Journaling can help you achieve your goals, dreams and desires because it will force you to think about them, consider the why and how, and delve deeper into the situation so that you can examine all sides of it.
When it comes to writing a book I set a big goal –
I will write and publish this book by…
I then break it down into mini-goals so that I get it done. E.g.
- Test write
- Write the first chapter
- Edit first chapter to check for flow
- Get to the first draft
- Cover design
- First proof
- Second Proof
I write often in my journal and this helps me to explore my goals and get things done.
I stick some dates next to what I want because a dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal with daily aligned actions helps me to make my dreams come true.
The great thing about this approach is the accountability. Even if no one else is reading your journal, a private journal can help you become accountable to yourself and your goals. By writing down your daily actions, you will start to become accountable. You will enjoy writing about your success in the back of your journal. That is, of course, if you have actually carried out your action list.
What I also find is that when I am focused on my goals in my journal I can also explore blocks and resistance coming my way.
For me, journaling is a brilliant way to work toward achieving all your goals, dreams and desires. It will even help you make better goals and set clearer intentions because the process of writing in your journal and reflecting will enable you to see the patterns and pictures of your life. This may help to ‘save’ your life, career or business as you will be able to see what works and what doesn’t from the feedback and reflections in your journal. You’ll know when to change direction and where to place your focus.
Setting SMARTERR GOALS
A goal, particularly if it’s a smarter goal, is something we believe we can reach. Resolutions, on the other hand, tend to be pretty vague. We want to lose weight, get back in shape, stop smoking or make more money. None of that is very specific. How much weight do you want to lose, and in what time frame? When do you want to quit smoking, and how will you get there? What does it mean to you to be in shape? How much money do you want to have in the bank, and what do you want to save it up for?
Step one – Be more specific
Goals are specific. You can set achievable goals with a deadline and milestones or mini-goals along the way. Then you can have mini successes which will keep you motivated.
What’s the goal you’d like to reach? Put down a number, or describe what your end goal looks like. When do you want to reach your goal? How will you feel when you achieve your goal?
Next, set some mini-goals. If you have a big goal like writing a book, set mini-goals instead of writing a series of blogs or a chapter a month. Check-in every couple of weeks and make sure you’re still on track. If you can, get ahead of schedule. Things will happen, you’ll get sick, or something else will demand your time. Getting ahead of your goal schedule gives you a bit of a buffer to work with. And all this tracking in your journal will help you keep accountable and on track.
Set two – Measurable
You must be able to track progress and measure the result of your goal. A good goal statement answers the question, how much or how many. How will I know when I have achieved my goal? Write this in your journal. Perhaps create a grid of what you are tracking and tick things off.
Step three – Achievable
Your goal must be achievable with a little stretch in it. There is little point in creating something that is way beyond your reach. In your journal, ask yourself – is your goal achievable?
Step four – Realistic
Your goal should be stretching but realistic and relevant to you and your business. Make sure the actions you need to take to achieve your goal are things within your control. Check-in with your journal. Do you feel any resistance? This is telling you that something is not quite right. Explore and then check in again.
Step five – Time-Bound
Goals must have a deadline. A good goal statement will answer the question, when will I achieve my goal? Without time limits, it’s easy to put goals off and leave them to die. As well as a deadline, it’s a good idea to set some short-term milestones along the way to help you measure progress. So, when will you get your first draft done?
Step six – Ethical
Goals must sit comfortably within your moral compass. Most people resist acting unethically. Set goals that meet a high ethical standard. So, for example, if you are writing a book, you would make sure that it is your legal content.
Step seven – Recorded
Always write down your goal before you start working towards it. That’s what we have been talking about. Written goals are visible and have a greater chance of success. In addition, the recording is necessary for the planning, monitoring and reviewing of progress.
Step eight – Reflect often
Make sure you reflect often. This is the only way to know if you are on track and doing what lights you up. Your journal will certainly let you know…
It feels good when you reach a goal, doesn’t it? It’s internal positive reinforcement. So at the back of your journal, keep a record of your successes so that when you feel a bit meh, you can celebrate how far you have come with your goals.
Are you ready to adventure with yourself? Join me in The Journaling Club, where you will get to explore different aspects of yourself each month. You’ll get to know yourself better and know what you want.
Dale Darley, AKA The Word Alchemist. Dale is a prolific writer and journaler. She teaches others how to write to heal and then how to heal others through your writing. She has used writing to heal for understanding and healing the effects of childhood trauma, narcissistic relationships and illness. Writing has supported Dale in her journey to love herself and refind her wild.