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Last Updated on July 21, 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]

Why Do You Need a Goal Journal?

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.

6 Best Goal Journals to Help You Reach Your Goals

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 September 24, 2020

              How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule to Succeed in Life

              How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule to Succeed in Life

              The world of productivity has several hacks or tricks to help you manage your time: to-do lists, the Pomodoro Technique, Parkinson’s Law… All of these strategies are great strategies in their own way, but one strategy stands above all the others: the 80 20 rule.

              This particular strategy has been used the most and is regarded as the most helpful in developing time management and other concepts in life.

              But what’s so special about this rule? How does it give you success and how do you use it? Let’s explore the specifics.

              What Is the 80 20 Rule?

              Many people regard this rule as the 80 20 rule, but it has a proper name: the Pareto Principle[1]. The principle was named after its founder,  the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in society were divided into two categories:

              • The “vital few,” which consisted of the top 20 percent with respect to money and influence.
              • The “trivial many,” otherwise known as the bottom 80 percent.

              As he researched this further, he came to discover that this divide didn’t apply only to money and influence, but other areas, too. Virtually all economic activity was subject to his previous observation.

              He observed that 80% of Italy’s wealth at the time was controlled by only 20% of the population.

              Since the development of this rule, humankind has used this particular ratio in all kinds of situations. Even if the ratio isn’t always exact, we see this rule applied in many industries and in life. Examples are:

              • 20% of sales reps will generate 80% of your total sales.
              • 20% of customers account for 80% of total profits.
              • 80% of the revenue will stem from 20% of the workers.

              Either way, I’m sure you can piece together why people call this rule the 80 20 rule over Pareto’s Principle[2].

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              Make Your Life and Your Business More Efficient with the 80-20 Rule - Salesforce Canada Blog

                In terms of how this particular rule will be able to work for you, it’s a matter of applying this rule to how you spend your time. For us to see success, the goal is simple.

                We need to set it up in such a way that 20% of our input is responsible for 80% of our results.

                Another way to think about it is we use 20% of our time on activities that give us 80% of our results in a given area of life.

                How Does the 80 20 Rule Work?

                To best explain this, let’s visualize a bit.

                In an ideal world:

                • Every employee would contribute the same amount of effort to work.
                • Every feature that’s released for an app or product would be equally loved by users.
                • Each business idea you come up with would be a hit.

                In that scenario, planning would be a breeze. There wouldn’t be any need to analyze anything so long as you put in the effort.

                But that’s not reality.

                Yes, the effort is certainly an element, but what the 80 20 principle states is that everything is unequal. Invest in 10 start-up companies, and you’ll find only a few will pass year two and make it big. You’re in a team of five, and there’ll be one person doing more work than others.

                We wish our lives were always one-for-one in terms of input and output, but that’s simply not true. Understanding this is key to understanding how the 80 20 rule really works.

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                So how does it really work?

                It’s a matter of focusing on what’s giving you the most in your life for little of your time.

                Going back to the few examples I’ve presented above, consider this:

                • If two start-ups you invested in are making it big, focus on having a more direct hand, and see if you can help them prosper more.
                • If 20% of sales reps are giving you 80% of your sales, focus on rewarding those and keeping their spirits high and motivated.

                These scenarios can go on and on, but the idea is to place your efforts on the 20% that is actually making the difference in your life. Another term that’s good to know is the diminishing marginal utility[3].

                Pareto didn’t come up with this one, but the law goes as follows: each extra hour of effort or worker will add less “oomph” to your finished results.

                Eventually, you’ll hit a point where you will spend a lot of time on small and unimportant details, similar to perfectionism.

                So before hitting that point, you want to have a laser focus on the most important details, from family and relationships to your work or business. Prioritize the activities that are going to move you forward the most, and be wary of adding extra time, effort, or more hands into those particular tasks moving forward.

                How to Take Advantage of the 80 20 Rule

                So now that you have an understanding of the 80 20 rule and how it works, what is the best way to take advantage of it?

                Depending on where you are applying this rule, this can be used in all kinds of fashions.

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                For example, you can apply this rule to goal setting, as demonstrated by Brian Tracy in this video:

                Or you can apply it in terms of general productivity as explained in this article: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

                The core of this rule is that it forces us to ask ourselves the questions we wouldn’t consider otherwise. It helps us to place our focus in the right places with regards to all things in life.

                In short, the 80 20 rule places us in charge of our lives and helps us set out on our goals and dreams. With this in mind, here are some things you can consider concerning this rule.

                1. Focus on Your Big Tasks First

                While this is the essence of the 80 20 rule, it’s still worth mentioning. Why? Because so many of us feel intimidated by the biggest task. We instinctively avoid it and opt for smaller tasks first.

                We think that if we complete enough small tasks that we will feel motivated to finish that really big one later. But that’s really false hope at work.

                Once we finish off a lot of small tasks, we either feel drained, or we tell ourselves we’ll do this the next day.

                Instead of doing all that, bite the bullet and tackle the largest task first.

                If you need help with prioritization, check out this article.

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                I argue this by challenging you to ask yourself this one question:

                “Is the task I’m about to do the top 20 percent of my activities or the bottom 80 percent?”

                I’m sure you’ve seen time and again you or other workers spending a lot of time on one task for most of the day. In those kinds of grinds, you’re barely getting ahead and have next to nothing to show for it. That’s because they’re putting all their attention on work that’s in the 80 percent.

                It’s normally the big tasks that are part of the 20 percent.

                Another way to think about this is that everything we do starts a habit. If every day we spend our energy on low-value tasks, we will always prioritize those.

                2. Stretch This Into Personal Life

                While I’ve been talking about business and setting goals, remember you can use this in other areas of your life, too.

                Take your personal life and ask yourself some of these questions:

                • How much TV do you watch on a regular basis? What sort of shows are you legitimately into? These questions can help you in recognizing what shows you are watching purely for consumption. By applying the 80 20 rule, you can cut back on Netflix, TV, or YouTube video consumption and prioritize other areas of your life.
                • What does your wardrobe look like in terms of colors? Are there specific colors that you like? Knowing what you wear most times will help you in sorting out your wardrobe significantly. It also saves you time to come up with what to wear every morning.
                • How many newsletters do you actually read? This question can help you in figuring out which newsletters to unsubscribe to and can clear up a lot of space in your inbox. It can also relieve pressure from having to check your emails constantly.
                • How much time do you spend on your phone every day? How much of that time is actually doing something meaningful? These questions can help you in clearing out various apps that aren’t helping you with your goals. In fact, this can curb the need to check your phone constantly.

                Final Thoughts

                The 80 20 rule is the productivity hack that many of us need, and for good reason. As you can tell, it’ll help you to focus and prioritize the more important aspects of your life.

                Not only that, but it’ll maximize those outputs at the same time and ensure you’re not spending too much time working on them. All you need to do is start asking questions and taking action.

                More Techniques to Help You Succeed in Life

                Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

                Reference

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