So I use this journal made by BestSelf Co. I may have mentioned it before. It’s called the Best Self Journal or Self Journal. It’s a journal that has you break down a goal into an acheivable task over 13 weeks. So to start with you need to be able to achieve at least part of the goal within 13 weeks. (4 journals makes up a full year) For example my main goal is I want to lose 10% of my body weight, by the end of 13 weeks. This is 20lbs. No small feat. It means I need to lose at least 1.5 lbs a week in order to achieve this.
Now, that’s not where I will stop. If you’ve done the math, you know that 10% of my body weight at 20 lbs, I weigh 200 lbs. I need to lose closer to 60-70 lbs to be within the high end of my ‘healthy weight’ (we wont go into the whole BMI thing, I have issues with that chart, but it’s fairly accurate for ME MYSELF, not everyone)
BUT! Since the journal is slated for a total of 13 weeks, if I try to set my goal at 60lbs expecting to hit that in 13 weeks, that is a very unrealistic and unhealthy goal. I would literally have to starve myself in order to achieve that, and that is not healthy. With using the journal, I set my goal at an acheivable, and reasonably sustainable goal. I am quite sedentary right now, so getting moving, and fixing a lot of my diet, SHOULD be reasonable enough to allow me to drop approx. 10% of my body weight in those 13 weeks. Then, once those 13 weeks are up, I get to start a new journal.
So how it could work is after my initial weightloss in my journal, maybe I am so set in my new habits from that journal that I decide I don’t have to make health and nutrition my new MAIN goal. So I set it as my secondary, tweaking what didn’t work, and keeping what I struggled with, with maybe little reminders of things I have down pat, but sometimes need to be reminded about. This means I can set the MAIN goal as something else, say I have a work project or a freelancing project that has a specific deadline, maybe I have a product launching soon, or maybe I just want to continue where the last journal left off, and make weight loss and nutrition my MAIN goal again.
The beauty of this journal is it lasts for 13 weeks. A short, but long, 13 weeks. Using this journal the way it’s meant to be used, you would be amazed at how much more you get done in a day, and just the feeling of accomplishment from being able to see exactly what you accomplished, rather than feeling like the day was a blur with no recollection of what you did.
I am no expert, but I am currently at the very tail end of my second journal, a whopping 13 weeks have gone by. It’s been a wild ride, but I’ve not only learned how to use the journal, I’ve learned how to use it daily. My main goal for this journal was to focus on my mental health. I will be doing a review of the full 13 week ride once it’s officially over. I still have a few days left, but I tell you, this journal played a big part in helping me with my mental health.
So now, down to a bit of an explanation on the Goal Setting part of this amazing journal. (I am using my secondary goal, focusing on nutrition. My main goal is based on exercise)
The journal itself is simple. It has three sections (2 in the newer versions) for you to write down your goal, three steps you will take to achieve that goal, and then three smaller tasks per step you will take to achieve your main goal. Verbally, it’s confusing. Visually, it makes more sense.
Main Goal – This is the ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT‘ part of Goal Setting
WHAT I WANT is to improve my eating habits & reduce my sugar intake (try for something measurable, my main goal is a tad vague, but this is my ‘secondary goal’ so it’s not as specific. I picked this one because sometimes it’s hard to break down the more vague goals that we can’t seem to get to a measurable level)
The end result is very important because – This is your MAIN WHY, see ‘when I achieve this goal’ for more explanation.
It will help me achieve my health and weight loss goals.
Progress Goals – This is the ‘HOW‘ part of the Goal setting
1. Step one – Eat 4-5 Smaller Meals every day
2.Step two – Meal Prep on Sunday for the Week
3.Step Three – Set up Meal Planning for July
Actions & Tasks – This is the daily and weekly ‘I WILL‘ part of the goal setting.
1.Smaller task for step 1 – Make more savoury, less sweet breakfasts
1.Smaller task for step 1 – eat smaller portions of meat, eat more vegetables every meal
1.Smaller task for step 1 – Reduce ‘added’ sugars and aim for more savoury foods/treats (ie no sugar in my coffee/tea, popcorn, pepperoni sticks, celery & salsa)
2.Smaller task for step 2 – Set aside 2-6 hours on Sunday for grocery shopping and prep work
2.Smaller task for step 2 – Make and use pre-done grocery lists (check sales, eat before shopping)
2.Smaller task for step 2 – Aim for smaller servings of meat and processed starches (ie white rice etc)
3.Smaller task for step 3 – Review Blood Type Diet Paperwork (This is very specific, I am doing this restrictive diet for the month of July)
3.Smaller task for step 3 – Pre-make Lunches and Breakfasts during June, freeze them. (Rice freezes very well!)
3.Smaller task for step 3 – Plan a shopping list and meal plan for each week of meals
When I aceive this goal, my life will impove in the following ways – This is as important as your main WHY. This is the multiple WHY part of goal setting that is so important. Without a solid reason or reasons as to why you want to achieve this goal, you may find yourself without the drive to force yourself through the bad days, and to keep going even when you are at your most discouraged.
When I achieve this goal, I will have helped achieve my weight loss and health goals, I will have reduced my sugar dependence/addiction, and I will have an idea on whether the Blood Type Diet helps my rheumatism.
If I complete this goal by my target date, I will reward myself with – This is the fun part. This is your ‘I want this, so I’m going to do this’ motivator. For some of us, this can be daunting. I don’t usually go for big things like a new wardrobe or new shoes or a new watch, but this is your chance to allow yourself to get something you REALLY want but have been holding off because it’s just outside of that ‘oh I’ll just buy it’ range. It’s that odd thing you really want that doesn’t necessarily have any practical use because you don’t NEED it, but you WANT it (signed hockey cards or a really amazing piece of art or a statue that you’ve had your eye on, or a new car, or a new tablet, or thatcamera you’ve been eyeing but yours hasn’t died yet).
I struggle with this section, and currently it is blank for both my main and my secondary goals. I need to figure out a really good WANT, because I need that extra motivation. Exercise and eating healthy is my absolute nemesis these days, so I need some serious motivation (and affordability due to my unemployed status) in order to make it through these next 13 weeks. I am only human after all!
The last section before your signature is what you will do to make sure you utilize the SELF Journal to the best of it’s ability and to make sure you take action on these goals every day.
1. I will check in with my Self Journal at breakfast, lunch, and about 30 minutes before my bedtime routine
2. I will keep consistent times on the above (my breakfast, lunch and bedtime are consistent because I am unemployed and require myself to keep some form of Normalcy!)
3. I will join the July #graduatechallenge (I am a ‘graduate’ of the SELF Journal, meaning I’ve used my first journal. The challenge is to help us veterans stay focused and to give us some extra accountability via the Best Self Alliance on Facebook)
If you have any questions about the journal feel free to drop me a line. I am no professional goal setter, but I am now on my third journal, so I’m a bit of a veteran when it comes to how this whole thing works!