Write it down, make it happen!
I don’t make it a secret that I’m a big fan of writing things down. For close to a decade now I have maintained a regular practice of writing in a journal, sometimes up to three times a day. My only wish is that someone would have taught me the magic of this powerful (and ridiculously easy) tool over three decades ago. Then again, maybe someone had taught me, but unfortunately it wasn’t until I was well past my college years that I took the advice seriously.
In 2007, I was hired onto the production team at Robbins Research International, a company owned by the well-known peak performance coach to the affluent and famous, Anthony Robbins. My first thirty days at Tony’s organization was mind-blowing. Never had I met so many people who owned and practiced writing regularly into a journal. Upon my first week of working at RRI, at least four different team members gave me a journal as an onboarding present. For the record, I had also never met as many people who could turn cleansing and detoxifying the body into a competitive sport. More on that later…
At first I thought I was the target of an underground program of re-gifted rejected secret Santa gifts by previously terminated employees, but I later learned just how essential these journals were to keeping up with Tony’s rapidly changing workflow and “top-graded” professional environment. I have to admit, I loved it. And I soon learned how to fill my daily journal entries with outcomes, emotions, “massive action plans” and anything else I could come up with to support the tenacity to reach any goal I put in front of me.
Over the next seven years, I acquired a number of different strategies and techniques on journaling. I nipped and tucked each version to come up with an outline and structure that I still use to this day. Below is a breakdown of that process, divided into sections with a short description of each.
I encourage you to start this practice sooner than later. If you can’t commit to completing the entire process, then start with just one. Seriously, just commit to writing one section each day until it becomes your ritual. Eventually, it will become a habit. You will soon find that getting what you want is actually pretty easy. And it truly is as easy as writing it down.
#goDo: Your Purpose
Start each day thinking about your purpose for living. I know, that’s heavy. But think about it. Why are you here? If you can’t think of a reason, explore the thought more. What are you good at? What lights you up? What do you hope to accomplish in your life? Who do you hope to impact?
I start my day by reminding myself what I am here:
“I am alive to share the gifts that have been given to me with as many people as possible, with the hopes of inspiring millions to harness their true purpose, passion and possibility. I’m alive to change minds, influence and inspire.”
gGoDo: Your Prediction
“The best way to predict your future is to create it”
If you had the power to predict your future, what would you do? You can. When journaling, spend a minute writing about your day as if it has already happened -- write the things that you would love to see happen or experience that day. Imagine yourself writing or reflecting on the day just before you’re about to go to sleep. What thoughts, celebrations, successes or experiences would you want to look back on and celebrate from that day? I used to write that I’d get a phone call back from someone I was trying to reach, I’d surpass a health and fitness goal, or an opportunity I was pursuing or dreaming about would become a reality that day. Many times, that exact thing would happen by the end of the day. I tried this for 30 days and I couldn’t believe what transpired. Give it a shot!
#goDo: Your Goals
I’ve worked with personal and professional coaches for years and they all have one thing in common – goals. I am always following 3 goals at any given time, and once I achieve one, I replace it with a new one and the cycle continues. These goals range from very personal to financial goals. Below is a guide to help you get started:
Health & Fitness – ex: complete at least 3-triathlons or races per year, decrease body fat % by “x” amount, drik
Career/Mission/Purpose – ex: create, launch and grow a business that inspires people and creates unforgettable opportunities and experiences for others
Financial – ex: financially security - no credit card debt, no personal debt and no tax debt, w/at least 6 months in savings to live on n case of emergency
#goDo: Your Character
Who are you? Have you really thought about it? What words make up your character or describe who you really are? Who do you aspire to be? Take a minute each day to define (or create) your identity. If you don’t take the time to truly understand who you are then you leave yourself open to be defined by what others think about you. This is extremely dangerous so don’t miss the chance to work on this yourself. Understanding who you are will attract the people, places and things you need to take you where you want to go.
#goDo: Your Defense
Once you have a better understanding of who you are, you will also understand any potential threats or obstacles better that could get in your way. I remember when one of my goals was to save money for a large purchase. I knew that frivolous spending was an immediate and almost undetectable threat to reaching this goal. In response, I used to write down all of the possible ways I could waste money in a day, such as buying coffee, taking a taxi instead of walking or unnecessarily ordering another glass of wine. Because I spent the time identifying the threat before it happened, I was able to avoid it entirely.
#goDo: Your To-Do List
You may have noticed that the to-do list was saved for last. This is intentional. Unfortunately most people run their lives by a to-do list, instead of leading it with their purpose and specific goals in mind. What happens when you do this is the reason most people:
Never reach their goals
Lose faith or focus on their goals
After you’ve decided what your purpose and goals are as well as what your day will look like, then you can start to write down the daily goals, actions or tasks that are needed to fulfill. I try to keep my daily actions or goals to 10 or less. I even make some of my daily goals as simple as eating clean or drinking plenty of water. No matter what, the list of 10 or less always support my purpose, goals, predictions and character. Pretty simple, huh?
This last step is for the more advanced readers, overachievers or the true goDoers! Once you have a new habit of journaling daily, you can start journaling more than once a day. Try journaling again after lunch or before you go to bed. Use this time to check-in with your goals, your day or your progress. Many religions require its followers to pray multiple times a day. This is to keep them focused on their faith, their mission, values and beliefs.
Journaling is no different. One of the most rewarding parts of journaling daily is when you are able to look back at the day, before falling asleep, to discover how much you accomplished or how much closer you allowed yourself to get to reaching your goals. Make the time to check in more than once a day and watch your results accelerate.
There are few things more rewarding (and FREE) than this!
If someone were to ask me what was the one thing I can attribute all of my success to, without hesitation I would say, “journaling daily”. Although it took some time and practice, as all good things do, getting into the habit of writing things down really helped me make it all happen. And I’m still not done. It really is that easy. And it can be that easy for you do.
Now, #goDo it!