Since June 15, 2005 I have been writing journal entries and as of today I have over 2,700 entries in nearly 14 journals. I use either a black or blue pen to write my thoughts, dreams, goals, and so on. Knowing I do not plan to share any of my writings, I am comfortable writing without restriction. In other words, I enabled myself to write freely and honestly. The reason I started writing in the first place was to track my failures and successes. After I write 12 months of entries, I go back and review these entries to see if I made the progress I thought I would.
When I review previous journal entries, I am looking to see whether I did what I said I would. If I have not done what I said I would, then I ask myself why it did not happen? Reading through old journal entries is a good time to reflect. It also gives me the opportunity to relive certain situations. Since I rarely miss a day, I can go back to almost any day and read about what I was doing that day.
My journal is purely a tool to make me better and hold myself accountable. I fear waking up one day only to realize I did not accomplish the goals I set out to achieve years ago. Writing in a journal will help you stay focused on the goals you set because you will be writing about them over and over again. It helps your goals become more real. If you only think about a goal you want to reach and not write it down, you may quickly forget about it and move on. Writing about your goals will help you explore them further and gives you a chance to have a conversation with yourself about them. You will want to understand your goals and build a plan to reach them in a timely manner.
It is very important to be honest with yourself in the your journal. It is also very important you write as often as you can and the length of each journal entry should be at least one page, if possible. It is difficult to fit your whole day and all your goals into one page of writing, so I often write about the biggest items. For example, if your big goal is to pay off your house, then you should write a significant portion of your writings on paying off your house. If your big goal is to finish school, then you should write a significant portion of your writings on finishing school.