“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals” (Melody Beattie)
Its December now, that time of the year when everyone looks back their past 12 months trying to visualize and reflect on what all happened and how did they perform or behaved, be it their professional, personal or academic life. The year-end always get you down to this feeling and compels you to think even if for a very small period - what could I have done better to get me closer to my dreams and wishes?
We all make new-year resolutions that are meant to make us happier, achieve our goals and make us productive. Lot of us do achieve our goals but in my experience, majority doesn’t. In my previous article “New Year Resolution – Have A Stop Doing List” I discussed how you can achieve your goals much better by preparing a ‘stop-doing’ list instead of a ‘to-do’ list. This will give you a chance to list down items that create unnecessary noise in your life without adding anything substantive. The reason we all make resolutions is because we strive to achieve something meaningful in our life by doing things that matter. We are aware that discipline is something we lack and therefore, by writing on a piece of paper the things we want to do, we try and set a disciplined path for success.
The concept of ‘writing’ has been quite primitive. We have all the sacred learning in the form of Bible, Bhagwad Gita, Quran or Guru Granth Sahib written by noble saints. Upon discovery of ancient civilisations, it has been observed that every aspect of life that was prevent that time was captured in writing and even today writing forms an integral part of our life. My 6-year-old son is asked by his school to write several pages every day so that he learns the alphabets and numbers and memorizes them well. The idea is that writing helps you focus and helps you learn quickly. Anything that you write with your own hands gets registered in your mind quickly and remains with you for a long time.
Writing is one of the most powerful ways to set a discipline in your life. By writing down the things to be done, your goals to be achieved, your precious moments in life, your aspirations and your weaknesses, you tend to make them work in your way. For example, the moment you are writing down your daily things to do list, that period of time you are actually focusing hard and thinking what items you need to finish today. That period of time, you are actually only to your own, talking to yourself and then penning down the items. In fact what you are doing by writing is actually reflecting your own life – past, current and future and trying to make things work in your favour.
In some of my previous articles I have written a lot on the importance of ‘journaling’, i.e. writing your daily journal or diary. The idea of writing your own personal journal is to write your daily story, which gradually dovetails into your entire life. Its important to remember that:
“Your days are your life in miniature. The way you spend your days, is the way you craft your life”
If you are eager to craft your life the way you want it, that is filled with success, joy, peace and wealth, you then need to start practice living your days more productively and with high level of discipline. And one of the ways to achieve that discipline is ‘writing your own personal journal/diary’.
How Should You Write Your Journal/ Diary
I want to share the experience of writing my own personal journal that I maintain on a daily basis. As I mentioned, your journal should capture your day in a way that when put together, all days gets woven into your entire life.
These are some of the items you should try and capture in your journal:
Your BIG-5 Goals
Write your top-5 goals for the new-year in a sequential manner. The goals should ideally cover the following aspects:
a. Professional goal;
b. Personal goal;
c. Academic goal (for students);
d. Social goal;
e. Financial goal; and
f. Spiritual/ Physiological goal.
A lot of us are generally not aware of our goals since we have a habit of taking things as they come and appear in front of us. However, all top and great leaders have their goals well identified and planned.
Identify those 5 items/objectives/passions, which, if achieved in the new-year would completely change your life. These are the goals or passions you have been dreaming for but never disciplined yourself to achieve them. Write them down.
Write the goals in personal, present and perfect tense
Always write your goals in a manner as if you have already achieved them. For example, if you are 80 kgs in weight and want to loose by 10 kgs and reach 70kgs then your personal goal should be written as follows – ‘I have lost weight by 10 kgs and now I am 70kgs’. By writing goals this way, you send signals to your subconscious mind and then the subconscious mind releases all the energy to make your goals come true.
Put a date to your goals
Any goal is not worth pursuing when there’s no deadline attached. You have to be very clear in your mind about the date by which you would be able to achieve your desired objective or goal. Against each of the above goal write down the time by which you would be able to achieve it. And then make a plan to achieve it before that time.
Your Morning 5 and Nightly 3
In addition to writing your BIG-5 goals to be achieved in the new-year, you should, on a daily basis, in the morning write down your 5 goals/activities, which if finished would make your day complete in all respects and make you super productive.
At the end of the day, before you retire for sleep, I would encourage you to write down 3 activities that made you learn something or 3 things that made your day or any 3 good deeds during the day.
We, as human beings have an inclination to always criticize what we have and not appreciate the goodness stored in it. Majority of us don’t thank with what we have – our body, our friends, our job, our home, our health etc. There are thousands of unfortunate souls in this world who are deprived of the very basics of life including home and food, and that way we are very fortunate and blessed.
So, just thank for whatever you have, thank the day that went by peacefully without any problem, thank for your health and wealth and wise you have got, thank for the movie you watched, thank for the coffee you drank and the food you ate, thank your parents for being with you, thank your friends for being with you and thank God for all good things that have happened and that keep happening to you.
“Gratitude helps you move from the feeling of scarcity to a feeling of abundance”.
Write an affirmation every day
Affirmations are simple sentences that you narrate to yourself to convince that you would achieve your goals. It’s a very well accepted practice that affirmations if narrated 3-4 times during the day send positive signals to the subconscious mind, keeps you focused and consequently, helps you achieve your desired goals.
Few examples of affirmations that can be used:
a. Every day and in every way I am getting energy and confidence to manage my studies and office and I am all charged up to give my best in the exams;
b. I am asking my subconscious mind to provide me success in my examinations and all the success is actually flowing into me;
c. Every day and in every way I am working hard to achieve my BIG-5 goals and I am sure of achieving them soon;
d. Day by day I am releasing all the negativity in my mind and I am gradually becoming the most positive person ever.
Similarly, you can create your own affirmations basis your objectives, goals and passions.
All activities that made your day
In my journal, I write down all the important things that I did and things that I couldn’t complete. By writing them down in my journal I am able to keep a control over my activities, I am able to work on my strengths and weaknesses and write what actions should I take to improve them.
An Inspirational Quote
I make it a point to write in my journal any good quote or sentence that I read in the morning and then keep reading it several times during the day. It could be any inspirational or motivational quote that I would have liked and would want to implement in my life. I also keep sharing some of the quotes on my Facebook page “Nimish Goel Blog”.
Keep the journal with you all the time so that you are able to look at your Daily 5 activities for the day and keep focusing yourself to finish them. Have a plan to achieve those goals and have a plan to execute each and every item on your to-do list so that you end your day much fulfilled, inspired and motivated. The feeling of completing your tasks for the day, doing good deeds and being grateful for all things in your life would start to make you feel like a Champion.
Try this and I can assure you of GREAT RESULTS very quickly. I am now in the process of preparing a journal/diary that can be downloaded from my blog. Once I have prepared it, I shall upload it on the blog www.nimishgoel.com and make it available free of cost to be used by all the readers of my blog.
Stay blessed and keep reading my blog…
Authored by Nimish Goel (www.nimishgoel.com), a chartered accountant with more than 12 years of experience and who’s passion is to coach and help young chartered accountants and aspiring students achieve the best in their life. Nimish used to work with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe. He now runs his own consulting company and runs a blog www.nimishgoel.com. He can be reached for any queries and issues on his blog.