Get excited because I’ve got a lovely guest post to share with you today! My friend, Hannah Braime, is the founder of Becoming Who You Are, where she teaches people how to have a kinder relationship with themselves. Today she’s sharing a few of her secrets on how journaling can help you go after your goals. If this hits home for you, be sure to check out her upcoming Journaling with Heart course.
As we reach the middle of January, we’re approach the time of year when those exhilarating, shiny goals we set a few weeks ago are starting to lose their sheen. I used to find it hard to maintain any kind of resolution or habit beyond the end of January, but adding goals work into my regular journaling practice has completely changed that. Now, I keep track of my goals throughout the year, and guess what? I complete them! Seeing my goals through would be a lot harder without using journaling to keep track of my progress, plan next steps, and work through any obstacles that come up.
Whether you already journal on a regular basis or not, you can use this powerful personal development tool to turn your goals from a mere idea into a life-changing project. One of the best things about journaling is that there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to do it—the most important thing is that you experiment and find a journaling style that gives you the support and accountability you need.
Here are 10 ways you can use journaling to turn your goals into reality:
1. Write it down
The simple act of writing things down is powerful; it takes ideas out of our heads and puts them into the world. This study at Dominican University in California revealed that participants were 42% more likely to achieve their goals when they wrote them down. Recording our ideas on paper also helps clear our minds for subsequent ideas, plans, and strategies to come forward.
2. Keep it focused
Make time to journal about your big goals at least once a week. Not only will this keep your goals at the front of your mind, but each week you’ll be reaffirming your commitment and the motivation behind wanting to achieve each goal.
3. Visualize the outcome
Journaling helps you keep your eye on the prize. How are you going to feel about yourself when you reach a particular goal? How will your life be different on the outside? What other areas of your life will be positively affected by you reaching your goal?
4. Track your progress
Journaling is the perfect opportunity to give yourself a progress report of what’s going well, what you’ve found challenging, any obstacles that have come up (and how you can overcome them), and what you’ve learned about yourself over the past week. Knowledge is power, and this kind of progress review will help you stay on track and course correct if necessary.
5. Stay Accountable
Of course, writing about achieving your goal isn’t the same as actually making it happen, so use your journaling practice to commit to movement. At the end of each session, ask yourself: “Based on what I’ve written today, what one action do I want to take over the next week?”
6. Give your inner cheerleader a voice
Goals wouldn’t be goals if they weren’t challenging. Positive self-talk, willpower, and self-compassion are like a muscles; the more we practice using them, the stronger they become. Journaling is the perfect forum for giving our inner cheerleader a voice and practicing self-support when things get tough.
7. Get creative
Journaling doesn’t have to be all about pen and paper: you can inspire and motivate yourself through different mediums. Create dream boards, mind maps, collages, drawings, Pinterest boards, and explore different ways to express, visualize, and motivate yourself to reach your goal.
8. Explore your language
One of the journaling practices I find most helpful is something I call “retrospecting”. This involves reading back over past journaling entries and noticing any interesting patterns or observations, particularly in relation to language. Questions to ask yourself include:
Where are you not taking responsibility for your goal?
Where are you holding onto unfinished business?
Where are you saying “I have to” instead of “I choose to”?
Where are you giving up your power?
9. Uncover self-limiting beliefs
A huge part of achieving our goals is about personal readiness and growing into the kind of person who can make our goals a reality. More often than not, the only thing stopping us getting from where we are now to where we want to be is our self-limiting beliefs. As you journal, look for evidence of any beliefs about yourself or the world that might be holding you back. Then, ask yourself:
What is the evidence that this belief isn’t true?
What do I need to let go of to overcome this belief?
Every milestone counts, and you can use your journaling to accumulate and celebrate your wins. When we’re working towards a big goal, it’s easy to focus on how far we have to go and forget to take a look back at how far we’ve already come. Spend a few minutes each week celebrating your progress and showing yourself appreciation for how far you’ve come to get to where you are now.
Do you use journaling to turn your goals into reality? Leave a comment and share your suggestions!
Hannah Braime is the founder of Becoming Who You Are, where she teaches people how to have a kinder relationship with themselves. She is a coach, author, and creator of the upcoming Journaling with Heart course, a four-week pathway to greater confidence, authenticity, and self-awareness through journaling that starts on January 20th.
[photo credit: juliejordanscott]