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10 Ways Journaling Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Journaling is well known in the domain of self-help and personal development, but less so in business.  However the influence of journaling is beginning to grow among business people.  

The reason is simple - the process just works.   There is a reason why journals of the famous have been used to inspire and educate people for generations.  

I can think of a few right now:  people of courage such as Anne Frank, and Benjamin Franklin. Creative game-changers such as Lewis Carroll, and C. S. Lewis, and important political observers such as Samuel Pepys, and George Washington.

For me the word journaling refers to the process of listing goals and activities required to achieve them and then monitoring results with some form of self-reflection. Journaling can and does boost your ability to succeed.

Now we are firmly in the 21st Century there are a number of different journaling devices on the market, from books to apps.   Journaling is now something that is accessible everywhere.
Here is why you should give it a go:  

1.  You can use journaling to articulate what you seek and how you might achieve the goal

One of the great things about journaling is how it keeps asking the “Where are you now? Where are you going? How are you going to get there?” type questions. In the flurry of day-to-day activity we often get lost and lose perspective. Journaling keeps bringing you back to the “Why?” question. Why are we doing this? What is the purpose?

2. Journaling is a great place to store ideas, notes or novel concepts

It is great jotting things on Post-It notes but sometimes it is better to store all those ideas in one place. Such a place can become a treasure trove of great ideas.

3.  Journaling is an opportunity to step back and reflect

Once a week you can review the week just gone (and preview the week ahead). This is a great discipline to get into. You can check lessons learned. As little as 15 minutes on, say, a Sunday night, can prove invaluable.

4. Journaling is a way to prepare yourself for the coming week: to get your ducks in a row

At the same time as reviewing the week just gone, you can preview the week ahead. One exercise morphs into the next. What did I learn? What do I need to do better? What’s the one thing I need to nail next week?

5. You can use journaling for time management and to prioritize your schedule

Beware of the tyranny of 'to do' lists. Endless lists that become your raison d’etre. Push activities off the 'to do' list and into the schedule. Commit a set amount of time and only do what you want to do. Kill the 'to do' list!

6. The journal keeps you on the straight and narrow, reminding you of what is (and what is not) important

Blinded by our own apparent self-importance and ‘busyness’, we often lose sight of what it is that we are actually trying to achieve. Regular use of a journal reminds you of your ambitions and goals and challenges and makes sure that your current activities are relevant to these bigger goals.

7. A good journal is like a teacher – you learn from the process

The process of reflection is a great teacher. We learn about ourselves and what does and does not work for us.

8.  Writing in a journal you see and hear yourself as if you were an outsider

Bizarrely, the journaling habit is that of a voyeur. Part of you acts as observer, watching your own actions and activities as if from a distance. Spooky but very informative.

9.  Your journal is a place to build your dreams step by step, week by week, month by month

The regular use of a journal enables you to see your small actions creating a larger whole, systematically. Progress - too fast or too slow - gets constantly monitored and evaluated and you can adjust your tactics and strategies as you feel fit.

10 . Your journaling provides a safe harbour

The journal does not judge you. It is neutral. It is a place you can visit without fear of being judged by others. It is a space that you own for yourself.

Robert Craven

Robert Craven

International Keynote Business Speaker

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