Why Journaling is so Important for Goal Setting

The most successful people journal – did you know that? I don’t just mean successful as in the amount of income they make. I’m also referring to their spiritual and personal success. Every single person I admire and follow, for various reasons in different areas of my life, keeps a journal. Every.single.one.

Flipping through the journals I used in 2016 really helped me to discover what I did well and want to continue doing in 2017 (habits, systems, methods, etc.). It also helped me to discover what I sorta sucked at, which is important to help me discover what I don’t want to bring forward into 2017. An example of this is the amount of TV I watched vs. the number of books I read.

HINT: I watched way too much TV and read way too few books. So, one of the goals I have in 2017 is to watch less than 7 hours of TV per week and read 7 books this year.

In order to move forward we have to reflect on the past, however, we cannot park there.

This is one reason I do bullet journaling. In one place I have my reflections and records of feelings, plans that were accomplished, plans that were not accomplished, goals I reached and ones I didn’t – and I may be able to even figure out WHY I didn’t reach those goals, based on the other events that were happening in my life.

I can take those reflections – positive and negative – and use them to plan my coming year, my priorities and set new goals.

Going through my past bullet journals is fun. I love seeing notes I’ve taken from sermons – thinking about how I was feeling at that time, and what those lessons mean to me now. A lot can change in a year, especially feelings!

2016 bullet journals

Something important to remember while you’re reflecting on your past year is to not dwell on the missed opportunities or the unfinished goals. If you stare at them too long you’ll start to get down on yourself, and it’ll be so much harder to move forward.

Use the unaccomplished stuff and learn from it. Ask why didn’t I accomplish them? What was going on that threw that particular goal to the back burner? What can I do with this information that’ll make next year the bomb dot com?


Part of my daily journaling routine is to write what I’m grateful for. No matter how sad, happy, discouraged or encouraged I feel. I write the things, people, moments and places I’m grateful for. This is good for your soul right before bed – I’d rather dream about all the wonderful things in my life instead of the bad. Expressing gratitude onto paper helps with this. It’s called having an Attitude of Gratitude, and it’ll change your entire life. 

You do not have to do bullet journaling to journal and to write down your daily thoughts or gratitude. You can have a simple $1 store journal and a pen. That’s plenty.

You may find, after a while of journaling, preferable journals and a preferable brand of pen. Go with it, enjoy and have fun with it.

My grandmother journaled for years – decades! She had one journal per year and wrote in it every morning over her coffee and breakfast. When I was younger I didn’t think much of it, other than thinking that it’s something old people do. ha.

Well, I guess I’m old, then!

She used journals that her insurance company sent her every year. So, they were free! Bonus!

I’m sure it gave her a sense of letting go, and reflecting on the previous day’s adventures, gratitude and let downs. I’ll bet if I was able to read through her journals I’d find a whole host of prayers, too.

If you’re interested in how to get started with journaling or bullet journaling below are two different but similar methods: (click to find out more)

  1. composition notebook journaling (this is the method I’m currently using)
  2. bullet journaling with an A5 size bound notebook – check out this awesome gal, Kara, owner of BohoBerry.com. She uses this method of journaling and planning, and most of the spreads I use are inspired by her!

Enjoy your journaling journey, sweet one!


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