Setting goals is a great way to lead a happier, more healthy life. One study’s findings reflect this, showing that goal-setting is related to improved well-being. However, goal-setting is only half the picture. To create the life of your dreams, you need to achieve your goals as well. And to do this, you need to stay motivated. When you first get started with a goal, its easy to be motivated. You’re excited about the prospect of making a positive change in your life, and this can carry you through some of the more challenging aspects of the process. However, soon after the initial excitement, this can fade, and the hard realities of consistently following through can set in. This is when you need some help to avoid burning out.This article will teach you some journaling strategies taken from our course on how to achieve goals.

Reviewing: How to Achieve Goals

Reviewing your progress is vital to achieving goals. In our introduction course we discuss how to do this through journaling. Specifically, we teach that you need to set aside time once a week to review your progress and outline your areas for improvement.

Writing down goals was found by one study to increase the likelihood of achieving goals, so we suggest writing down your thoughts and impressions as you go about your review process. This can give you time to think through your goals thoroughly, fully process them, remember them, and feel fully recommitted to making them happen.

Another way to implement what you recommitted to is to update your goals and daily tasks on your phone. This can give you a place to check in on yourself throughout your day. This way you can stay on track and continually check up on yourself.

Reviewing your goals by hand and then frequently checking in with yourself throughout the day is a great way to achieve your goals. As you do these things, you will be more successful, and likewise, feel more empowered and motivated to keep pushing forward.

Plan for the Unexpected: Journaling

Planning for the unexpected is also vital to achieving your goals. In our course on how to achieve goals, we teach you how to do this through journaling. We invite you to imagine scenarios that are likely to happen that could get in your way, and decide what you will do when this happens.

Specifically, the process includes imagining three scenarios–the worst case, the best case, and the most likely. The next step is to imagine how you will behave, and write down your plan. This will help you to be more adaptable. Otherwise, when things do go wrong eventually like they always do, you might end up feeling defeated and give up. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

Writing down how you will adapt to unexpected problems is a great way to ensure that you stay motivated. Not only will it get your brain juices flowing so that you can think more clearly, but it will help you feel confident in your ability to press forward when things get hard. One study’s results reflected this, showing that journaling improves self-efficacy.

Feeling self-efficacious, or like you have the ability to do something, is a very motivating and rewarding feeling. Additionally, it makes your success more likely because it ensures that you will give things a try that you otherwise would dismiss as impossible.

Motivation: Achieving Goals

Maintaining motivation is vital to achieving goals. We all experience setbacks and lose the initial excitement about improving our lives. But this doesn’t always have to lead to failure. You just have to be aware that you will probably lose motivation eventually, and know what to do when this happens.

In our jumpstart course on how to plan goals we teach “5 Why’s” of motivation. It is about asking yourself why you set your goal in the first place. To do this practice, get out your journal and start thinking about your “why” and write it down. Next, take it a step further. Ask yourself why this is your reason. Keep doing this until you have asked yourself “why” 5 times.

After you’ve done this, you’ll likely come down to the root “why” of your goal. This will be something that you truly value–maybe its friendship, growth, spirituality, etc. Whatever the value is that is at the center of your goal reminds you why you set this goal in the first place.

Knowing this can give you the motivation you need to push through the annoying setbacks that always come, reminding you of the larger reason that trumps all of the small things. In contrast, losing sight of this value can make annoying things seem like big enough reasons to give up. So don’t let this happen. Remember why you had this goal and push forward to success.

Conclusion: Achieve Your Goals

Achieving your goals can take you one step closer to your dream life. But it’s not easy. To stay on course and stay motivated, review your goals weekly, check up on yourself daily, plan for the unexpected, and remind yourself why you are doing this to yourself. And don’t forget to check out our course on how to achieve goals for even more help.

Also, remember that life doesn’t have to be all work and no fun. So plan fun breaks for yourself and give yourself rewards when you meet daily targets. You don’t need to torture yourself in order to reach your goals, and you really shouldn’t. Achieving goals is all about sustainability, so it’s important to be kind to yourself and make a plan that is not going to make you miserable.

And most importantly, don’t forget to utilize journaling. The research on journaling shows that it can be extremely helpful in achieving your goals. As you put these tips into practice, you are sure to find success. Good luck!