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How to Set Goals and Achieve Them: Goal Setting With A Bullet Journal

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them: Goal Setting With A Bullet Journal

How goal setting with a bullet journal can help you achieve your goals! Learn how to set goals & tips to make goal setting in your bujo effective and make THIS YOUR YEAR!

A New Year means a whole 365 days of new possibilities. Don’t get stuck making New Years Resolutions that never seem to eventuate. Instead, be smart about goal setting and create some real change in your life. 

One of the best ways to make your goals happen is to use a Bullet Journal for goal setting. 

You are probably already great at setting out small goals in your daily spreads. But working towards those BIG goals takes a little extra work and organizing. 

Learn how to set bullet journal goals, make a goals page layout and change your mindset to have the best year yet!


Why Use A Bullet Journal For Goal Setting


According to Forbes “ people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals”.

Just by simply writing your goals down on paper you are more likely to succeed. That’s a good enough reason for me to try goal setting in a Bullet Journal!

The bonus of a Bullet Journal over other ways to write down your goals is that every time you do new daily, weekly, and monthly spreads you are reminded of your goals and are making new, important action steps towards achieving them. 


How To Set Goals

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them: Goal Setting With A Bullet Journal


The first thing is to choose your goals. Simple, right? 

Well, actually this is probably the hardest part of goal setting. It can be all too easy to set flippant goals or ones that aren’t even really for you. 

That sounds a little strange, but have a think. Did you really WANT to do that further education course, or are you doing it to look more impressive to others, or maybe because it was always your parent’s dream for you to get a degree? 

If your goal does not light you up and gets you excited then it will be much harder to make it happen. Especially when you have to go through some hard times to get to the end goal. 

Take your time setting your goals. Do some deep pondering and mindfulness exercises, imagine how you want life to be a year down the track, the habits you would like to be your best self, and new things you would love to learn.

Bullet Journal Daily Spread Ideas That Will Make You More Productive + Free Daily Page Printable

Keep daydreaming about those goals until you find the ones that really light you up. That makes you excited and nervous. Then you know you are on the right track. 


Questions To Ask Yourself When Goal Setting


Why do I want this goal? 


Knowing your why will help you whenever it seems like you are struggling to take your next action step. You need to really find the deep purpose behind your goal. For example, if your goal is to become healthier, is your real Why, that you want to be able to run around and play with your kids without getting exhausted? 

You need a strong reason why you want to achieve these goals. If you can attach a powerful emotion to your why, even better. 


What steps do I need to take to achieve my goal?


This will let you break down your goal into small manageable tasks and actions. You can then schedule these..with clear dates. Sometimes I find it easier to work backward from my goal and date. 

For example, I had a recent goal of a girl’s trip to New York ( you may have guessed this from my recent New York doodles post) to catch up with some amazing friends. I knew what date I was leaving so could work backward to create action steps like when I needed to book accommodation and flights while also making a budget tracker help me save my spending money.  


What blocks or difficulties may stop me from achieving my goal?


We have all heard “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” by Benjamin Franklin, right? Well, turns out it is so true. Being prepared for things like making time, finding money to fund goals, and even knowing your personal weaknesses can help you overcome difficulties when they come up. 

A great example is if you are working on a fitness and health goal but know that as soon as the weather turns cold you tend to eat less healthy options and exercise less. Just knowing your habits means you can work to overcome those problems as soon as they come up by doing things like meal prep or booking an indoor gym class for the colder months. 


Planning Quotes - 12 Amazing Quotes About Planning To Live By

How to be accountable?


It is just human nature to be more motivated to do something if you have told someone about it rather than keeping a goal to yourself. There are so many ways to make yourself accountable with goals. 

You could tell a supportive (this part is important) family member or friend. You could publicly announce it on Facebook, find an online support group or join a community where people have similar goals.

I also recommend having a Vision Board to revise your goals every day. This way you will never lose focus.

After asking yourself these questions a great way to make sure you definitely nail those goals is to make them SMART goals.


How To Set SMART Goals


What does SMART stand? It is an acronym and simply means that you need to make sure your goals are all:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time Frame

For example, “I want to get fit, healthy, and strong”, might be a great goal, but it is not a SMART goal. There are no specific targets to reach, or what fit actually means to you, or when you want to achieve your goal by. 

A better and more SMART goal could be that you want to compete in a certain event. For example, a triathlon or fun run. This gives you a set time frame and you are very specific. You can also break down this goal into measurable and achievable steps to smash your goal.


Using A Bullet Journal for Goal Setting


You already know how to set your goals so how do you make it happen? 

Firstly, it is great to remember that like with all things Bullet Journal, do what works for you. If you like things to be visual have lots of charts, trackers stickers, and doodles. If you prefer it much simpler go for a more minimalist layout. Either way, make sure you follow these simple steps.


Important Steps To Goal Setting With Bullet Journals


Break your goals down into small actionable steps


Make sure you put a time frame on the steps. Remember to be realistic and not overly ambitious. We all tend to overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year.

Schedule each action plan into your spreads. Make sure to add things like making appointments, bookings, and time to reflect on how you are progressing. Those small steps in your daily spread will look much achievable than the bigger ones in your weekly and monthly spreads.

The Best Bullet journal bloggers To Follow


Track your progress 


Add a habit tracker to keep on top of those habits you need to change to make your goal a reality. This could be an exercise tracker, spending tracker, ticking off those study days, or even making sure you are drinking enough water!.

One of the most important things for me is a small space on my monthly spread to jot down how I am going with my goals. This can be how I am feeling, any obstacles I came across, or a setback I had. This can help you track if there are triggers that cause blocks on your way to your goal. It’s really valuable to see how far you have come and to not let these setbacks stop you from achieving your goals. Instead, use them to learn more about yourself and your habits. This will help you overcome those hurdles if they come up again in the future. 


Tips on How to Achieve Goals


Make your goals a priority. Put those action steps you need to take as one of the first things in your daily, weekly, and monthly spreads.

Be sure to add mantras and some great inspirational quotes to your spreads for when you need some extra motivation.

Think about using a second Bullet Journal for your big goals. It can be easier to keep track of those big goals in a separate journal. With an easy way to look at the big picture, it can be simpler to make action plans to fit into your regular bujo. This way those BIG important dreams don’t get lost in everyday life. 

A second journal can be a fun place to pop things, like a dream board and a written version of your perfect dream day. Both of these are fantastic tools to help you achieve your goals. 

Check out my favorite journal here

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What goals are you setting for the year? Share with us in the comments. 



Set smart goals for Bullet Journal and achieve them.

Learn how to set goals and achieve them. Find goal setting ideas and learn how to set smart goals for yourself

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Sunday 8th of December 2019

I need to gain 3 kg, get my bloodsugar under 55 and my lyng funktion stabelised at 75. I’ve got cystisk fibrosis and 2 kids have hid my Health hard. Next year my goal is to g’et better health, so i cen live top have grandchildren

Diary of a Journal Planner

Wednesday 11th of December 2019

Good luck with your goals! We hope that 2020 brings improved health and lots of magic with your two children.

Robin Payne

Sunday 22nd of September 2019

Thank you for including MaryAnn's comments on this page. I thought I was reading about myself. I'm older and needed to lose weight for health reasons. My goal is to lose at least 125 pounds. I've been intermittently for several years keeping track of my blood pressure and glucose level on doctor's orders, but was lazy about doing it. Now I'm more motivated than ever before. I'm seeing a weight loss specialist and have been on a "modified fasting diet" since June 16th of this year. I also started trying to exercise in our pool daily. Both doctors had told me to walk for 30 minutes everyday, but that was impossible for me to do because of knee and back pain. The weight specialist also told me to keep a food diary. I was faithful for about a month. I have had success with building up stamina and the length/intensity of my pool workouts and eating habits. I have lost 40 pounds and have become productive again in all areas of my life. I have now also begun an exorcise plan out of the pool, because colder weather is coming. You wonderfully addressed this situation in this article. I discovered bullet journaling about 3 weeks ago and have been working on beginning one. Like MaryAnn I have used some of my adult coloring book materials and I plan to use stamps (of which I probably have 500, I Texan I don't do anything in a small way). I'm not a good doodler, or artistic, but I'm great at coloring. I have been trying to figure out, and read many posts on Pintrest, how to incorporate my workouts, eating, and weight loss in the journal. Reading this post has been amazingly helpful. Not in just deciding how to do this, but also how to set and keep goals. This is long. I apologize for that. I'm just very excited and eager to get home to begin using the inspiration and information you have given me. (I'm on a 2 hour drive home from visiting my grandson.). Thank you Robin

Diary of a Journal Planner

Wednesday 25th of September 2019

Hi Robin, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. Congrats on your achievements so far. The beginning is always the hardest step! We hope that using a Bujo will make a difference for you on your journey and help you make more goals happen! If you are on Facebook we have a group page that you may like to join? We love hearing about everyone's Bujo journey and encourage our community to share their spreads. Best of luck as you continue with your weight loss.

MaryAnn Coy

Thursday 20th of June 2019

Yes I'm getting a Bujo going. Today I finished a coloring page for my cover sheet. My Chiefest goals are medical. I need to drop 100 lb, to improve my health. Been using the SMART goal approach on this Long Term Goal. Got a copy of the Dash Diet(to reduce weight & blood pressure, a book on reducing Cholesterol, & a book on reducing Triglycerides, a 3 pronged approach, not counting reducing sugar, which I don't need help with. I also got healthy for weight loss cookbooks for my Slow Cookers & Instantpot. A 1200 calorie diet & current calorie & gram counter. Yesterday I got my Food Diary from Amazon, this step works for me. Today I located an Exercise Tracker. It's a major goal, involving many months, intermittent reviews, with a gradually increasing exercise plan, I've been working on for some months, so I felt the specifics needed separate trackers. But also a Habit Tracker for the Components in my Bujo will help. I'm also going to Meal Plan for this, & will list the meals on my Bujo Layouts. I grocery shop on line for delivery, so transferring groceries from menu plan to shopping list is easy & junk stays out of the house. Next is setting up the Bujo and getting underway. I will be tracking many healthcare appointments, diet, exercise, hydration, & there are other pages I want to do, but am thinking of adding them gradually over the months to come, so I don't get overwhelmed! A suggestion was made to start the Bujo process first & get it down, I think it’s a wise idea. I can add the doodles later. Meanwhile there is Washi Tape, my Sticky Notes, a few Stamps & Stickers. I do Adult Coloring & thought why not use some pages for cover sheet & part of monthly spreads? It's a start. So far most of my pins have come from your blog, I might be much older but I like your style. I'm starting using a loose leaf binder for several reasons. I'm Left handed, I have large writing, I'm not fond of bound books for writing. I'm using ball points & my Colored Pencils, some dry highlighters made for Bible study & those Stabilo boss pastel highlighters for color coding. I can color code with Washi & with sticky notes. It's a big undertaking but I need it, I want it, & I'm stubborn enough to see it through! I think I will enjoy it too. Thank You for all the information I have learned so far from you, what I will continue too learn. MA Boston, MA USA

Diary of a Journal Planner

Thursday 15th of August 2019

We wish you all the best on your journey MaryAnn and so happy that we could help in some way.