Continuing our series on daily journaling prompts, here is a list of journaling topics for every day in January! This gives everyone some new ideas for journaling, and can help take the pressure off to think of something to journal about every day, especially for folks doing our Page Per Day Challenge.
This month we will focus on helping you set up your goals for this year. You can write this month’s entries in your journal, planner, or in a special notebook dedicated to your goals. You will want to write some of the entries in your planner to help you stay on track with your goals.
We aren’t going to call these Resolutions. There are lots of reasons why people fail at their New Year’s Resolutions: they aren’t realistic, they aren’t measurable, and people don’t make the time and lifestyle changes necessary to do the tasks related to their goals.
This month we are going to set you up for success. We will help you make realistic, manageable goals and track your progress so you know exactly what you need to do to reach your goals.
Get ready for your best year yet!
1: Happy New Year! Later this month I’ll help you set monthly goals for the upcoming months of this year. At the beginning of each month, I’ll prompt you to re-write your goals for the month. You’ll find that your monthly goals will change and evolve as the year goes on, so it’s important to adjust them each month. What do you want to do this month? Write your goals for the month, and think about what you need to do to accomplish them.
2: What are you excited about in the coming month?
3: What are you excited about this year?
4: Picture yourself this time next year. What do you want to be different in your life? Write about how you envision your life to be this time next year.
5: Think about what you wrote yesterday and the things you want to be different in your life. Those are your goals. Make a list of your goals this year. In which categories of your life are they? Are your goals mainly about personal relationships? Physical fitness and/ or health? School or work advancement? Write about your life categories that you want to improve, and why.
6: Maybe you have big dreams but don’t know where to start. If you want to make major life changes, read this post on how to create life-changing goals. Write about how you envision your life to be once you have reached these goals.
7: Read this post on why your goals are important to you. Now write (paragraph, lists, or mind maps) about your personal values and your Whys: why do you want to accomplish your goals this year? Keep this someplace where you can see it often throughout the year. The truth is, making change requires effort. Look at your Why statements often to remind yourself why your goals are important.
8: Write the tasks you will need to do to achieve your goals. “Lose 10 pounds” or “get graduate degree” are not actionable steps. For example, to lose weight, write the workouts you will do each week, plan your meals and grocery shopping, and track your weight. Write your goal-related tasks into your planner, and schedule the times you will do them. Do this every week to stay on track with your goals and to make sure you make the time to accomplish your goals.
9: Read this post on how to set achievable goals. One of the main reasons people fail to achieve their goals is they fail to make time for the actions they need to take to reach their goals. Make a list of things you will need to do differently in your day to day life to help reach your goals. Will you need to get up earlier, go to work/ school at different times, or otherwise adjust your schedule?
10: What are some things you’ve always wanted to do but never had time? What can you do to fit them into your schedule so “someday” becomes “today” instead of “never?” Read this post for more tips.
11: Continuing thinking about how to fit your goal tasks into your schedule: in order to make time for the things you want to do, you’ll need to cut out less important/ low-value activities and tasks. List some things you can stop doing, or spend less time doing.
12: Continuing thinking about how to manage your new goal tasks: Who are some people that can help you? Maybe there is someone who has reached a similar goal who can mentor you? Maybe someone can help you with childcare or your work schedule? Maybe someone can do your goal tasks with you (working out, art classes, etc.) Write a list of people who can help and support you as you work toward your goals.
13: There are several effective methods for working toward a goal. Some goals are best reached with intensive bursts of effort over a limited time frame. Other goals need to be worked on every day long term. Read this post to help you decide how and when to work on your goals. For example, if you want to learn a language, maybe a 3 month intensive program will be more effective at getting you started than trying to spend 15 minutes a day. Write how long you plan to spend working toward each of your goals.
14: Now think about your upcoming year and what you’ll have going on each month. Pull out your planner and look at what’s coming up this year, and plan your goals around your schedule, holidays, and big events. For example, if you want to do an intensive outdoor fitness program, you’ll want to do that when the weather is good. And if you are spending time on that, you might need to adjust your schedule to accommodate your goal tasks. Be sure not to overload yourself during busy times. Write in your planner your monthly goals throughout the year. Use pencil because you may need to adjust these as the year goes on.
15: Mid-month review! Every 15th of the month we look back on the month’s goals, your progress so far, and what you can do to finish up your goals in the rest of the month. How are your goals for this month coming along? What can you accomplish in the remainder of this month?
16: In order to know how much progress you’ve made toward your goals and what you still need to do, you’ll need to keep track of your goals. Create trackers for each goal, and put these trackers where you will see and use them often. You can use your planner’s monthly pages or anno-planner to track numbers like weight, miles run, pages written, etc. You can create trackers in your planner or journal to track your goals progress in other ways. Make sure you fill in your trackers every day!
17: Reward yourself for reaching your goals. But remember not to use food as a reward! That’s a bad habit you don’t want to get into. Give yourself small rewards for reaching smaller goals along the way, and a big reward for reaching big goals. Write lists of rewards to give yourself for reaching small and large goals along the way.
18: So often our days are filled with urgent tasks. Many times, tasks languish on our to-do lists until they are time-critical and move up in urgency to where they finally get our attention and must be done before there are consequences. As a result non-urgent tasks get put on the back burner. Too often, this is what happens with goal tasks, and this is why goals fall by the wayside to make room for urgent tasks. Read this post to learn more about assigning urgency to your goal tasks and how to make them high priorities in your daily schedule. Write a plan for how you will keep your goal tasks high in your priorities. Schedule your goal tasks into your planner for the upcoming month.
19: Writing a list of daily intentions can help you focus on your priorities, and give yourself permission to spend time on things that are important to you. Read this post to learn more about daily intentions, then write your daily intentions for the upcoming month.
20: Sometimes working toward your goals can affect other people in your life, leading to feelings of guilt. Read this post for tips on how to reduce feelings of guilt by balancing the time you spend on them and the effects on other people. Make a list of ways your goals might affect those around you, and how you can mitigate those effects.
21: “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Jim Rohn List or write about ways you will need to be more disciplined in order to accomplish your goals.
22: Think about goals you have achieved in the past. Write about these goals, what it took to accomplish them, and how you felt when you succeeded. Look at this whenever you feel discouraged to remind yourself you’ve done it before, you can do it again!
23: Make a list of people you find inspiring. These could be people in your life, famous/ historic people, or even fictional characters. What is it about these people you admire? How can you develop these characteristics in yourself?
24: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ ” Muhammad Ali What are some of your goal actions that might not be enjoyable at the time, but will pay off with big rewards later? Write them down and write the desired result to remind yourself of the payoff later!
25: Goals don’t always go the way we planned. Life happens, and sometimes we get derailed. Read this post that summarizes the goal setting process, to help set yourself up for success with realistic expectations.
26: Think of times when circumstances derailed your goals. Maybe you were ill, plans fell through, or something got in the way. How did you manage these? Were you able to reach your goals despite the setbacks? Or did the change in circumstances change your goals? Write about these experiences to remind yourself that setbacks can happen.
27: Write about some setbacks that could possibly happen with your goals this year, and come up with plans to manage them.
28: “Everybody has goals, aspirations or whatever, and everybody has been at a point in their life where nobody believed in them.” Eminem Write a list of people who believe in you. Or, if you truly feel like nobody believes you can accomplish your goals, write a list of people you’ll prove wrong.
29: Goals are about change and positive growth. But you don’t need to change everything in your life! Write about things that are going well, things that make you happy, and current successes in your life.
30: What good things happened this month? What were your favorite moments this month?
31: Month review! At the end of each month we evaluate your goals progress. How did this month go? Which goals did you complete? What do you still need to work on?
The new Daily Journaling Prompts list for the next month comes out on the last Wednesday of each month. Look for February’s DJPs here on Quo Vadis blog Wednesday January 31st!