Goal Setting Journal - Systematically Setting & Achieving Goals

Keeping a goal setting journal can be a great help for systematically setting and achieving goals. Knowing what we want is a good start. Taking what we want and actually intending it to happen is the next step. Smart goal setting is a great way to clarify and solidify our intentions. Writing smart goals down on paper, and periodically keeping track of our progress, is a powerful goal setting technique that allows us to step out-of-the-mind and keep an objective eye on ourselves.

Using A Goal Setting Journal
To Realize Your Best Ideas

We live much of our life up in our heads. We may have ideas of what we want to do, dreams of what we want to achieve or how we would like to live. Yet, we often encounter a chasm between thought and reality, between what we say we want and actually realizing it step-by-step.

This is where setting smart goals and keeping a goal setting journal can be of great benefit. Knowing what we want is a good start. Committing our desires to writing using effective goal setting technique is the next step. Effective goal setting will help us tap the power of the subconscious mind and harness it to our benefit.

Words are thoughts, embodied. Smart goal setting is a goal setting technique that helps put power thoughts into words, which act as effective catalysts to the actions and habits that will help us to achieve our objectives. Setting smart goals helps us bridge the gap between the first and second stepping stones of out-of-the-mind self improvement and motivation.

Why Smart Goal Setting?

Even when people do end up writing down their goals (which is a minority of the population to be sure), they often formulate them using meek and uninviting language. "I want to", "I'll try", "It would be nice", or "I would really like to" are all weak phrases that don't have the power to mobilize the motivational resources of our subconscious mind. Smart goal setting is designed to make sure we don't make these demotivating goal setting mistakes.

Try these goal statements on for size...

"It's new years eve and I'm looking in the mirror at my washboard abs", "It's the first of April, I'm standing on the scale and the dial shows 120 pounds", "I am sitting on the veranda sharing a bottle of wine with my new partner for life and we are raising a toast for the new year", "It's July 31st, I'm looking at my business income statement for the month. The smile that spreads on my face tells me that I exceeded the mark I was aiming for."

These smart goals immediately engage our imagination. They give our subconscious mind a definite, and highly inviting, 'blue print' to work with. Here are some more examples of smart goals you could write. It's important that our goal statements are crisp and free of any subconscious self-sabotaging language patterns. See barriers to goal setting for more on why we may subconsciously try to sabotage ourselves.

Structuring A Goal Setting Journal

One way to structure a goal setting journal is to write down our goals according to the breakdown outlined in goal setting strategies. We start out by writing our five or ten year vision, or outlook, for our life. The time-frame for our long term vision can actually be any number of years. Many people find five years to be a good time-span since it is far enough into the future, yet still within grasp. Feel free to choose the number of years that most easily allows you to 'see yourself' in the future.

After we have our long-term outlook, we can narrow our vision to set one-year goals. Our one-year goals don't necessarily have to be specific like our three-month smart goals are going to be, yet they should represent clear milestones to achieving our long-term vision. They should give us clear direction and purpose.

The goals that will likely carry the most impact are our three month goals. Most of our smart goals will be mid-term, three month goals. It's surprising what can be achieved in three months when our time and energy is focused around a smart goal. Three months is long enough to achieve significant results and short enough for us to really grab onto with both hands.

Once we have our three month goals in place, we can then break them down into weekly and daily goals. This helps us see our day-to-day lives in the context of our three month goals, just as our one-year goals help put our three-month goals into perspective. It gives our days a clear focus and purpose. In addition to daily goals we will also develop daily habits that align with our three month goals and long-term vision.

Weekly Review

Part of effective goal setting is to develop the habit of reviewing our goals on a regular basis. Once a week, preferably at a designated time and place such as a favorite coffee shop, we should take time to review our progress. Some questions to use when reviewing our weekly progress are...

  • Am I meeting my daily goals? If yes, good. Continue as before. If no, then we need to identify what is getting in the way and correct it over the week that follows.

  • Am I meeting my weekly goals? If yes, good. Continue as before. If no, then identify the reasons and correct them for the coming week.

  • As we get closer to our three month goals we can ask ourselves if we think we are on target? Do we need to step-up our weekly goals or are they fine as they are? Is there anything about our daily goals or habits that needs to change in order for us to meet our three month objectives?

Our weekly review helps keep our goals from slipping into the background of our lives. It helps remind us of what we want and keeps our aim true. It also turns goal setting into a wonderful tool for personal growth, self improvement and motivation as we see where we are falling short and take corrective measures.

For more out-of-the-mind self improvement and motivation articles related to keeping a goal setting journal visit:

Tips On Setting Goals - Perspective For Goal Setting

Writing Smart Goals? Avoid These Mistakes

Why Is Goal Setting Important

Effective Goal Setting Taps The Subconscious Mind

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