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How Journaling Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Resolutions have a reputation for not being kept. In between being too busy and simply surviving January, getting fit or saving money just doesn’t seem a priority.

Setting goals for the year ahead could be the key to cracking your resolution wishes, though. Having a clear idea of the things you want to achieve over the next 12 months allows you to have a point of focus and will keep you accountable as the months go by.

And one way to make sure you hit these goals? Journaling. Not the teenage-diary-about-your-crush kind of journaling, but proper adult sorting-your-life-out journaling. Studies have shown the positive impact that recording not only thoughts and feelings, but also important ideas and aspirations can have on your success.

Here’s how journaling can help you to achieve your goals this year:

Journaling clarifies what is important

Writing things down signifies to your brain that ‘the thing’ is particularly significant. Creating specific goals means you will clarify to yourself exactly what it is you want, and by putting pen to paper you will be cementing that idea as more than just a passing thought. Keep your goals detailed and realistic: setting yourself something that you won’t have the time or means to achieve is just a way to make yourself burnout trying. At the same time, they should be big enough to be able to measure the difference in one year’s time.

Journaling helps break goals down

Once you have set your goals for the year, look at each one individually and work out what you will need to do each month in order to achieve it. This is a good way to work out how serious you are about each specific ambition. Again, being realistic about what you have time to do is essential, but keeping the ideal outcome in sight will help with motivation. For most people, this is what’s absent from those new year resolutions – so making your progress manageable could be the essential ingredient that’s been missing all these years.

Journaling reduces stress

Getting your thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper can make a huge difference to stress levels. If something is particularly bugging you, or obviously not working for you, writing it down is an effective way of seeing what is going wrong and working out how you can change it to suit. Journaling also encourages mindfulness, which seems like the buzzword of last year but has also shown itself to be stress relieving by focusing on today rather than the past or future.

Journaling keeps you on track

Breaking down your goals month-by-month helps you commit to them. Having a clear path and record of progress keeps you motivated and able to focus on the final outcome. Keeping a record of what works and what doesn’t will give you a clearer idea of how to get there, too. You can morph your goals as you go along to better fit your ideal outcome.

Writing things down may also help you to solve problems. This is because the act of writing will unlock the creative side of your brain, whereas problem-solving comes from the practical side. Looking at your goals in a creative way may just help you resolve a problem that you couldn’t otherwise find a solution to.

Journaling will inspire your progress

You won’t be able to beat the feeling in one year’s time when you can look back over your journal and see how far you’ve come. And it’ll be useful through the year, too, as having a clear record of how you are creeping towards your goals is a massive motivator (and there is nothing more satisfying that crossing something off a list once you have achieved it!). Having a solid record of the work you’ve put into something will also come in handy in the future, when you are moving on to your next set of goals and need some inspiration.

So why not start your journal today? A simple list of goals for 2017 is all you need to begin, and a little research into how you can achieve them will send you on your way to success!

Written by:

Katie Hopkins lives amongst piles of books and pug memorabilia. As a copy-editor and freelance writer, she is always immersed in words, and is captivated by the world of careers and the pursuit of happiness, alongside a little fascination with true crime. She tweets as @katie_louh.

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