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Journaling as a Goal-Setting Tool

Journaling as a Goal-Setting ToolDr. Barbara Seifert, CPC

We hear so much these days about moving forward and accomplishing dreams and goals that we want to achieve, like a new car, a loving relationship or that dream job.

We hear about using SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Limited) and to be very specific when writing them to get our brain thinking that our goals are presently real.  And we hear that we should be using the principles of the Law of Attraction to manifest and attract those goals to reality.

These steps are the foundations you can take, like a recipe, to begin to identify and then work on goal accomplishment. But just having the ideas will not get the ‘cake baked,’ so to speak. 

You must actually take time to prepare and lay out the steps first before you can begin to take action. Setting goals helps you to identify the end result and the action steps will help you reach them. But how will you know if you have? How will you keep your motivation elevated while working on them? An important step is to note your progress of accomplishments and the resulting emotions that will arise during this process to keep you focused and realized if you are on-track.

A powerful way to help you develop and identify your goals is by writing them through keeping a journal of your goal-setting journey, where you track your progress, emotions, roadblocks, and successes along the way. Writing helps to tap into both sides of the brain, where both creativity and logic reside, and can give you that third-eye perspective once on paper. It can give you the clarity you need and is a great way to get out thoughts and emotions that you may not want to share with others, such as self-doubt or fear of failing; you can give yourself a pep-talk to challenge those doubting thoughts and figure out different ways of getting what you want.

A journal can be the private conversation you have with yourself which can help to enhance your self-trust and self-worth that ultimately leads to increased self-esteem. A journal becomes the voice of “you” – a person with hopes, dreams, doubts, and fears but who also has the ability to overcome and succeed.

Setting goals should take thought and time to decide exactly what you want – the end result – and then identifying the exact actions you will take that will get you to the finish line. Keeping your goals and the action steps visible is a key part of the process, as well as having a way to check off daily actions/accomplishments and track progress. Working towards a goal can be emotionally challenging as you take actions that may be against your comfort zone; these actions are helping you to grow and will lead to new skills and abilities. Only by recognizing the actions you take and the accomplishments you make will you realize your goal, and a journal is a powerful and effective way to do so!

Dr. Barbara Seifert, LCSW, CPC, NLP is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting in Orlando, Florida.  She helps individuals to take charge of their careers, find the work they love and enhance their professional development to reach their peak performance. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and leadership development. Dr. Seifert is an adjunct professor, a certified coach and certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.   You can learn more by visiting and Your Career Success Blog at

Posted in Self Development

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One Response to “Journaling as a Goal-Setting Tool”

  1. 1
    Dan says:

    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A Vision Wall (inspiring images attached to yor goals) is available too.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

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