Ask the Readers: Do You Set Goals?

Goals are not just for New Year’s resolution. Some people swear by them, others don’t know what to do with them. Just because you have goals, does not necessarily mean you are taking steps towards achieving them. 

Do you have a method for setting goals? We have all heard of SMART goals, and it’s all very well to follow that method, but the key is getting the results, not merely the process.

How does your goal setting process work? Are you clear on what you wish to achieve? Do you find tangible benefits from setting goals? 



Journal about your current goals, and your current process. Is it efficient? If it is not providing you the results you need, what changes will you make?


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Win A Free Course – Kaizen Journaling Academy

Kaizen Journaling Academy (KJA) is now open for registration. Check out the new page in the menu tab above. From now on, you will find details of all current and upcoming courses on the Academy page.

To celebrate the launch of KJA, I’m going to have three draws in which you can win a free place on a Current Course of your choice. 

Draw One

This is open to everyone, including people who qualify for the other draws. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post saying which course you would like to win and why. I’ll pick a winner at random. – Deadline Sunday 30, September Natalie B. 

Draw Two

This is for everyone who helped by answering my questions when Journal Addict was evolving into Kaizen Journaling. I’ve a list of your names, and one of you will win a free place.  – I’ll announce the winner on Facebook and Twitter. Sarah Bates

Draw Three

This draw is for everyone who helped name KJA. If you also helped with Journal Addict answers, then you will be entered in both draws, and have two chances to win. Your names have been automatically entered. – I’ll announce the winner on Facebook and Twitter. Tammy Turner


All winners will be announced on the blog on Monday, 1st October. I’ll contact the winners as well. 



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Kaizen Journaling Academy …….. Coming Soon

Kaizen Journaling is taking one big step forward in its mission to promote the value of journaling as a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. 



What is Kaizen Journaling Academy (KJA)

Kaizen Journaling Academy will offer a variety of e-courses on ongoing basis. Courses that take you closer to creating a Kaizen Life. Journaling is not the end. It is a means by which you accomplish your goals, and achieve desired results.

These courses will focus on applied journaling so that you can create a life in which you are free to follow your dreams, achieve success on your own terms, and be audaciously authentic.

You will get the tools, which you can use to embrace your Kaizen Warrior, and work on your personal and professional growth, at your pace, on your terms.

Why am I doing it? 

I’ve described my WHY in detail in this post. That why is the driving force behind this. Bottom-up approach to making the world a better place, is by focusing on individuals. Each of us are full of untapped potential, and sometimes all we need is a little guidance, and some support to get on the path that is right for us, or just to get out of the negative patterns that trap us. 

There is only so much information I can share through the articles on this blog. These courses will give me an opportunity to spend more time on particular topics, so that I’ll be able to provide more in-depth guidance. 

For you, these courses will be an ideal way to focus on the areas that you need to work on. I’ll support you and guide you, but ultimately my aim is to show you how you can use journaling to be in control of your own growth. 

How does this work? 

Kaizen Journaling Academy will launch with the first course(s) starting on October 15, 2012. Most of these courses will run for specific duration. Further details will be available over the next few days. 

You may see fair few posts over the next week as these course pages go up, but don’t worry, after that posting will return to once or twice a week, so any influx of emails in your inbox from Kaizen Journaling will be temporary. 


Get as excited about this as I am! I’ve got a variety of different courses planned over the next few months, but if there are any particular  topics that you want to see, please feel free to email me any time: dolly [at] kaizenjournaling [dot] com



16 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Journaling

As I’m nearing the end of my 28th personal journal, I was thinking about how much of my life is in these journals, and how they have contributed to my growth. It’s a symbiotic relationship where life feeds journal, and journal feeds life.

Here, I will share with you 16 lessons I’ve learned throughout the course of my 28 journals.

  1. It is always better to make decisions, and take action. There is only so much time you need to think anything through, no matter how important it is. Just thinking about things is a form of procrastination and it stops you from progress.
  2. Positivity trumps negativity. Every single time.
  3. Self-awareness is the first step towards self-growth
  4. You are far more capable than you think. You may lack self-confidence. You may think you are not capable of any great achievements. But you are as capable as the next person. No one is forced to be mediocre. Journey from mediocrity to amazing is a choice you have to make.
  5. Memories of the past become clouded by your present self, your perceptions today, and your current situations. You can’t really project yourself back in the past, feel what you felt then, believe what you believed then. That’s where journaling provides an accurate account of who you were at any given time.
  6. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, goals, fears, dreams…in other words, writing down your life, creates a deeper connection between your outer, everyday conscious self and your true inner self. The deeper the connection, the more aligned your outer and inner self become. Our aim is the ultimate alignment where your conscious outer self is one and the same as your true inner self.
  7. Negativity is best dealt with by getting it out of your system.
  8. Good written skills are a mark of intelligence. Okay, so journaling didn’t teach me that but it certainly helps with the writing skill.

  9. Dreams are easy. Making them happen is hard.
  10. If you don’t keep constant vigilance on your wandering mind, you’ll end up worrying about, attempting to achieve same things year after year, and get trapped in circle.
  11. It is always, always better to be yourself. Unless you suck. In which case, you should immediately start taking steps to stop sucking.
  12. Life is a lot more rewarding with friends. But only true friends. These must be the people who accept you for who you are, call you “weird” with affection, and don’t try to force you into a mould that’s not meant for you.
  13. Goals tend to lose sense of urgency if they are not regularly reviewed.
  14. There is immense comfort in knowing you have a place – your journal – where you can offload anything that’s on your mind.
  15. Journaling is the best way to recognize your voice. There is no finding, because your voice is already there. It’s inside you, and you’ve probably used it a fair few times. But what you want is constant awareness of that voice. You want to know what your voice feels like, what it sounds like. You journal for a few months, and depending on the integrity in it, that awareness will increase tenfold.
  16. How you grow and evolve as a person is the most important journey you would make, and by recording it, the transformation ceases to be a miracle, and you can see each small and painstaking step you took, and each obstacle you overcame to be who you are now. The process, once achieved, could be repeated, and it can also be used as a warning not to fall into the trap again.



Journal about which of these lessons resonate with you? Are there any others that your journaling, or any other self-reflection method has taught you?

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My Life in Books

For those of you who are not following Kaizen Journaling on Facebook (you really should, for cool extra stuff that doesn’t make it to the blog), I recently posted several photos of my journals. 

But one of them, is about this entry: My Life in Books. It’s a TV show on BBC 2, presented by Anne Robinson. She invites couple of celebrity guests who love reading, and asks them for five books which are important to them. Inspired by the show, I decided to do my own entry in my journal. (You can see a full size picture on Facebook)

If you can’t read it clearly, here are the books:

1. Childhood Favourite – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

2. Teenage Years – Persuasion by Jane Austen

3. Early Twenties – Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

4. Late Twenties – Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer

5. Late Twenties – A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf

At the end of the show, they ask the person what they think their list of books says about them. I haven’t journaled about that part yet, but I would like to ask you. Reading at the list above, what is the impression you get? What do you think it says about me?


Of course above question is not your action. That’s just for you to share your opinions and feed my curiosity :-). Your action is to do an entry for yourself. What would be the books for YOUR LIFE IN BOOKS? If you do the entry, feel free to send me an image by email and I may share some of them here, or if you post it anywhere, leave the link in the comments below. 


Image Copyright – Dolly Garland


Ask the Readers: Do You Feel Guilty When You Don’t Journal?

When you start taking things seriously, or when you make them into a goal, the guilt for skipping often seeps in. Journaling is no exception. A lot of people decide to journal, and when they don’t do it for a while, they feel bad. They tell themselves, “I should journal” or “I wish I hadn’t skipped” or “I wish I had something to write.”

Do you feel like that? 

There is a fine line between installing a habit and turning it into a chore. If you are new at journaling or haven’t done it regularly before, then yes, you may need a schedule or reminders initially that would make you journal. The best way to achieve it is by making sure you always carry your journal with you. Or make it easier on yourself, and have a list of prompts that you can use (remember, every post here is a prompt. You can use the ACTION point at the end to journal about). But don’t turn it into a chore.

Journaling is about freedom. It’s about being yourself. It’s about making time to record and reflect. If you treat it as something you are forced to do then you lose the essence of it. 


Journal about your journaling habit. How do you feel when you write in your journal? How do you feel when you don’t write? If you do feel guilty, why do you think it is?


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