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5 Things I Learned By Journaling

5 Simple actions to achieving your goals by writing them down

Photo by Elijah O'Donell on Unsplash

Keeping a journal and reflecting on the entries can be a mirror into the past that you can learn much from.  Journals can help you understand what was your mindset and how much you’ve grown over the passage of time when you look back on them after a year or even longer.   You may even find that you still have work to do.

Here are five observations that may help you with staying on task as Spring fastly approaches.

People, in general, have a tendency to make things too complicated. Whenever looking back on past activities that we’ve either failed at or accomplished successfully, there are many ways we could have accomplished the goal in half the time and with fewer headaches. If only we would have asked the right questions and not over analyzed the solution.

When you find that you’re stuck on an issue try to ask yourself the following question:

 How can I get this done today if I were out of time?

Getting caught up in small details, at the wrong level can stop progress cold. If you get too deep into the weeds it’s easy to lose sight of what’s ahead of you and what you’re actually attempting to accomplish. This especially happens with leaders that interject themselves into projects. Your thinking may be that you’re helping to move the progress along, but what you’re actually doing is showing a lack of leadership by not trusting the people in your charge to get the job done without you.

Going back to your journals during this phase of the process is critical. When you refer back to your goal to make sure you’re staying on task by staying out of the things you don’t need to give your personal attention too.

If you’ve run into the situation where it seems like you’re the only one that can get things done in your company if you look up you may find that you’re deep in the weeds.

Great advise if you’re on a team, but what about the soloprenures? The same thing applies to you as well from an implementation standpoint. If you’re not a graphic designer, but you know some Photoshop ask yourself the following question. Should I design my new logo, banner or insert small project that you should really hire a graphic designer for, but are cutting corners because you think it saves you money?

The answer is to hire people whose genius it is to do the task at hand. Getting the right person for the job not only saves you time but in that time you’re saving you can spend it earning more business.

When you start believing your own justifications about why you can’t get something completed. Look out because your BS meter should be going off. There’s always going to be setbacks and delays when doing anything worthwhile. However, you can’t let those setbacks become your reality. It’s time to stop making excuses and start taking action. It’s easy to get caught up in the now of getting things done and we have a tendency to tell ourselves we’re moving closer to our goals when we really know it’s all just busywork. Watch too for convincing yourself that scrolling through Facebook for an hour is getting you any closer to your goals.

Don’t listen to everyone else’s doubt and ideas about what you’re doing

When you start believing your own justifications about why you can’t get something completed. Look out because your BS meter should be going off. There’s always going to be setbacks and delays when doing anything worthwhile. However, you can’t let those setbacks become your reality.

It’s time to stop making excuses and start taking action. It’s easy to get caught up in the now of getting things done and we have a tendency to tell ourselves we’re moving closer to our goals when we really know it’s all just busywork. As a digital marketer its easy to convince yourself that scrolling through Facebook for an hour is really client work, but its likely not getting you any closer to your goals.

Don’t listen to everyone else’s doubt and ideas about what you’re doing If you’re trying to achieve something great in your life or business you can count on most people in your circle of influence to doubt that you’re going to be successful. Especially if what you’re doing is innovative or outside of what people have come to expect of you.

It’s hard for people to see the people they’re closest to realize their dreams or even chase them. The people closest to you don’t want to see you get hurt or disappointed by failure so at times they can seem negative and not supportive. This is one of the times when reviewing your journals can provide the needed support to keep you going by taking you back to the optimum state of mind you were in when hopefully when you made the entry

Do everything you can. Then do more

This might sound like perfectionism but it’s not. It’s rare that the first draft is the best effort. There’s always more that you can to add to anything you’re doing to make it better. The key here is to know that you’re not planting a garden, only to attempt harvesting it’s bounty the same day. It’s going to take time, care and patience before you have anything worthwhile just like a garden. There’s no set it and forget plan to achieving your goals, save that for the late night infomercials.

Time has to be invested in caring for your achievement garden every day. Weeding out the bad and discarding the parts that take you off track.

Consider the same practice in your life. Who are those people or what relationships are you involved in that may be preventing you from getting closer to your goals and cultivating your garden of achievement? Like weeds, naysayers steal energy away from you when you need it most with their doubts and lack of belief in what’s possible. It’s important that your progress not is stopped just when you’re about to grow. I would suggest reevaluating those relationships and keeping them in their proper place so they don’t impact how you go about achieving your goals.

Lastly, To stay on task to your goals you’ll have to work at the thing that gives you purpose every day. Repeating the process of doing the thing you feel is your calling, the thing that feeds your motivation, and the thing that gives you the drive to work towards your goals every day.

Bonus Tip: Get Visual

Try out the latest in journals, Bullet Journals!  I haven’t actually bought one of these personally but I routinely draw pictures in my journal for things I really want to get done.  Drawing helps me to really internalize the goal and instantly gets me back into the mindset I had when the thought occurred or the project came up.  One thing I do for clients is I’ll draw the logo of the company I’m working with as I’m taking notes in field guide style which helps me keep track of when the engagement starts and reminds me quickly of what we’re working on together.   


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