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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

6 Best Goal Setting Journals to Help You Stay on Track

6 Best Goal Setting Journals to Help You Stay on Track

The challenge most people face when attempting to change their life is feeling everything needs to happen immediately. You are tired of not eating healthy, ready to start that new career, and determined to live your dream life. This tends to lead to a feeling of frustration as most transformations take time. A great tool to help you stay on track and motivated is a goal journal.[1]

Goal Journals Give You Perspective

How do goal journals help you stay on track you ask? Well, when you are tracking your progress, it helps you to stay motivated because you can see the results. What often happens is you are too close to the issue to notice the changes that have already occurred. So when you are frustrated and feel like quitting, you can simply look in your journal and recall your successes.[2]

Think of it like when you were a kid and you would visit your grandparents every so often. Your grandparents could not stop talking about how much you have grown since the last time they saw you. You are sitting there thinking, ‘I may have grown a couple inches.’ The difference is you see yourself every day, so you do not notice the gradual changes.

When you are transforming your life, the gradual changes can frustrate you because you are not where you want to be. In other words, you are only comparing where you are today to the end goal. By documenting your progress in your goal journal, you allow yourself the ability to compare where you were to where you are.

Progress Is the Key Motivator for Everyone

When you feel like you are making progress, you are encouraged to continue. That is why so many people quit their goals each year. They do not feel they are making any progress. This could be the result of them not setting reasonable goals, but it could also be the result of them not realizing all the progress they have made.

When determining which goal journal is best for you, there are several things to consider:

When looking at the basics, you want the ability to write your goals in your journal. These goals should be broken down into short term or long term goals.

Categorizing your goals is also a great idea. You can categorize them as to whether they relate to your health, relationships, professional development, and personal development.

Now these are not the only categorizes you can use, but they are a good starting place. Categories are good because they ensure you are focusing on all aspects of your life. Each of us seek balance when it comes to how we feel about our life. The goals you are making for yourself today are based on perceived aspects of your life where you feel you are lacking. However, if you only focus on the problems of today, you run the risk of creating other problems in the future.

One Step Forward, One Step Back

For instance, if you feel your career is stagnant and want to focus on professional development, you may set a goal to read five books on leadership or to attend a conference. What you may notice over time is your professional development improves, but your health has declined. As your professional life flourished, you felt you did not have the time to work out or eat healthy anymore. By writing a balanced set of goals, you enable yourself to create a blueprint to your dream life [3].

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In addition to writing your goals, you can use your goal journal to help you focus on being more grateful, productive, or patient with your loved ones.

There are so many aspects of your life you can focus on with your goal journal, so it is important for you to be clear about your objective.

Now that you have a good idea about what you are doing with your goal journal, you only need to know which one to buy:

1. The Freedom Journal

    After thousands of interviews on his podcast, John Lee Dumas noticed some commonalities among the most successful entrepreneurs. He took the science of accomplishing goals and created the Freedom Journal. The Freedom Journal boasts of the ability to help you accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days.

    Among some of the things this journal does, it helps you to set daily action plans, nightly reviews of your day, 10-day sprints to accomplish micro-goals, and quarterly reviews to identify any adjustments needed.

    What people are saying:

    “Came back to reorder another one for my next goal. My current goal was 25k in profit for my business. 7 days left and we are at the 24k mark! This journal is such a huge part of my routine now days and I don’t see myself neglecting this habit! Thanks john!” from Wicked Cushions.

    Check out The Freedom Journal.

    2. The 5 Second Journal

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      Mel Robbins is a best-selling author of The 5 Second Rule and she uses her same research-backed approach to help people take action, get results, and live a more courageous life. This journal is designed to help you deal with overwhelm, be more productive, more confident, and become your happiest you.

      What people are saying:

      “What a blessing to get this in time to welcome the new year! This is a perfect morning companion to steer my day to the right direction. I just love the layout and all the components per spread. There’s enough space for my daily to do’s, schedule/appointments as well as personal growth, long and short term growth and goals. The book lays flat which i appreciate very much plus the pages are smooth to the touch. High quality and elegant all around. Absolutely great for writing and journaling! Love it!!!” from Chef Hazel.

      Check out The 5 Second Journal.

      3. The Daily Stoic Journal

        Stoic philosophy has been around for thousands of years and many attribute it some of the wisest leaders, talented artists, and skilled athletes. This journal leaves space for you to add your goals and take notes, but it also includes stoic advise and insight you can implement into your life. Its promise is to help anyone who is seeking inner peace, clarity, and effectiveness in a crazy world.

        What people are saying:

        “This book literally changed my life. I bought it on a whim hoping that I would find more focus in 2018. I found that really taking the time to consider these teachings each day and writing down my thoughts helped to put the in my brain for the rest of the day. So much so, that I started a daily podcast about Stoicism, and in working on these ideas everyday, I’ve changed the way that I look at the world. I handle emotionally stressful situations better, I’m not worried about the opinions of others since, and I focus on the one thing I can control, myself.” Review from Erick C.

        Check out The Daily Stoic Journal.

        4. The Bullet Journal Method

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          The Bullet Journal Method is designed to help you track the past, order the present, and design the future. Ryder Carroll believes his goal journal will help weed out distractions and start focusing on intentional living. There are variations of the bullet method, but Carroll is the originator and his book will help the seasoned veteran, as well as the bullet journal newb find ways to successfully change their life.

          What people are saying:

          The bullet journal method is an excellent and highly adaptive life-organizing methodology. Review from Spooks101.

          Check out The Bullet Journal Method.

          5. Panda Planner

            This planner was named the best planner you can buy by Business Insider. The Panda Planner is scientifically designed to make you happier and more productive. The Panda Planner is part agenda, part gratitude, part journal planner, part schedule, part goal planner, part life organizer, and all productivity.

            If that were not enough, it also comes with free videos and scientific strategies you can use right away to help you in all areas of your life.

            What people are saying:

            “I love planners, and I always seem to buy them and never keep up the habit of filling them out everyday. This planner changed all of that. From the very first day I filled it out until now, two weeks later I feel more productive and I’m accomplishing more of my goals simply because I laid them out.” Review from Nichole P.

            Check out Panda Planner.

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            6. Go Journal

              This journal was made with the busy professional in mind. It is simple and only requires 10 minutes per day. There is a section on gratitude, personal development, dreaming big, and living well.

              You can use this journal to help you flush out ideas and plan for the future. There are questions every day to help you define your goals and will help you achieve work/life balance.

              What people are saying:

              “You cannot go wrong with this book. I use this for my personal goals, which are sometimes mixed with my professional goals, but mostly it helps me separate my home life from my work life. We often hear about life balance yet we are so tired at the end of the day that we neglect to find ways to make that balance real.”. review from Jojo G.

              Check out Go Journal.

              Bottom Line

              The goal journal you choose is going to depend a lot on the outcome you are trying to create. However, it is important to remember that these journals are not magical. It is going to require work and consistency to get the results you want.

              The good news is, if you put in the work and follow a proven blueprint of these six journals, you are sure to succeed.

              More Tips About Achieving Goals

              Featured photo credit: fotografierende via unsplash.com

              Reference

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              Last Updated on July 8, 2020

              How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

              How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

              What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

              When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

              In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

              While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

              As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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                Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

                Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

                The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

                But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

                However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

                This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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                Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

                We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

                Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

                Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

                The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

                When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

                When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

                How to Make Decision Effectively

                Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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                1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

                You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

                Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

                Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

                2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

                You don’t have to choose all the time.

                Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

                Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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                3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

                You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

                The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

                Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

                Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

                So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

                More Tips About Decision Making

                Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

                Reference

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