We can all agree that time flies by really fast. All of a sudden you realize the year is over and a new one is starting. How do you slow down and capture that year? How do you keep track of it all? You must keep a journal.
This has to be one of the best things I have done in pursuit of my goals and personal development. Someone gave me the idea five years ago and I am excited to share it with you. These journals have become some of my most prized treasures over the years. I can look back on every year and reminisce on what I had done with that time.
Jim Rohn is one of my favorite personal development coaches of all times and he talks about the three treasures to leave behind to your loved ones. It wasn’t money or fancy possessions. He said to leave behind a lot of pictures, because they can see all the great things you did. Leave behind your library of the books that taught you how to live a big successful life. And last, he said leave behind your journals of thoughts and ideas you had over the years. If you live a good life you want to capture it for others.
“If you’re serious about becoming wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured, and a unique individual; keep a journal.” -Jim Rohn
I think this is fantastic advice. Why not capture it down on paper? The world is moving so fast and we are so caught up in it that we don’t take time to absorb it. Capture the ideas, lessons, quotes, and goals you have. If you stop to write them down, you can keep them forever.
I have kept journals the last five years, and I am going to give you some ideas that have made my journals better for me. Ultimately journals are yours, so be as creative as you would like. I believe that your journals will become some of your most valued posessions. It does not have to be a huge ordeal. A few minutes a day can add significant value to your life.
I always like to start the New Year with a new journal. This helps me keep track of my progress and re-evaluate my goals each year. I get myself a new journal in December and organize it. I love to first fill the front and back covers with motivational quotes. I believe there is power in words and always find great satisfaction from reading them.
On the first page I write down my goals for the year. Whether they are big or small I write them down. Even if they are too big to accomplish this year alone, I write them down anyway. This is what all experts agree is the key to success: Goals are not real until you write them down. It is like trying to sail across the ocean without a compass. You can just float through another year, or turn the engine on and get to your destination.
On the next page of my journal, I write at the top ‘Books and Audios’. This page will be dedicated to keeping track of the number of books I’ll read and the audios I’ll listen to. This is my personal development tracker. The first year I did this I read 42 books. I still haven’t beaten that number, but it’s fun to look back and see what I was able to accomplish each year. It is a great way to track your growth.
The next page is for, ‘Events and Trips’. This is where I keep track of the dates and events of significant things I do throughout the year. It is fun to look back and see what you did that year and when. This lets you see very easily what kind of exciting year you had. Think of how everything blurs together. I assure you, you will be glad you did this.
I then leave a few pages for ‘Quotes’ I will come across. Like I said I love quotes and capturing them in one place is a great idea.
The next step is to evaluate the five most important areas of your life. They each get their own page and they are, ‘Mental’, ‘Emotional’, ‘Physical’, ‘Financial’ and ‘Spiritual’. On those pages I describe where I feel I am at this point with each category and where I want to be by the end of the year. What do I want the end of the year to look like? There is a lot of power in this. You need to know where you are in order to improve.
I then recommend writing out your year as if it already happened. Think as if it is Christmas of the next year and you are telling friends the story of the best year you’ve ever had. Write it out. It is fun to dream like a kid again. Take the logic out of it. You will amaze yourself with what kind of year you can imagine and just what might come true when you read it in twelve months.
The last thing to get your journal ready is to write out your ‘January Goals’. I list them on the page. After January is over, I make a page for my ‘January Recap’ and list out new ‘February Goals’. I do this after every month all the way through the year. It will allow you keep track of your progress.
This is the beginning of a new year and possibly a whole new life. I like to keep track throughout the year of things I learn, ideas I come across, new goals, and life events. The journal is yours from here. Think about the power of showing someone just how you achieved your success. They ask you, “How did you change your life and do so many great things?” You can pull out your journals and read them the personal development, goals, achievements, and events that took you there. You don’t have to make your journal just like mine, I just wanted to give you a starting point by list some things that I like to do for myself.
You have twelve beautiful months coming up, use your creativity and capture a big beautiful life!