Posts Tagged ‘journaling’

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by @anarchyroll

I have been journaling and setting goals for years. Usually journaling to help clear my mind and goal setting to focus it.

I usually don’t put much thought into the style and/or organization of my journaling and goal setting. I kept my goals in my head for the most part until a few years ago when I lost sight of who I was, where I was, and where I was going in life.

I was happy to discover that after writing my long-term goals and my goals for what would allow me to die a happy man; that I had never actually lost sight of the goals, I had just allowed myself to be shamed and discouraged by various people in my life into thinking my goals were unrealistic and non respectable.

Journaling helped me see that although I had a long way to go to achieve my goals, it didn’t matter what others thought of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. What mattered was my own piece of mind. Journaling helped me see that I had veered very far off course and had dug a very deep hole for myself. Goal setting helped me lay out a tangible and realistic plan and path out of the hole and back onto the right path.

My journaling process recently evolved for the sake of organization and archive accessibility which I’ll write about later. It was something I had thought about doing and had half heartedly done with various smart phone apps, notes, etc. But my goal setting process never really changed. I wrote out my long-term goals. Broke them down into smaller pieces to be achievable in the medium, short, and immediate terms. Occasionally, through meditation I would review them to make sure they were the things in life I wanted to pursue.

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Then within two weeks by two different people I was turned onto the concept of daily goal writing. First by my bereavement counselor Frank who proposed daily goal setting as well as using the S.M.A.R.T Goals model. Then about a week later, during my lunch break, I was listening to a podcast by Brendon Burchard that was almost completely dedicated to daily goal writing.

Physically writing out the goals is key, not just typing it out on laptop keyboard or digital keyboard on a smart phone.

At first I was just writing my base goals over and over, day after day. Then I started including some of my smaller day-to-day goals. Then I started using different wording to describe the goals. Then I started incorporating medium term goals. Then I incorporated stuff I wanted to buy followed by budgeting/saving plans. Then I started getting extra specific with how I wanted to achieve the goals and so on and so on.

As a writer this helps me a lot by getting me writing regardless of my mood or time constraints. But even people who aren’t writers, don’t like writing, and don’t care about writers or writing can and will benefit from daily goal writing. Why? Because daily writing will get you thinking about your goals and will keep the goals in the front of your mind because you are revisiting them every day by rewriting them everyday.

There’s something about physically writing something.

When you write the goal and see it written down it gives you perspective one where you are currently on your path to achieving the goal. This will get you both consciously and unconsciously thinking about the goal(s). More often than not the goal will be too generic and obscure so over time you’ll naturally;

  • Specify how you want to achieve the goal(s)
  • Put a more concrete time frame on achieving the goal(s)
  • Revisit why the goal is important to you (and if it still is)
  • Write and revise action steps to tangibly achieve the goal(s) step by step
  • Discover new goals you want to achieve
  • Realize if you are living your life in a way that lends itself to achieving your goal(s)

Daily goal writing dissolves the pie in the sky paradigm of goal setting. Putting the goal down on paper everyday rain or shine, changes the very nature of how you view and go about trying to achieve your goal(s).

This act has had subtle and noticeable changes in my life already.

  1. I’m finding it easier to focus and prioritize/schedule my time.
  2. I’m looking at how I spend my time when I’m not working my day job.
  3. I’m questioning my day job.
  4. I’m incorporating the goals into my meditation sessions by making sure to do success visualizations in addition to my usual meditation regiment.

Everyone is different and we all have different goals for different reasons. My goals are going to be different from the people reading this blog as they are different from my close friends and family. But like there are universal principles to live by, there are also actions that are universally considered helpful in life. Writing/journaling is one of them.

The most successful people in the history of the world have kept a journal of some sort which helped them achieve their goals of being successful and therefore remembered forever. One’s definition of success may not be to be remembered forever in books and tales, but anyone can benefit from using the lessons of the successful people who have come before us in doing the simple and easy things that build a successful life.

Daily journal writing is one, goal setting is another. The two make a natural combination. I hope combing the two helps you as much and more than it helps me.

 

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by @anarchyroll
4/24/2014

I recommend journaling to every human being I know. Old or young, male or female, whether they like writing or hate it, journaling is vital to personal growth. All the historical leaders we look up to kept a personal journal. Getting our thoughts out of our head, onto paper, through handwriting (not typing) is important. Why?

There is what is known as a neuro-muscular connection that takes place when you physically write out your thoughts onto paper. In essence, when you hand write your intentions, goals, wants, etc you are making a promise or signing a contract of intent to achieve.

If goal achievement isn’t your thing, then a daily thought journal is for you. Just write out what’s in your head, what’s on your mind, what you’re thinking about at the moment, and/or simply write out what you did that day. What purpose does this serve? It is like taking out the garbage or opening the window in a smoke filled room.

When garbage piles up and smoke fills a room, it makes it harder to see and move around, if not impossible. Writing out one’s thoughts, no matter how boring or mundane will help create space in your mind. So even if you aren’t writing about epiphanies, goals, desires, hopes, and dreams right out of the gate; eventually the space you create by writing out the basic stuff will foster the deep stuff to come up the surface.

Journaling is a way to cultivate the space between stimulus and response.

Remember, you are journaling for yourself, no one else. If you want to share your journal or if you want to have both private and public journals, that’s cool, but not necessary. When journaling you don’t have to worry about the quality of your handwriting, spelling, punctuation, grammar, or any of that. A private thought journal is as casual as it gets, the poetic license you give yourself won’t ever be any greater than it is there. Write what you want, how you want, when you want (though once a day is best).

Reviewing past journals is an important piece of the puzzle that many forget, including myself. I have gone long stretches without reviewing past journal entries. When I do, each time I see that by not reviewing I have been repeating mistakes, lapses in judgement, failures of character, and just flat out not progressing as much as I want to be or feel I should be. We must see where we have been in order to get a better idea of where we are and where we are going.

Journaling is beneficial for the heart, mind, and soul. It can also be beneficial for the body. You can use a journal to track what you eat, drink, and how often you exercise to hold yourself accountable to yourself during a diet and exercise program or better yet, a new healthier lifestyle.

I like to journal at the end of the day. It is like putting a period on and bringing closure to that date on the calendar of life. It lets me know that this day is now over;

  • What have I accomplished?
  • What have I failed to do?
  • What do I want to do tomorrow?
  • What do I need to do this week?
  • What can I do this month to be closer to where I want to be this time next year?
  • What must I improve upon?
  • What progress have I made up to this point?
  • What did I do today?
  • What am I grateful for?

It can be a few sentences, a few paragraphs, a few pages, or a few notebooks worth. Let it flow. Force yourself to start, but then just let your brain tell the pen what to write and when to stop. We can all be better. We can all improve. A journal is how we sign a contract of change with the most important entity in our life, our reflection.