As I mentioned earlier, you can journal about absolutely any topic you want; however, if you want to up level your business, there are four specific topics you should focus on.
You can focus on them altogether in one journal or you can write about these topics in separate journals; but acknowledging where you can improve yourself is the first step to a better life.
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Topic #1: Lifestyle
With this topic, you’ll focus on the type of lifestyle you want to live.
Where do you want to live?
What type of home do you want?
What do you want to do in your free time?
Where is your office?
How many hours do you work each day or week?
Think about your current lifestyle. Are you living in your dream location or are you living there because of your family or work? Are you working a business you love or are you doing it because it’s what you know and provides a decent income?
Now, dream big when dreaming of your ultimate lifestyle.
Don’t let your rational thought come into this thought process (there’s plenty of time for that).
Just let your dream flow from your brain into your journal.
So often we discover that it’s not material things that make us happy; it’s the relationships we have and our way of living that make us joyous.
There’s a meme that has made its round on social media, which says, “Why live for vacation? Find a way to make every day a vacation.” That’s a paraphrase but you get the idea.
The same could be said about living for the weekend. If you’re living your best life doing the work that makes you feel whole, then everyday will be like a vacation.
Have you ever given any thought into WHY you’re living the life you have?
Journaling can help you begin living with intention, to only saying yes to opportunities that will bring you closer to living your dream lifestyle. Exploring what your lifestyle entails is the first step to manifesting these opportunities.
After you describe your dream lifestyle, start to make notes about how you can achieve these goals.
Do you need to move?
Do you need to make changes to your business?
Are you currently making the income necessary to support this lifestyle?
Do you need the help of others to make this dream come true?
Is there anything you can do TODAY to move you toward that lifestyle?
Review all these notes and create action steps.
If setting a timeline helps you stay focused, do that with these lifestyle goals. The more action you take, the more you’ll feel knowing that you’re headed in the right direction.
Topic #2: Money
Keeping a money journal can help you clear money fears, feel more confident about your finances, stop beating yourself up over past money mistakes, plus you’ll reach your money goals faster.
Do you have money goals?
Do you know where your money goes each month?
How about specific bills?
How much do you pay for your car insurance?
Knowing the specifics about how much you earn and how you’re spending that income is the first step to taking control of your finances.
Are you saving for something major or do you just want to buy more stuff?
The more specific you can get in your journaling, the better.
If you’ve wracked up credit card debt in the past, are you still dwelling on that mistake? Try focusing instead on the fact that you paid it off (yay!) and take precautions to not be in that predicament again.
Write down the money mistake(s) you’ve made in the past and declare in your journal that you will not fall into that trap again. Now, write down smart money decisions you can make TODAY and create a plan for managing your income going forward.
What are your money goals?
Do you want to earn a certain amount each month?
Do you want to put a down payment on a home?
Do you want to become a digital nomad and travel the world while running your business?
Nothing is off limits but to avoid going into severe debt with these ideas, journal about why you want to save up and write about the details of your dreams. You can also explore ways to earn more in your business, or you can save this for your business-specific journal.
Also keep track of your money successes in your journal.
Once they start to accumulate, you can review those milestones and feel confident that yes, you know what you’re doing and you’re on track to reach your goals.
Write about when you have the down payment for your home or when you paid something off.
Throw a party when you pay it all off.
Even though bookkeeping can be a scary topic, that’s the only way you’ll know for sure if you’re on track to meet your goals.
Topic #3: Business
Keeping a business journal can help you capture ideas, stay motivated and inspired, relieve overwhelm and stress, and manifest the future of your business.
Just as with your lifestyle journaling, dream big with your business journal.
Even if something seems extraordinarily difficult, write it down and then tackle the action steps you need to take.
Some of these themes that we’re talking about today overlap a bit. In the lifestyle journaling section, I asked you if you were living intentionally with your choices with your work and the location.
Now do the same with your business journal. Is this your dream job / dream business or did you get started simply because you thought you’d enjoy it?
Do you live and breathe your business, or do you enjoy long breaks from it?
Just as you can create the lifestyle of your dreams, you can also create the business of your dreams. But knowing exactly what you want out of your business is the first step to manifesting those opportunities.
Also take notes about your business income, which overlaps with the money journaling that we just covered.
Do you know your monthly expenses?
Do you outsource to contractors?
How much do you pay in taxes?
These numbers are vital to determine if you’re overspending or if you’re making a profit.
Outside of your regular monthly operating expenses, are there any business trips or “extras” that you anticipate?
How about any live events that you want to attend?
Make a list of those along with the admission fees.
Do you need a hotel room? Flights?
Be sure to budget some money for food and entertainment. Now put together a savings plan – or simply prioritize this over other expenditures this month – so you can attend those events and reap the benefits.
Again, track your business successes. Write about when you sign on new clients, sell copies of your latest product, or even when you earn more than the previous month or year. Do you have a new JV (joint venture) partnership brewing?
Write about that and all the benefits of this project.
Are you starting an affiliate program to sell your products? Awesome…that deserves an entry.
Do you have clients raving about your coaching sessions? Collect testimonials and keep those filed so you can read them on difficult days.
Once you get a grip on your business income, dream big about what you want your business to look like next year, 5 years, and 10 years from now.
It’s important to write these entries in the present tense, as if your business looks this way right now, today. Present tense allows your brain to feel as if you’ve already accomplished these goals; it’s a more proactive feeling.
You’re reinforcing the positive mindset that you CAN achieve these things as opposed to hoping and wishing for things to happen to you when you use future tense.
Remember to use present tense with ALL your journal entries, whether it’s lifestyle, money, business or self-improvement.
Topic #4: Becoming the Next Level You
Keeping a “next level you” journal can help you set and hit bigger and bigger goals and help you get from where you are to where you want to be as a person.
Think of this as your self-improvement topic, which so many people ignore, thinking they’re too busy or they don’t have the desire to improve.
Focus on YOU as a person and how you want to change for the better.
How do you get started doing this type of introspection?
Find a quiet space without interruptions or distractions. If one of the questions I’ve mentioned here sparks something, then begin there. Write about the first thing that comes to mind; that’s often a sign that it’s taking up a lot of space in your subconscious and you need to address it.
If you need help getting started, write about your biggest accomplishment to date. Or what makes you the person you are today. Explore your purpose in life or the top 5 tips you’d like to tell your younger self.
This type of journaling is NOT meant to be an opportunity to bash yourself. If you make past mistakes, turn the entry into a positive by writing about the lessons you learned or how you’re working to not make that same mistake in the future.
If you’re looking to improve your health and wellness, don’t fall into the negative self-talk about your weight or size. Be proud of the steps you’re taking to live a healthy lifestyle instead.
Writing negative thoughts in a journal can feel cathartic and it’s a way to keep them out of your head. However, don’t dwell on those negative thoughts. Turning those into positive entries will help combat that negative self-talk that hides in everyone’s head.
When you need a dose of positivity, you can pull out your journal and see all the progress you’re making simply from the positive entries.
As you develop this daily journaling habit, the subject matter will present itself. If you’re tracking certain goals, update about your progress.
If you were inspired, write about how that felt and how that inspiration carried you throughout the day.
There is no wrong way to journal.
Even if you’re at a loss one day, write down that you don’t know what to write and see where that thought process takes you.
I’ve mentioned quite a bit about manifesting and how journaling can help you manifest what you want in life.
The first step in manifesting is knowing WHAT you want.
The second step is outlining the action steps you need to take for this desire to come true. The third step is to observe and acknowledge certain opportunities that will lead you toward your desire.
As you journal each day, you can review your previous posts and action steps, and make changes if necessary. Re-adjust your course or get ready to tackle today’s list of action steps. Soon you’ll start to notice all the things put into your world to help you reach your goals. But you first have to identify what you want.
Just a quick note about setting goals…
I love the SMART way of setting goals.
This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Be specific with what you want to achieve; avoid vague descriptors. How will you measure the progress toward achieving your goal? Is your goal attainable, or realistic? If not, break it down into smaller pieces that you can achieve more easily. Is your goal relevant or outdated? Change it, if necessary. And is your goal timely or are you looking too far into the future?
Using this acronym to set your goals will keep you focused on what you can accomplish today, this week, or this month. This process also helps you see where further action steps are necessary.
Follow the series here:
Part 2: The Benefits Of Journaling
Part 3: Choosing The Right Tools