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A famous author once wrote that a goal without a journal is just a wish. Find out how you can use a goal journal to increase your chances of being successful.
What is a Goal Journal and Why Should You Use One
Did you know you are more than 40% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down?
Once you start journaling you realise that a journal is such a powerful tool you want to use it in as many different ways as you can to improve your life.
Today we’re going to look at a goal journal, what it is and why using one will increase your chances of success.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote that a goal without a plan is just a wish.
When we take a vacation we generally have a destination in mind, and then we plan how we are going to get there.
A goal journal lets you do that for something you wish to achieve.
It might be losing weight, getting fit, learning a new skill or achieving success in your business.
Your goal journal will help make sure you plan out the steps you need to take to reach your destination and keep track of your successes (as well as your setbacks and failures)
It also keeps your goal right in front of your face so you keep on top of taking action steps each and every day.
You can also use it to keep all of your ideas and revelations in one place so you can go back and review them whenever you want.
For example, if you are having trouble getting motivated one day because you feel like you’ve been working hard, but making little progress, going back into your goal journal is a wonderful way to help you see that all of those little actions are already coming together to take you closer to achieving your goal.
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How to Use a Goal Journal
So what should you keep in your goal journal? Start with these ideas and add to them as you see fit.
Your goal: in detail
The first thing you need to do is write down your exact goal in as much detail as possible.
How will your life change?
Describe it in a way that makes you feel excited about what your life will be like when you achieve your objective.
By making your visualization of your success as descriptive as possible and by writing it in the present tense as if you are living it now, you create a connection with your sub-conscious mind.
Additionally, writing is a right-brained activity.
It is part of your logical and analytical mind.
However, the very act of writing keeps the right-brain occupied and allows the more creative left-brain to be accessed.
This will let you begin to create and visualize the future you want.
If you can picture in your head how you will feel when you meet your goal and what life will be like you will be more likely to achieve it.
Your Why is the big reason why you want to reach the goal you have defined for yourself.
It’s the reason you are willing to take the massive action steps needed to change your life for the better.
On days when you are lacking motivation to work towards your goal your Why is the reason you will put your big girl pants on and get hustling!
As an example if you are trying to lose weight your Why might be you want to be able to play with your kids without getting out of breath.
Coming up with your Why is not always easy, but it is so powerful it is worth taking the time to find it.
It can be helpful to ask yourself why you want to achieve your goal, and then for every answer ask why again, and again (channel your inner three year old) until you finally find the real reason.
For many of us if we were asked why we wanted to meet a financial income goal we might say because we want more money. Yet if we keep asking why, we’ll find that some of us want to be able to enjoy family time on vacation, while others want to be able to retire their husbands from a job that has them traveling away from home.
Many people will have the same goals in lives but their whys will often be very different.
Use a page (or three) in your goal journal to help you figure out your Why.
Massive action plans and schedule
Once you have documented your goal and your Why it’s time to start planning how you are going to get there.
What are the high level actions you need to take?
What is your time schedule?
Sometimes you will have an absolute deadline, like your wedding day if that is the reason why you are trying to lose weight. Other times there will be no fixed deadline, but if you set one you are more likely to actually achieve your goal.
Your high level actions need to be broken down into smaller steps so you know exactly what you need to do to achieve them.
Sometimes all the tasks you need to take build up in your head, making you confused about where you should start and what you should do next.
A brain dump is a way to just get them all down on paper without having to worry about how all the pieces of the jigsaw fit together.
A priority list
After you do a brain dump you can now organize the tasks into a priority list and add them to your daily and weekly task lists.
You can also use your journal as a planner by using it to document your task lists. Make sure you set each of them a deadline and then check them off as they are completed.
As you take action to achieve your goal, you will have aha moments when inspiration hits or something becomes clear.
Capture those ideas here so that you can refer to them later when you are ready to put them into action.
Yes, you should actually journal in your goal journal too!
Sometimes there’s nothing better than stream of consciousness writing to help you solve a problem or get your worries off your chest.
And being creative in your journal opens up your mind to new thoughts and aha moments that could help you to achieve your goal in ways you hadn’t considered before.
Using a goal journal will allow you to combine the benefits of goal setting and journaling to provide you with a powerful tool that will increase your chances of success.