Journal prompts for goal-setting can help boost motivation, focus your mind, allow you to hone in on how to achieve your dreams, and ultimately put you in a positive mindset.
Setting ambitious, driven, long-term goals helps put you in the right direction and give you a purpose, which is crucial when you’re feeling stuck, behind, or as if your life lacks meaning.
On the other hand, setting smaller, daily goals that help you just live your day-to-day life with intention is great for lifting your mood when you’re feeling low. They give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning and help you feel like you’ve achieved something, even if that something is only making your bed.
This is why checklists can be good for your mindset – you’re ticking off goals throughout the day, achieving something, and giving yourself that little hit of rewarding dopamine to keep you going.
Goal-setting journal prompts help you to do all of this and more by gently encouraging you in the right direction.
They help motivate you to not only smash your goals, but set them in the first place.
They also help you hone in on what exactly you want to achieve and get your goals down on paper so that they’re actually a reality and not just ideas floating around in your head. It makes them feel much more real and plausible. You realise that if you can think it and write it down, you’re already on your journey to achieving it.
Some of my personal favourite journal prompts for goal-setting are:
- What do you want to achieve by setting goals?
- What areas of your life do you want to improve? How do you plan to do this?
- What does your day-to-day schedule look like? What areas do you want to change and why, if any?
- Describe your dream life; include how living this dream life would make you feel?
- What goals have you achieved in the past? What did you learn from them?
- How does smashing your goals make you feel?
- What’s the biggest goals you’ve achieved recently?
- What are five long-term goals that you want to reach? Be specific.
- What are five short-term goals that you want to achieve? Get as detailed as possible.
- How does thinking about achieving your ultimate goals make you feel?
- What are three things that you’ve achieved that make you feel grateful?
- Write a detailed plan of action for how you’re going to achieve one of your biggest goals. Break it down into small steps and map it out.
- What’s one goal you can set for yourself today that will put you in a good mood?
- What are three self-care goals that you can set today?
- Who do you look up to and why?
- What would you tell the ‘you’ from five years ago?
- What does your perfect morning routine look like? How can you go about implementing that?
- What are five intentions that you want to set for this month?
- Where do you want to be in a year’s time? What does your life look like?
- What do you feel is holding you back from achieving your goals?
- What are three limiting beliefs that you hold about yourself? Where do you think these come from and why?
- How do you plan to overcome your limiting beliefs?
- How does the idea of not meeting your goals make you feel?
- What are five possible things that could get in the way of meeting one of your specific long-term goals?
- Write a plan of action to overcome your obstacles.
- Do you often find yourself self-sabotaging or making excuses? If so, why do you think this is and how do you overcome it?
- What are your core values; do your goals reflect these?
- What are five things you can do to motivate yourself to smash your goals? What really gets you out of bed in the morning?
- What are three positive habits you can implement to help motivate you?
- What’s one thing you can do this week to work towards a big goal?
- What are five regularly daily goals you can set to put yourself in a positive state of mind?
- When do you feel the least motivated and why? How do you avoid this?
- What does your daily routine look like? Can this be improved to help you be more productive?
- What steps can you take to be more productive?
- What does you evening look like? Could your evening routine be improved? Are you getting enough rest?
- What are the first signs of burn-out to you?
- How does burn-out effect achieving your goals?
- What are five things you can ensure you do to make sure you’re not getting burnt out?
- What are 10 self-care activities you can do this week to ensure you reenergise, regenerate your energy, and recuperate?
- What does being ‘productive’ mean to you?
- What is one health-related goal that you want to achieve?
- What is your ideal job? Write how you plan to get it, if you haven’t already.
- What is the main reason you want to achieve a particular goal? What is your ‘why’?
- What are five things you’re really good at?
- What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the last year?
- What countries do you want to visit?
- What’s on your bucket list?
- How do you want others to see you?
- Do you ever feel apprehensive about achieving your goals? Why do you think this might be?
- What is your biggest career-related or monetary goal?
A lot of these goal-setting journal prompts can be used multiple times, so feel free to copy them and use them in the future.
How to use journal prompts for goal setting
Journal prompts are used to help get you thinking during your journal practise.
They also help increase self-awareness, mindfulness, and personal growth, as you can look at your answers objectively and see what you can learn.
In this case, goal-setting journal prompts aim to steer you in the direction of goal-setting. They get you not only thinking about what your goals are, but how achieving them would make you feel, and how to reach them.
The aim is to pick one journal prompt to focus on during each journaling session and write as much as you can about it.
By choosing journal prompts rather than trying to think of your own, you save time and guess-work, as they already lay out what direction you should be thinking in.
Many of the journal prompts for goal-setting mentioned above can be used multiple times for multiple goals.
My top tips on using goal-setting journaling prompts are:
- Pick one you resonate with on that particular day – what are you struggling with when it comes to goal-setting right now? (Don’t be afraid to use the same one multiple times.)
- Be open and honest with your answer.
- Write as much as you want, but really dig deep to get to the bottom of how the prompt makes you feel.
- Remove/turn off all distractions – like your phone or TV – so that you can truly just be with your own thoughts for a few minutes.
- Set a timer if you’re strapped for time.
Using journal prompts should be an enlightening, motivating, almost cathartic experience, so I invite you to get as creative as you like with it.
Do what works for you and have fun with it. You can absolutely be hungry to reach your dreams, but there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the process.
I have a whole post on how to start a journal, if this is something you would like to do.
Should I start a goal setting journal?
Using goal-setting as part of your daily journal practise is something that I invite everyone to try for at least 30 days.
I find it not only motivational but vital during dark times.
Setting small, daily goals helps me get out of bed when I’m feeling low, while setting bigger ones gives me hope and something to strive for.
This is why I recommend it so vehemently in my Master Your Mindset with Journaling course and accompanying workbook.
Using goal-setting and journal prompts, along with other journaling techniques, such as practising gratitude, scheduling self-care, and writing out affirmations, has been life-changing for my mindset and has helped me completely transform the way I approach life, as well as smash a few of my long-term goals.
If you want to keep a journal dedicated to goal-setting and that’s it, you’re obviously absolutely able to do this as a stand-alone journal technique. However, I would also recommend doing it alongside the other journaling techniques listed above for a total mindset overhaul.
If you work on feeling grateful and positive, while boosting your confidence and focusing on self-care, you’re even more likely to achieve your goals because your head is going to be in a much better place.
You’ll be more productive, positive, and motivated, while also valuing your own time and preventing burn-out by making time for yourself.
Master Your Mindset with Journaling is currently open for enrolment, if you want to change your life through simply journaling.