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Last Updated on December 1, 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 April 14, 2021

              What Are SMART Goals (and How to Use Them to Be Successful)

              What Are SMART Goals (and How to Use Them to Be Successful)

              As a track and field runner in school, every year I would sit down with my coach and set a series of goals for the season. Once we had set my goals for the year, we would create a training plan so I could achieve those targets. This helped me answer the main question here: “What are SMART goals?”

              Before I got a coach, I used to run aimlessly with no plan, no target races. More often than not, I would end up injured and find my season ending after achieving very little.

              Once I got a coach, though, I started winning races that mattered and began enjoying my sport. This annual process taught me from a very early age that goals are important if I want to achieve the things that are important to me.

              So what exactly are SMART goals? This article will talk about why goals matter, how to use SMART goals effectively with your time and resources, and how these goals give you a clear, specific plan that works time and time again.

              Why Do People Fail to Reach Their Goals?

              Setting SMART goals and achieving them

              is not easy, and many people fail. A study by Scranton University found that only 8% of those who set New Year goals actually achieve them, meaning 92% who set new year goals fail[1].

              The problem is that many people see goals, such as New Year resolutions, as hopes and wishes. They hope they will lose some weight, they wish to start their own business, or they hope to get a better job. The problem with “hoping” and “wishing” for something is that there is no plan, no purpose, and no time frame set for achieving the goals.

              Once these hopes and wishes come face-to-face with the realities of daily life, they soon dissolve into lost hopes and wishful thinking.

              Therefore, in order to really achieve something, you need a concrete goal: a SMART goal.

              What Are SMART Goals?

              The foundation of all successfully accomplished goals is the SMART goal.

              Originally conceived by George T. Doran in a 1981 paper[2], this formula has been used in various forms ever since.

              SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. It has been used by corporations and individuals to achieve their goals and objectives and is a formula that, on the whole, works well.

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              Use SMART goals to help you achieve more.

                The strength of SMART goals is that they set a clear path to achieving goals, and they have a clear time frame in which to achieve them. Let’s look at the SMART criteria in a little more detail:

                Specific

                For a goal to be achievable, it needs to have a very clear outcome. What you are asking is, “What exactly do I want to achieve?” The clearer the goal, the more likely it is you will achieve it.

                For example, if you just say “I want to lose weight,” then technically you could achieve your goal just by not eating dinner for one day—you would lose weight that way, even if it were temporary.

                You need to have a more specific goal: “I want to lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year.”

                Measurable

                To achieve anything, it’s important to have measurable goals. T

                ake the example above: “I want to lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year.”

                It’s measurable, as all you need do is weigh yourself on 1 January, then deduct twenty-pounds from that and set that weight as the target for 31 July. Then, each week you weigh yourself to measure progress.

                Attainable

                Being attainable means that SMART goals are realistic and that you have what you need in order to achieve them.

                In our example of losing weight, 20 pounds in six months is certainly doable. Your resources could include a gym membership, some at-home weights, or simply motivation to get outside and run everyday.

                If motivation is an area where you struggle, you can check out Lifehack’s Ultimate Worksheet for Instant Motivation Boost.

                Relevant

                For any goal to be achieved, you need to set relevant goals for your unique life.

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                If losing weight is doable with the lifestyle you have, and if you believe it will lead to a happier, healthier life, then it is certainly relevant to you. It’s even more relevant if your doctor has pointed out that you need to lose weight to prevent health issues.

                Time-based

                Finally, you need a timeline. All your goals need to have an end date because it creates a sense of urgency and gives you a deadline.

                In our example of losing twenty-pounds, a timeline of six months would be specific, measurable, relevant, and would have a timeline. Furthermore, as you have what you need to achieve that goal, it is attainable—all elements of the formula for SMART goals are included.

                How to Reach a SMART Goal

                The problem I have always found with the SMART goal formula is it does not take into account the human factor. We need motivation and a reason for achieving these goals.

                If you decide to lose twenty-pounds, for example, you are going to spend many months feeling hungry, and unless you possess superhuman mental strength, you are going to give in to the food temptations.

                All SMART goals can be distilled down to three words:

                • What do you want to achieve?
                • Why do you want to achieve it?
                • How are you going to achieve it?

                When you simplify your goal in this way, achieving it becomes much easier.

                1. Visualize What You Want

                One way to make your goals achievable is to visualize the end result. When you write out your mission statement, you should be imagining what it will be like once you have achieved the goal.

                In our weight loss example, you would close your eyes and imagine walking down from your hotel room in Ibiza in July with your towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, and swimwear on. You would imagine walking past all the other sunbathers and the feeling you have, the pride in the way you look and feel.

                Try to invoke as many of the five senses as you possibly can[3].

                2. Identify Your “Why”

                If you take losing twenty-pounds as an example, once you have made the decision that you want to do this, the next question to ask yourself is, “Why?” The more personal your why, the better.

                Your why could be, “Because I want to look and feel fantastic by the pool in Ibiza this summer.” That is a strong why.

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                If your why is, “Because my doctor told me to lose some weight,” that is not a good why because it’s your doctor’s, not yours.

                One way to identify your “why” is to write your mission statement.

                To help with setting achievable SMART goals, when working with my clients, I always ask them to complete the following mission statement:

                I will [STATE GOAL CLEARLY] by [DATE YOU WANT TO COMPLETE THE GOAL] because [YOUR WHY].

                If you want to write a SMART goal for the weight loss example, your mission statement would be written: “I will lose twenty-pounds by the end of July this year because I want to look and feel fantastic by the pool in Ibiza.”

                Never write a mission statement that is full of vague words. The words you use should be simple, direct, and clear.

                3. Figure out Your “How”

                Before you can begin achieving your goal, you need to create a list of steps you can take to make it happen.

                Write down everything you can think of that will help achieve your goal. It doesn’t matter what order you write these tasks down; what matters is that you write down as many action steps you can think of.

                I always aim for around one hundred small steps. This makes it much easier to assign tasks for each day that not only moves you forward on your goal, but also keeps you focused every day on achieving it.

                Once you have your list, you can create a to-do list for the goal and allocate the steps to different days so you create momentum towards a successful outcome.

                You can learn more about how to use SMART goals to achieve success and lasting change in this video:

                Bonus: Make a PACT

                There is one more part needed to really make sure you achieve the SMART goals you set for yourself, and that is something I call PACT. PACT is another acronym meaning Patience, Action, Consistency, and Time. You need all four of these to achieve goals.

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                Patience

                Without patience, you will give up. To achieve anything worthwhile requires patience. Success does not happen overnight. Be patient and enjoy the process of stepping a little closer towards achieving your goal each day.

                Action

                If you do not take action on any goal, then even SMART goals won’t be achieved. You need to make sure you remind yourself of your goal and why you want to achieve it each day. Read your mission statement, make an action plan, and then take the necessary action to make sure you move a step closer each day.

                Consistency

                The action you take each day towards achieving your goal needs to be consistent. You can’t follow your diet program for a week and then have three weeks off. Jim Rohn said it perfectly when he said:

                “Success is a few simple disciplines practised every day.”

                Time

                Of course, you need to allow enough time between where you are today and where you want to be in the future. Be realistic about time, and don’t get disheartened if you miss your deadline. Readjust your timeline if necessary.

                The Bottom Line

                The key to success is to put everything together. When you connect all of these elements, you create an environment where achieving SMART goals becomes much more attainable.

                Whether it’s personal or business goals, when you have a strong personal “why” for your goal, your motivation to keep going stays strong.

                Start with your “why,” and then get started on the action steps that will take you all the way to the end.

                More Tips on Reaching Your Goals

                Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                Reference

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