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Published on November 13, 2019

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 About Journaling

              Featured photo credit: fotografierende via unsplash.com

              Reference

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              Last Updated on April 6, 2020

              How to Stop Bad Habits: 9 Scientifically Proven Methods

              How to Stop Bad Habits: 9 Scientifically Proven Methods

              Have you ever imagined why some individuals maximize every aspect of their lives?

              When they establish goals, they always attain it. It could be a goal to break an addiction, work out more, or to achieve financial freedom.

              Do you find it challenging to replicate their successes? Perhaps, you even make some attempts for a while, but then you give up before you could reach the target.

              If you experience that consistently, you can quickly become frustrated, but you don’t have to give up.

              But how long does it take to break a bad habit? Some researchers recommended a 21-day plan to permanently get rid of bad habits. Others suggest a month plan or even 3 months. The most crucial factor is to follow through whichever timeframe you choose.

              In this article, I will share with you 9 proven strategies on how to stop bad habits permanently.

              1. Make the Negative Habits Obvious

              If you desire better habits, the best approach is to make those habits visible. This strategy also applies if you are devising strategies on how to stop bad habits.

              Cues are very crucial in habit formation. James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, recommended the use of Habit Scorecard. This is an easy exercise that helps you become conscious of your behaviors daily.

              The first step is to pen down a chronological list of your daily habits. Then, you rate each habit as an “effective,” “ineffective,” or a “neutral habit.” The importance of this strategy is that it assists you in discerning the relevance of each habit in your personal growth.[1].

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              Now that you have a list of habits, the next thing is to take the negative habits out, which leads to the next point.

              2. Start from Simple to Complex

              Everybody wants to generate a significant change as fast as they can. They want to work out for 1 hour every morning, reflect for 20 minutes when they have been managing to meditate consistently for 5 minutes, switch to eating a healthy diet.

              The challenge is it will always require strong willpower to achieve any bigger goal. Willpower is like your muscles. It becomes tired, the more you exert it. And when it retires, you will give up on achieving your goal.

              The best approach is to take out the single target, then make progress towards a higher target. You can start by dealing with the bad habits from the less serious to the more severe.

              3. Create a New Environment for Good Habits To Grow

              Several studies show that our environment influences our habits. The basis is that you depend more on what you see (visual cues) than other senses of perception. This is no doubt why visual cues define our behavior.

              To stop bad habits, you need to focus on positive cues that reinforce good habits. Another approach is to build new habits and stop exposing yourself to cues that will strengthen negative patterns. You will find it easier to avoid temptation than to resist it.

              For instance, if you want to read more books than you watch the TV, keep the remote control in another room, and position books at every corner of your house and your office.

              4. Identify the Consequences of Bad Habits

              Bad habits have grave consequences. According to WebMD, bad habits affect nearly every organ of your body. They can lead to cancer, stroke, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, bronchitis, and other health problems. Bad habits can increase the chances of eye problems, tuberculosis, and several immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. It becomes easy to stop those bad habits when you are aware of their consequences.[2]

              Here’re more consequences of bad habits: 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

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              5. Make Bad Habits Difficult and Painful

              Do you want to eliminate those nasty habits? Then, attach an instant cost to each action or make those unhealthy behaviors difficult.

              James Clear again recommended ‘a habit contract’. This is a written agreement where you stipulate commitment to a specific habit and the punishment for not meeting up. You will also identify two individuals who will serve as accountability mentors to append on the written agreement. In this same way, make good habits simple and attach rewards for practicing them.

              6. Change Your Mindset

              Whenever you are devising a strategy on how to stop bad habits, use a ‘scientist and subject’ mindset. You will need to consider each action as a behavioral experiment where every challenge offers useful data for the subsequent step.

              Direct your energy on how to stop those bad habits daily instead of focusing on the long-term. If you follow the process, the outcomes will show up as outcomes of your daily efforts.

              7. Associate with Supporters

              The individuals you associate with have a significant influence on your habits. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, if your friend becomes obese, you stand the risk of obesity by 57% even if that friend lives some miles away. [3]

              Other studies also added that we tend to adopt the same lifestyle, goals, and aspirations of the company we keep. If you want to stop smoking, you need to dissociate yourself from friends who smoke.

              8. Practice Positive Speaking

              Peradventure you have made these statement in the past:

              ‘This situation is seemingly hopeless.’

              ‘I don’t think I can go through this.’

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              ‘I will never be able to break through this situation.’

              ‘I will give it a shot, but…’

              ‘It’s just disgusting.’

              If you have made any of these statements, then you have been reinforcing bad habits. Psychological studies have found that the subconscious provides meaning to what it hears. Your thought pattern and your body will align with your words. Thus, if you desire more success, peak performance, and more connections, begin to speak positive words every time you open your mouth.

              The power to stop bad habits is in your words. The ability to make a good impression and create opportunities is in the words you speak.

              9. Meditate to Knock Out That Bad Habit

              Your life derives definitions from what you repeatedly do, not what you do once in a while. Thus, developing a knock-out strategy on how to stop bad habits is a must and not an option for total transformation.

              A lot of individuals have at least one or two bad habits they wish to discard. Some people are heavy smokers, and they want to quit. Some others aspire to minimize their consumption of sugar and alcohol. Some people are also battling with less dangerous habits such as nail-biting, nose picking, and they find it difficult to let go.

              Several practices exist on how to stop those bad habits. Meditation is of them.

              People who practice mindfulness and meditation achieves two things:

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              First, they become more self-aware. As you start to meditate, you progressively penetrate each layer of your being and move beyond the delusions and lies that you often believe about yourself.

              Second, they focus on reality and what they desire. Meditation assists in identifying what will satisfy you beyond what those bad habits can. You will learn how to stop bad habits by visualizing reality while discarding the bad behavior.

              In a recent study, researchers Marlatt, Rose, Pagano, and Marques studied the impact of meditation and other organized relaxation exercises among heavy social drinkers.[4] They discovered that the respondents who have histories of substantial social drinking but began to engage in meditation experienced a significant decrease in the consumption of alcohol. This means meditation can help on how to stop bad habits and illicit personal improvement in your behaviors.

              Final Thoughts

              Bad habits will prevent you from reaching your full potentials. Establish a commitment timeline to avoid procrastination and excuses. It could be a 21-day or one-month timeframe.

              It takes a higher force to dispel an effect. It takes words to overcome thoughts. Habits are the outcome of a cycle. It starts from a feeling(positive or negative), it culminates into a thought(positive or negative), then leads to action. An action is a thought that implement. Repeated action forms a habit.

              If you don’t like the outcome, block the source, which is the feeling by speaking the right words.

              Your words empower you to take control of how you feel. If you need to wake up early, for instance, you need to tell your body to rise and shine. If you don’t, your feeling will entice you to sleep more.

              Learn more about breaking bad habits and sticking to good ones:

              Featured photo credit: Jason Briscoe via unsplash.com

              Reference

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