Journaling ideas: Goals and plans

 Download/print the 1 page PDF of this handout “Goals and Plans

Many people make New Year’s Resolutions that are impossible to keep. “This year, I will write diligently in my journal every single day.” Does that sound familiar?

While commitment, inspiration, and accountability are all great motivators for journaling, you should never feel guilty about not writing. Your journal is just that—YOURS. You can use it to direct the coming year by writing forward-thinking entries that address your hopes, your plans, your dreams, your needs. Different writers naturally prefer different techniques.

You can develop goals for yourself

  • What would you like to accomplish?
  • Where are you going with your life this year and how are you getting there?
  • Are there particular books you want to read? Where did you hear about them?
  • Are there places you want to go? Why?
  • Are there people you would like to visit or call or write?
  • Set some goals that are rewarding, even if you are sure you can easily accomplish them.
  • Set some goals that will be challenging, even if you aren’t sure you can accomplish them.
  • Revisit your goals in your journaling. Reevaluate where you are going.

You can find your own path

What are the things that keep you from writing? How do you find the time to journal? These aren’t problems that anyone else can solve for you, because these are problems that every writer faces personally. The best advice I can give you is just a simple rephrasing. Overcome the things that keep you from writing. Make time to journal.

Writing exercise:

Write about something you are looking forward to. Why are you anticipating it? What do you expect? How are your preparing?

Brainstorming exercise:

When are you more reluctant to journal? How to you overcome these challenges?


Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Health Information Librarian, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book group leader, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison, Community Novel Project leader, HUSH podcaster, and frequent library customer. She reads a new book every few days, but recently enjoyed Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley.