A couple months ago I began journaling and was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. You have to understand, I’ve been a lifelong skeptic of journaling and its purpose. I guess every time I heard the word “journal” I thought of a thirteen-year-old girl doodling hearts and scribbling love-sick poems about the new boy she’s crushing on. Besides, journaling my thoughts on a page seemed a useless waste of time when they were already in my head. I knew what they were. I didn’t need to record them for other people to find and invade my privacy.
Then I heard a motivational speaker talking about journaling and how it could be used to focus the mind and put yourself in a position to be productive. Writing down your focus and your goals every day could help you to channel your mind and your energy, stay on track, and accomplish goals more quickly and effectively.
I love studying productivity and ways to become more effective, so this approach appealed to me. I pulled out an empty journal I’d bought years ago and started a morning ritual of drinking a hot cup of tea while I wrote down my focus and goals for the day. The first few days, my journaling was strictly about the goals.
Then I started to celebrate my little victories, giving myself a mental high five for staying focused and working through a project or completing a task. It felt good to acknowledge my accomplishments, and the dopamine hit made me want to work harder so I could give myself another pat on the back the next day.Take time to give yourself a mental high five for your victories. Train your brain to enjoy success. #heartmylife Click To Tweet
I also began using the journal space to process struggles and bad habits, exploring the reasons and writing down ways to shift and change to improve and avoid future failures. I saw remarkable improvement in just a month’s time. My productivity jumped by leaps and bounds and I was a workin’ machine, cranking out the projects and busting through the goals.
Finally, at the bottom of every page, I did “my circles.” I’d heard several of my favorite podcasters suggest that you need to write out your goals daily to keep them in the forefront of your mind and make the laws of attraction work for you. So I’d draw out four circles at the bottom of the page.
- Circle one – write a goal you’d like to accomplish in one year
- Circle two – write a goal you’d like to achieve in 90 days or one quarter year
- Circle three – write a goal you would like to achieve by the end of the month
- Circle four – write out the things you need to accomplish today to make those goals a reality
By bridging the gap this way, from a dream that stands waaaaaaaay off in the distance, to actionable tasks you can do today, you really begin to see how you can accomplish the goal if you just put in a little effort every day. They aren’t big elusive dreams anymore. They become achievable with small daily steps!
My journaling isn’t the same every day. I focus on different goals at different times. Often my goals for the day are about working on my online business and increasing my reach and effectiveness as an entrepreneur. Other times, I use the circles to remind me of fitness goals I’m working on. Being a writer and sitting at a desk has some detrimental effects. I also plot out goals for projects here around the house.
You can use the journaling and circles for anything. Just don’t divide your attention too thin or you’ll lose your effectiveness. Focus on two or three goals at a time. Once you master them, you can move on to others. And it won’t be long. You’ll amaze yourself with your rapid progress.
The final step in the process is to block out distractions and get the work done. This method is only effective if you do the work.
I started making an effort to go sit in my office with the door shut and work for an hour or two straight. I turn off my email notifications. I shut off my phone or leave it in the other room. I close the tabs on my web browser so I don’t get tempted. I let myself get into the zone and plow through the work. The more I focus, the faster I get my tasks done. Simple as that.
I think I got more done in January than I did all of last year. February was even better! I’ve tapped into the power of journaling, and I love it! I wish I’d set aside my skepticism and done it sooner. I waited and wasted years, but you don’t have to. You can start today. Grab a journal and find your focus.
If you want to use the worksheet that I show above, add your name to the form below and I’ll send you a copy! They’re super pretty so they’re fun to use!
You deserve to “heart your life!” I want to help.