Welcome to the sixth session of Journalling School. In today's session we'll be looking at how your journal can help you achieve your personal goals.
Firstly, you have to explain what your personal goals are. For each, journal about what the goal is, but also:
- Why this goal is important to you
- What achieving it will mean to you
- When you want to achieve it by
- What plans and ideas you have for achieving it
Next, you should revisit your goals regularly, perhaps monthly and perhaps one goal at a time. When you do this, write about:
- What you have done to get nearer to the goal(s)
- What you are going to do next
- What other ideas you intend to try
- Whose support you need and how you plan to get it
Here is where your journal and your planner really come together. When you have finished your goal review, transfer all of the ideas and actions into your planner. Where you can, write actions into your calendar on fixed dates. Where you cannot schedule definite actions, schedule planning time or make some entries in your task lists. Also, pop a post it tab or a bookmark in your journal on today's entry so that next month you can review the entry and hold yourself accountable when you review your progress again.
What you'll find when you start to consciously plan and pursue your goals in this way is that they stop being just dreams and start to become conceivable reality that you are working towards. Of all the outcomes you might find journalling gives you, this is perhaps the most tangible and life-changing.
It isn't just your life goals that you can use this technique for. You can use the same approach for any change you want to bring about - say, changing your career or getting fit. Start by writing about the change you want to make, why you want to change and what making the change will mean to you. Then, regularly write about what progress you've made, what you want to try next and what other ideas you have. Use your planner and keep holding yourself accountable.
HomeworkIf you have already written your personal goals, then write about them in your journal this week. Pick one or two goals a day and consider them from all angles. In particular, talk about what achieving the goals will mean to you. If you haven't yet written personal goals, then use your entries this week to explore what they might be; think and write about what you want to achieve professionally and personally, at work and in your relationships. Finish the week with a list of 4-8 goals you want to commit to.
Put a note in your planner for when you want to review progress towards your goals. Do it straight away, even if you haven't written your goals yet.
That was the sixth session of Journalling School. In the next session we'll be looking at problem solving in your journal.
Feedback, thoughts and ideas are welcome, as ever. Please share your experiences in the comments.