Journaling is an effective way to document your hopes and dreams for your business and your personal life but so many people cringe at the idea of putting their thoughts down on paper. Some equate all journaling with keeping a diary and they don’t want to revert back to their 10-year-old self. Others worry about keeping a journal secret or prevent themselves from being honest and vulnerable for fear that others will read their words.
Are these fears weighing on your mind? Don’t talk yourself out of experiencing the power of journaling; the benefits certainly outweigh the likelihood of someone finding your journals and passing judgment. Like anything else in life, you need to find a form of journaling that works for you and that you enjoy doing; otherwise you won’t incorporate the habit into your daily routine and will miss out on its many benefits.
Benefits of Journaling
The biggest benefit of journaling is to dump all your ideas and dreams onto paper so your mind remains clear and ready to focus on your action steps. If you want to achieve your goals and dreams, taking action is mandatory but it’s very easy to get lost in distractions if you don’t journal and create an action plan.
Another benefit to journaling is the ability to revisit older entries and compare them with where you are today in your business. Did those older ideas come to fruition? Did they morph into an even better idea? Did you follow through on action steps to reach those goals or milestones? Use these older entries as a reminder to revisit ideas or to learn more about yourself and your motivation.
If you’re not into writing pages and pages of notes, bullet journaling is a quick alternative. The idea is to write simple bullet notes that are a combination of a to-do list, a diary, and list of upcoming events. Part of the appeal of bullet journaling is creating your own journal with your own handwriting, bright ink colors, doodles, and unique pages that will serve your needs. In addition to business action plans, some people find it useful to include gratitude lists and workout schedules.
If you’re a born talker and get stumped every time you see a blank piece of paper, create a multimedia journal using your smartphone. Record voice messages about your day, your plans, and your dreams or record videos with those same thoughts. Transfer these recordings to a service like Dropbox to free up storage space on your phone.
Take a blank piece of paper – or open up a Word document – and just start writing ALL the things that are occupying your mind. Include business decisions that must be made, projects or goals you want to achieve, as well as personal items or errands to remember. There’s no thinking allowed while doing this; don’t judge if an idea is crazy or silly, just write it down.
After you complete your list, add these items to your calendar or delegate some of these tasks to your virtual assistant. If multiple items fall under the same general heading, block out some time to complete them all at once. Ignore the phone during these time blocks so you can focus your attention completely.
When was the last time you dreamed? I don’t mean when you woke up from a weird Alice-in-Wonderland-type dream; when was the last time you had BIG dreams of what you wanted to do or where you wanted to go? What motivates you to move forward in your business, other than the need to pay bills?
So often solopreneurs forget about the big picture of why they started their business and they get burned out after putting so much concentrated focus on their daily business tasks. Do you have anything to look forward to while growing your business? What’s your ultimate goal?
Remember, there are no wrong answers here but there should absolutely be some answers. If not, it’s time to define what makes you happy and what will motivate you to move forward and grow your business.
Define Your Goals
Think about what you want simply by asking yourself some questions:
One friend of mine who is in sales told me he likes to have two vacations booked a year with his family because he needs something fun to look forward to and the single summer vacation wasn’t enough anymore. Another friend in direct sales recently told me that she stopped dreaming big a long time ago because she got depressed when she couldn’t make those dreams a reality. Now she’s found great success with her company and has started dreaming big again.
I’ve also seen some gurus online say they are motivated to earn more because then they are able to give more to their favorite charities and causes that are close to their hearts. Again, there are no wrong answers when defining your goals. It’s more important to have them defined so you know when you reach those goals so you can find something new to achieve.
Create a Vision Board for Daily Motivation
I adore creating vision boards because they are visual reminders of what I want to achieve. They also serve as a daily reminder of what makes you happy and they are meant to give you motivation when you just don’t feel like working that day.
Take those answers to your goals questions and find visual representation for each one. Most people use old magazine pictures and paste them on a piece of poster board. Go digital and use online photos to paste into a Word document. Take notice of photos that catch your eye, even if it doesn’t specifically answer a goal question. There’s something that attracted your subconscious to the photo so it’s worth posting on your vision board. Post your vision board prominently in your office or as your computer wallpaper so you can see it every day. And remember that action is mandatory in order to reach those goals.