“The Power and Importance of Journal Writing”
The article below is right on when it comes to accomplishing your goals/plans. He is absolutely correct when he says “start with a vision”. If you can see it, you can make it happen.
In the early 80’s I started writing and I have filled many volumes. Here is the way it works for me. Just before I go to sleep, I complete my day in my journal. What I did well, what I am proud of, what I am not proud of, what I didn’t complete, what I am committed to do tomorrow. Well you get the idea. All of the writing usually takes 10-15 minutes.
Here is what happens, once my journal writing is complete, my mind starts to shut down. I can now have get a good night sleep, without my mind being a roller coaster. I can now wake up rested and begin my workout. After that, lookout, here I come!
Goal Progress Management
By Erik Janeczko, Head Coach, Maximum Acceleration Coaching Program
We have all heard the clichés about the importance of goal planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The journey of 1,000 miles begins with just one step.
But the funny thing about clichés is that we can't afford to ignore them just because we hear them all the time. After all, would these sayings have ever been repeated if they weren't fundamentally true?
What do all these clichés about goal setting and progress management really mean? What are they really telling us?
Start With a Vision
The answer is that we must have a vision. We must create a picture of what we want our lives or businesses to look like, and then we have to break down the steps it will take to get us there. This may sound easy, but you have to ask yourself: Why aren't more people achieving their goals?
One of the big answers to this question is that many times our goals are too vague. They aren't SMART enough, meaning they aren't Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-oriented. While it's true that we should stretch ourselves if we want real growth–that we should shoot for the moon with our goals–we also have to carefully manage our progress towards our goals.
When we set our bar high with a goal we want to achieve, we can run the risk of leaving ourselves open to paralysis due to goal mismanagement. With stretch goals that require many steps to achieve, we can feel deflated as we're working toward that goal. We get stuck focusing on the gap between where we are and what we want to achieve, and as a result we're less effective. We feel worse, which means we become more reactive. We get less efficient and our progress erodes. Too often that leads to outright collapse.
The good news is that there's a way to prevent this from happening.
Keep a Progress Journal
Think back to the goals you set so far this year. Are you still feeling the same energy and enthusiasm about them? If not, how can you revitalize your passion for these goals?
Development guru and founder of the Strategic Coach Program, Dan Sullivan, calls it the progress focus. Per Sullivan, focusing on the distance we have to travel to reach our goals can often feel very disheartening and discouraging. So instead he recommends that we look at the distance or the progress that we've made over the previous week, month, or year and celebrate and acknowledge that progress.
Take a moment right now and think about the things you've done to move you closer to your goals this year. Actually write these actions down. Begin to develop a habit of forward-leaning, progress-oriented focus. To accomplish this, keep a progress journal.
You can use an actual journal or keep a file on your computer or smart phone. At the end of each day, take a few minutes and reflect on your accomplishments. Make note of the things that you have done that have moved you closer towards your long-term goals. This simple, daily acknowledgement of your achievements will create more energy and confidence for the next day, when you look at the next two or three things that you want to accomplish. And when you get in the habit of starting your day with a plan for accomplishing specific things, your progress will begin to accelerate.
It's also important that you review your progress list periodically, so you can reflect on the course of your longer-term goals and acknowledge the major accomplishments that you have achieved so far. This will leave you with a strong feeling of progress and significantly more energy for future projects.
image 1: nuttakit/freedigitalphotos.net