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

Starting a business? Then it’s also time to start keeping a journal. Journals aren’t just for recording what happens each day—they can help you bring a business plan into focus 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, write down exactly what you want to accomplish with your business. If your vision and your mission statement don’t align, then this exercise can help you figure out why and how to harmonize the two.  

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. Look over your to-do lists and think about what you’ll need to accomplish each task. Is it money? Knowledge? A journal can help you prioritize what you need to get done, and figure out how to make it all happen.

Brainstorm new ideas.

When you’re not making lists of your goals and priorities, take time to free write in your journal. Make time every day for stream-of-consciousness journaling. 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 or life and take a moment to be thankful. 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? This reflection exercise will help you learn what works best for you and 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.

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