Journaling your goals and dreams can help you to get crystal clear on what you are trying to achieve or create in your life.
Goals and dreams tend to shift over time. So, it helps to reflect on your goals and dreams frequently.
You may have daily goals, weekly goals, lifetime goals, etc. And all different types of goals, from travel goals to financial goals, fitness goals, and more.
No matter how big or how small, all your goals and dreams matter if they tug at your heart. If they spark a desire of curiosity, excitement, hope, or love. Laying them all out on the table, so to speak, is a great way to get clear on how you can reach those goals and dreams.
So, let’s discuss how journaling can help you reach your goals and dreams. You will learn how to easily start a goal journal. And you will get 25 deep, thoughtful journal prompts to help you gain clarity, release blocks, and more. (Free PDF printable goal journal prompts included at the end of this article!)
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3 Ways journaling goals can help you reach your goals
Understanding your motivation
Journaling about your goals helps you to get total clarity on what emotions are motivating your goals.
There are many motivational factors behind out desires. For example, when I was 19 years old, my goal was to party. I wanted to go see live music, explore the world and live it up. My main motivation was to have fun and experience life. But there were other motivational factors, too. Curiosity, fear of missing out, and numbing emotional pain, to name a few.
When you look closely, you will discover motivational factors you may not have been aware of at first. None are wrong, they simply are what they are. But learning what they are can help you know which goals are worth reaching. And so much more.
You might ask yourself if your goal is based in love, wellness, life improvement, life experience, or something positive? If not, that’s something to think about.
Adjusting our thoughts to a better state can help us reach our goals easier and more joyfully. That’s why understanding our emotions is so important- emotions reveal our subconscious thoughts. Revealing those subconscious thoughts can help us make adjustments to our thinking patterns as necessary.
In addition to revealing the thoughts and emotions behind our goals, journaling goals can show you what is blocking you from your goals. Sometimes, you will discover circumstances must change before you can reach a certain goal. For example, you may have to move, end a relationship, or break a bad habit.
It may also be that you need to form a new routine, do some meditative inner work, or learn something new. Your mindset may need some attention. It all depends on your goals. Journal writing is an effective way to uncover and examine the changes you need to make, and any success blockers.
Goal planning and dream manifesting
Once you have clarity on what your goals are, the thoughts and emotional energy that motivates you, and any success blockers, then you can truly get to work. Time to make things happen!
With a clear mind and your goals on the table, your energy to manifest is much more powerful. You can write out a plan to achieve your goals and dreams. Then make them your reality!
Journaling your goals and dreams is an affirmation of your intentions. And that is powerful. Journal writing takes abstract thoughts about what you want and solidifies them into physical reality. Think of it this way: first you write your goals into this reality. From mind to paper. Like a sketch on a canvas. Then you begin painting (actually doing the work) to achieve your goals.
An example of how journaling goals can help you reach those goals
Say my goal is to lose 15 pounds and feel amazing about myself. Here is how journaling about this goal can help and what it might look like:
Goal: I want to lose 15 pounds so I can look and feel amazing.
Energy and emotions behind my goal:
Positive: I’m driven by loving myself and wanting to be the best version of myself. I feel Ok how I am, but I could improve. Yes, there are times I don’t like how I look, but that’s normal. Overall, I think I’m coming from a positive place. I do love my body. I want to be healthier.
Negative: I’m worried about having to not eat certain foods like ice cream. I want to enjoy food and life. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to lose weight without starving myself. I might never be in my ideal body and never feel the confidence I want to feel and that makes me discouraged.
What I learned and how it helps me plan for success
Seeing my thoughts written out, I notice some positive aspects to those thoughts. But also how I hold the belief that I can’t have something I want without suffering for it. And that maybe I simply can’t have it at all. The mindset change I clearly need is to see and feel that I can achieve my goal in a way that is easy. I need to let go of fears of deprivation and impossibility. Now I can write a plan for my weight loss goal:
- Big green smoothies for breakfast and lunch.
- Nuts for a snack.
- Paleo dinner.
- Go to the gym 5 days per week.
- Make sure my mindset and feelings are aligned with ease and success. This is perhaps the most important part of the plan.
How to start a goal journal
Get a journal, any journal you like, and find a quiet place free of distractions.
The first thing to do is simply to “brain dump.”
By that I mean to write about anything that is bothering you, anything that’s bringing you happiness, and everything in between. (If you want some easy journal prompts for brain dumping, check out some of the ones linked below. We will get to some more helpful goal-specific journal prompts in just a minute.)
You don’t need to write neatly. You don’t need to worry about spelling or anything else. Your journal is for your eyes only. Be honest with yourself and without overthinking, journal what’s inside you. There is nothing fancy or complicated about starting a goal journal, so don’t hesitate!
You can do a big brain dump of journaling anytime you feel like it. It’s a great stress reliever. Some people find it helpful to journal daily. Or at least once a week or so.
Now that you’ve cleared your mind, you can identify what goals you would like to focus on first. And start planning for those goals.
You may want to write out a daily goal plan, a weekly goal plan, a monthly, year plan, or a life goal plan. You can make a list with subheadings, or a bullet-journal style list for goal planning. Or write long sentences. Even doodle your goals. It’s up to you! Write however you best communicate to yourself.
Journaling goals and dreams can truly be a lot of fun! Let the writing you do inspire you. Let it fill you will a sense of hope. At the same time, know that through journaling, you may discover subconscious thoughts and feelings that surprise you.
25 Journal prompts to reach your goals and dreams.
- What would you most like to create in your life or the biggest changes you feel you need?
- Journal your goals in order of importance.
- What would you like your lifestyle to be day to day? How do you want to spend your time?
- Describe what lifestyle factors might be holding you back from your goals. Money, health, location, or support network for example? Or something else?
- Are there any fears, anxieties, insecurities, or negative thoughts you carry about your goals or dreams?
- Which goals or dreams feel unrealistic to you and why? Which feel most do-able?
- What mindset adjustments could help you reach your goals?
- What mindset practices could help you achieve your goals and dreams? For example, meditation, forgiveness, being present, giving yourself grace, etc. Describe in detail.
- Why are your goals and dreams important to you?
- How motivated or determined are you to reach your goals and dreams? How strong are your feelings about each goal?
- What do you tell yourself about your goals and dreams? What words do you think when you think of your goals?
- Journal what your friends and family say about your goals and dreams. How helpful or unhelpful are they? (Regardless, you have to be your own cheerleader, but it’s good to notice.)
- What will happen in your life and how will you feel when you reach your goals?
- How “set in stone” is each goal? Do you see fluidity or any other possibilities? How open are you to change? (Because life changes. Not that it will, but it’s good to acknowledge “going with the flow”.)
- Describe how your spiritual beliefs affect your goals. For example, do you trust in God or a higher power to support you, or do you feel atheist in your beliefs? Did this question make you feel uncomfortable, happy, or some other way and why?
- How can you take steps towards your goals and dreams each day? Journal a daily goal plan.
- What steps can you take each week, month, or year towards your goals? Journal a “birds-eye view” type plan.
- Write some positive words of encouragement to yourself.
- Journal all the happy feelings that come when you visualize reaching your goals.
- Are there ways you can conjure up those same feelings now, to help manifest or speed along the process of reaching your goals? (This is a manifestation method- try to feel the emotion of having what you want and that will help you to get what you want!)
- How can you enjoy the present moment and limit stress now, before you reach your goals? And how will doing so help you reach those goals?
- What dreams are so big you’d be embarrassed to share? Or any dreams you don’t dare to dream? What seems impossible?
- Write about why you can reach your goals.
- How much do you have on your plate right now? What are your responsibilities and priorities? Is there anything you need to let go of or put on the back burner so you can reach your goals?
- What must you learn or experience before you can reach your goals and dreams?
Download the goals and dreams journal prompts below
Download and print out for any time use. And feel free to share with anyone trying to reach their goals. You can also share this blog post on Pinterest using the pin below.
Concluding thoughts on journaling goals
I hope you enjoyed this deep dive about journaling goals and dreams. Really, there is no right or wrong way to journal. And the journal prompts here may simply be starting points for you. Some may be relevant, some not. But I do hope the journal prompts helped.
Don’t be too hard on yourself with whatever feelings come up as you write about your goals and dreams. I’ve discovered so many blocks to different goals and dreams through journaling about them. It’s just a matter of working through those blocks, making adjustments, and deciding what is most important. A positive growth mindset helps greatly.
Have a lovely day!
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