So you’ve done your homework and you wrote down your SMART goals. You waited for the magic to happen but it never came. What happened? You need more feedback, and journal writing can help. Writing a daily journal entry gives you daily feedback, which dramatically enhances your follow through on goals. It helps keep your goals at the center of attention, in our ever-distracting world.
It’s fashionable to make resolutions, but not fashionable to make steady progress towards them.
Writing in a journal is a chance to give yourself honest feedback, on a daily basis. Your journal is private, there’s no point in lying to yourself or making excuses. Giving yourself honest and timely feedback greatly promotes personal growth.
Example: you want to create a journal writing habit. You write down the goal: write a journal entry every day. At the end of the week, you reflect on each day, and you realize you only wrote 2 journal entries. Your score is 2/5: Fail. Then, you plan out how you will improve next week.
In addition to daily entries, consider writing a weekly reflection. Rate yourself on your daily objectives. How many days did you miss? Then, give yourself an honest weekly grade. If you missed half of the time, you earned 50%, F. This method is effective for all kinds of habit-oriented goals. Be honest with yourself.
This post outlines one way to use journal writing as a tool for personal development. There are many other benefits to keeping a journal, and I recommend trying it out. Write at the end of the day, before you sleep. Also, use analog paper, not electronic paper, as to stay focused.