use random quotes either. You know your own insecurities and weaknesses better than anyone else, so you can hand-pick the quotes that you know you will need to read when you’re having a bad day (because, being a human being, this is bound to happen).
Pinterest is a great place to pick up some new motivational quotes that resonate with you to add to your diary.
You could even take it a step further and get the creative juices flowing by creating your own. After all, your journal, your rules!
Where do I see myself in five years?
It’s time to get serious. Ask yourself:
“Is my goal relevant to me, or is it just something I saw that I thought was cool?”
Your resources are finite, and to make a goal really stick, you need to want it deeply for yourself, not because you want to copy what others are doing.
By getting clear about the kind of life you envision for yourself in the next five years, you can contemplate how this goal will positively impact your life.
So think deeply about your motivations and write them down. This will also help when you feel lost and forget why you started your journey in the first place.
It is also important to clarify if it is something you think will be sustainable for your life. If you don’t think you can keep it up for long, is it even worth it?
Once you are clear on what you want, you need to work out how you are going to get there. Goals are achieved through small, actionable daily habits, not one-off inconsistent actions.
To help you get specific about your journey, break your goals down into milestones – a year, six months, one month, one week and daily. Get as specific as you can about the actions you plan to take.
Make sure to be realistic about what you can actually achieve – setting your smaller goals too high can be very disheartening, and you are more likely to give up.
For example, if your goal is to write a book, you wouldn’t set a daily goal of writing a chapter – it’s too much, and you will get overwhelmed quickly – which will likely cause you to give up.
Instead, set yourself a daily habit of writing 20 words a day. It seems small but building the habit is more important than writing a lot. You can always increase the word count when you have cemented the habit into your everyday life.
Daily and weekly reviews
How do you know you are moving towards your goals if you don’t reflect on them?
Reviewing your actions daily helps you see what is working and what needs to be changed – setting you up for more success in the future.
It also helps you see links between your behaviour and mood and how it is impacting your goals. For example, you may find that certain situations stress you out, and you need to take it easier when those situations occur.
Remember that any action, no matter how small, moves you forward, so don’t be afraid to slow down when you need to.
Visual progress tracker
Words alone aren’t always enough. Having visual cues that let you see your progress in an instant will help keep you motivated.
This could be a drawing representing your journey that you colour in as you move towards your goal.
It could also be taking photos of you completing your goal at significant milestones (e.g. if you are trying to do the splits, document your progress with a photo).
Goals aren’t all hard graft. You deserve a reward for all your hard work.
Scheduling rewards for hitting milestones is an excellent way to keep yourself motivated. In addition, having them written down gives you somewhere motivational to go when you have feelings of self-doubt.
It will also help you visualise your life having completed a milestone, which is an integral part of any goal journey.
Using a journal is a great way to keep yourself accountable and motivated during your goal setting and beyond.
By tracking your progress, you will learn more about yourself than you realised, and this information will propel you to the success you envision for yourself.
And remember, consistency is more important than perfection!