Journaling for Startups:
Six Tips to Guide You Toward Your Goals

Starting a business? It’s the perfect time to begin keeping a journal. Journals aren’t just for recording what happens each day—they can help you focus on what matters and take steps to accomplish your goals. Here are six ways journaling can guide you and your new company along the path to success:

Clarify your vision.

A journal is the perfect place to develop or refine your business’ mission statement. When you start your journal, think about exactly what you want to accomplish with your business, and write it down. If your vision and your mission statement don’t line up, journaling can help you figure out why, and build a clear picture in your mind of where you’re headed.

Outline your goals.

As you make journaling a daily habit, you’ll find that a journal is the perfect place to record your short and long-term business goals. What do you want to accomplish today? This week? This month? This year? Write it all down. You can use your journal for daily to-do lists, and check off your progress as you go. You can also use it to refer back to your longer term goals over time, and update them as needed.

Make a plan.

A journal is also a great place to follow through on your to-do lists. As you work toward your goals, keep track of how things are going. You can also look over your to-do lists, and think about what you’ll need to make each item a reality. Is it money? Knowledge? A journal can help you prioritize everything you want to accomplish, and figure out how to make it all happen.

Brainstorm new ideas.

Make time every day for stream-of-consciousness writing. When you’re not making lists of your goals and priorities, take time to free write in your journal. Let your ideas flow onto the page, without judgment, and prepare to be surprised by what comes out. You might dream up new products, reveal fears that are holding you back, or develop creative solutions to problems.

Develop a positive attitude.

Each day, make a list in your journal of a few things that are going well in your business and your life. Creating a daily gratitude list will help you develop a habit of positive thinking. A grateful, optimistic outlook can give you the mental strength to overcome challenges and believe in your business’ potential.

Track your progress over time.

If a mentor gives you advice, or a friend has a marketing suggestion, write it down. Once in a while, go back and read through your notes. Reread your day-to-day progress and think about what’s working for you. Are the steps you’re taking moving you closer to your goals? Are there actions that aren’t working out the way you’d hoped? You’ll learn what works best for you—and can you avoid making the same mistake twice.

Miss a day? Don’t give up. A daily journal isn’t an obligation— it’s a valuable business tool, and it’s worth the effort.

Lisa Beebe

Lisa Beebe lives in Los Angeles with Stitch, a one-eyed Maltese dog who is her favorite living creature. She loves writing about creative, inspiring people who are making the world a better place. When she isn't working, Lisa volunteers with WriteGirl, a nonprofit organization that matches women writers with teenage girls for creative writing mentorship.