These handwritten words in the pages of my journal confirm

that from an early age I have experienced

each encounter in my life twice:

once in the world,

and once again on the page.

Terry Tempest Williams

Becoming the best version of yourself is your number one project. In this way you can perform your best in every situation, and give your best to people and projects. This is true no matter your personal definition of success. And, journaling is a fantastic tool to track your progress. How you go about journaling is a highly personal affair. Some people like to use their computer or smart-phone, while others do well with pen and paper. Some people are detail-oriented, while others like to paint broader strokes of their day. But keep in mind that the whole purpose of journaling is so that you can look back and see your progress and milestones, or unfortunately sometimes, lack thereof. Set your journal up in a way that works for you, and in a way that you will actually use!

Here are some of the more common methods used:

1. Track your day with details

Many people don’t enjoy journaling their thoughts and feelings. If this is you, consider journaling the details of your goals instead. For example, you can track the some of the following information:

  • What did you eat?
  • How long did you work out?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how did you feel during your workout?

You can use a spreadsheet to track the information, a calendar, smart-phone, or even email the information to yourself. Each daily entry will be a reply to your original email until you have 30 messages at the end of the month.

2. Dear diary…

While many people do not like to journal thoughts and feelings, there are many people who do enjoy expressing themselves with words. Journaling how you feel each day, what struggles you are having, and how you overcame them, or succumbed to them can be incredibly cathartic, satisfying and educational. Journaling your successes is also very empowering.

When you go back through your journals and read your about your triumphs, no matter how small they may have seemed at the time, you will feel and remember your strength and this can be sufficient motivation to help you press on. It can also serve as motivation to set higher goals for yourself and to achieve them.

3. Daily goal

Setting small goals will help you attain larger ones. Having a daily goal, and writing it down, is an excellent way to measure your success. It can also help you stay positive when you look back over your daily to do list and realize that once again you have been successful in accomplishing your goals. A daily goal added to your to do list can keep you focused and on track moving toward your end goal. For example, if your end goal is to reach a target weight, your daily goal might be something like eating three well balanced meals and taking your dog for a walk after dinner. It is much easier to reach your goals when you have them written down and you can check them off as you go along.

4. Online tools

If a journal, spreadsheet or to-do list don’t fit your personality or lifestyle, try using an online tool. There are several great programs you can use that will help you document and track your success. And there are more coming online almost daily; and lots of them are free!

You are your most important project. Document your progress to help keep yourself focused, motivated and moving in your desired direction!


Photo Credit: Lucia Whittaker via Compfight cc