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using Best Self Journal to reach your goals & giveaway

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Best Self Co. provided a sample for review and giveaway, but all opinions are my own.

If you’re like me, you have some big goals. Whether it’s running a marathon, going back to school, starting a company, or even starting a blog, it can be really hard and intimidating finding a way to make those dreams a reality. A few months ago, I discovered Best Self. Their planner/journal is created specifically to help users reach their dreams by breaking them down into smaller goals and actionable steps. That way, your big dreams feel more attainable (and you’ll be more likely to work toward them!) I thought I’d give a preview of what my Best Self journal looks like as well as a look at my routine and how I use it.

best self review

The package itself comes with the journal, as well as a pen loop and Wall Roadmap to mount so you can always keep your eyes on the prize. By putting your goals and steps up on your wall, preferably in a place where you see it most often, you’ll stay even more motivated to work hard every day. It’s dry erase, so you can even use it over and over.

Inside the journal, it’s packed with resources and advice on how to create goals. It can be harder than you think if you’ve never really set them before! You’ll learn about the 20-Mile March, and how Best Self’s 13-Week roadmap helps you achieve these goals. They’ll also point you to online resources for even more support, like a Facebook group of other users, and a guide on how to create good goals. In your journal, you’ll establish three main “result goals” which you’ll break down further. Best Self has you note the reasons that achieving these goals will improve your life, and you’ll also sign a commitment to achieve your goals. These are powerful psychological methods to motivate yourself.

The actual daily layouts are built to plan your day in a way that help you learn how to schedule your tasks in ways that work toward your goals. They also include places for morning and evening gratitudes. Practicing gratitude has many scientifically proven benefits, and it will put you in the right mindset to kill your goals. Sometimes it’s harder than others to find things to be grateful for, but if I can find six things every day, so can you. Even if it’s something as simple as the choice to take a shower every day (#RemoteWorkPerks.)

best self journal

Now that I’ve gotten into a routine after about a month of use, I’ve finally settled into a routine that works for me. I spend about thirty minutes a day with my journal. In the morning, I’ll wake up and write down my gratitudes. I’ll also write down my targets for the day. I’ve color coded each of my three result goals, so I try to have one target a day for each goal. At night, I reflect on the day, update my lessons learned and wins, and lay out my planned tasks and activities for the next day. That way, when I wake up, I don’t have to think – I’m already set up for success.

best self daily planner

During the day, I check off my progress, add things to my to-do list, and track my food (since that’s one of my action goals.) Tracking wins is fun too, and sometimes I run out of space. When you really focus on positivity and gratitude, you start to realize how great things are.

Since my goals are all color coded, that’s how I try to break down my day. You’ll see three to four colors (sometimes I’ll track work tasks in a fourth color here) in my daily spreads, and I try to add a reminder of what I’m working hard for in the My Goal section. Plus, one of my favorite parts of the journal are the inspirational quotes throughout. On each page, there’s a bit of inspiration and advice from people who are successful in their own rights. It’s helpful to have reminders on the bad days. Going forward, I’m also going to include a self-care line here. Planning in self-care is a great way to ensure that you’re going to do something for yourself every day.

best self weekly tracker

Best Self Co. was also generous enough to send over a journal for a giveaway, and I’m really excited to share this amazing productivity tool with you! Enter below, and share with us in the comments what your goals for the year are, or how you use your journal or planner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 2, 2017

monthly roundup no. 2

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may link roundup

I can hardly believe how fast May went – it seems like just last week I was starting to collect my favorite links from around the web to share. Once again, I was bookmarking things in Pocket, and I’m doing a better job of going back through to read the articles and posts I save. This month, some more links to cheer you up and my favorite Twitter company to get tons of cool free stuff.

Fooji: A marketing company that partners with major brands, their philosophy is that fans should be rewarded for supporting companies. They deliver these rewards on behalf of the companies – and it’s not just free swag. I’ve gotten a super comfy Kris Bryant shirt from adidas, free pizza delivery, Baby Groot, bags of delicious popcorn, and most recently, a bag full of awesome adidas swag. I’ve also seen them deliver wine and desserts! Follow them on Twitter and get notified of their promotions – they even do weekly food giveaways every Friday, so you can participate even if you don’t live in a big city.

5 Days in Iceland Itinerary: Kathleen and I have been friends for almost ten years, and she is a travelling machine! She recently launched her travel blog, Wandering Kathleen, and this post on Iceland is a done-for-you itinerary to make the most of your trip there.

Don’t Focus on Your Situation, Focus on Your Trajectory: I’ve had a tough month. Personally, familially, for my friends – it’s been a rough one. I had vented to a friend about how I was beginning to feel very stuck in my life. That somehow I’m not doing enough, or that I’m not where I need to be. He sent this article over to me, and it made me feel a little better.

7 Ways Men Must Learn to do Emotional Labor in their Relationships: I learned about emotional labor from a friend a few months ago, and I think the men in my life wish I never had. Especially being at home, I’m realizing how much work the women in my life really do. Picking up prescriptions and coordinating medical care, coordinating entertainment and events in friend groups, making sure there are groceries in the house and cooking dinner, or even things as small as deciding when or how to get somewhere – it can all start to exhaust us. I think it’s important to be aware of and consider how men can pick up some of the slack.

Split Image: This is an older story, but it popped up on my Timehop this month, and I thought it was worth sharing again. I think it’s really important to take into account and realize that even if someone looks high functioning, they might not really have it all together.

Killing it with kindness: The tale of Jervis Cottonbelly: Last month, I came out as a wrestling fan. We basically just watch WWE (thank you Total Divas) but on Twitter, I follow a lot of people who tweet about “minor league” wrestling as well. Somehow I heard about this guy, Gentleman Jervis Cottonbelly, whose schtick is being a nice, happy, kind human. Rather than using aggression in his matches, he’ll even try to rock his opponents to sleep in order to win. Even if you think wrestling is ridiculous, Jervis might make you laugh! (It was an especially apt discovery as a few days prior, I found out about my grandmother’s terminal cancer.) It’s just nice to see someone whose whole gimmick is being nice, and it’s more infectious than I expected.

5 Reasons to Love Stationary RV Life: When I was young, my grandparents did a lot of traveling by camper, and I got to tag along often. My favorite trip was when, between fourth and fifth grades, they took me on a trip throughout the western states and then we came back to Michigan through Canada. (I point to that trip as the source of my love for Canada!) Ever since then, I’ve loved living small, even before tiny living became so popular. I’m really interested in full-time RVing, but the idea of new cities week after week doesn’t appeal so much to me – this post outlines so many of the reason I think I’d love this lifestyle.

Elyse Fox Opens Up About Sad Girls Club: There’s something empowering about connecting with other people who are struggling on social media, so I was excited to learn about Sad Girls Club from this article. It’s important work. (And she has the same name and spelling as my niece, go Elyses!)

May 26, 2017

march recap / april goals

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How is March already over? I know they say every year goes by faster (thanks, ER) but it really feels like this past year has been the fastest.

  • 10 No Spend Days
  • Read three books I read four!
  • Figure out car registration This was a big deal and a source of a lot of grief for me. I’m relieved that it’s over.
  • Finish getting tax stuff sorted I finally sent everything off to my accountant, but I’m not totally sure I’m all set on this on my end yet
  • Complete web development course
  • Follow up regarding a health insurance issue
  • Clean out closet
  • Give blood
  • Fix my budget
  • Continue meditating twice a week
  • Work out three days a week
  • Update media kit
  • Launch new blog project
  • Blog three times a week Between both of my blogs, this was easy to get done!

Overall, a really successful month I think! Especially after feeling like a few months of not being able to get started and keep my momentum going. Read more…

April 3, 2017

how to keep your new year’s resolutions going with quarterly reviews

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quarterly reviewa

How is it already almost April? It feels like yesterday that the year was turning over and we were making the move to Chicago. Around this time of year, I like to check in with myself regarding my yearly goals: am I on track to hit them? Do I need to reevaluate some plans, or has my focus and what I want to accomplish changed? I do this by conducting quarterly reviews every three months!

It can sound like extra work or a report you don’t want to deal with, but it’s important to set aside time to check in with yourself. You’ll be able to see what’s working well and what isn’t – plus, it’s a great opportunity to review great memories over the past three months.

This year I’ve been using a Passion Planner as my monthly agenda – it has built-in reflection tools at the end of the month, so I’ve actually been doing it even more than ever. If reviewing every month feels like too much, quarterly reviews allow for more time between reflections.

Quarterly reviews have two parts: reflection and preparation. This is the process I go through when conducting my quarterly review! Read more…

March 22, 2017

march goals / february recap

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I had set myself up for a pretty busy February, especially for being such a short month. Maybe it was the unseasonable warmth we had, but I felt pretty unstoppable and successfully completed the majority of my goals. Here’s how the month checked out on my end:

  • Work out three times a week I did start working out again, but it was very inconsistent. I started doing DDP Yoga, though, so hopefully having a plan to stick to will help!
  • Blog twice a week Between this blog and a new secret project, I was on track for two posts per week!
  • Join a blogger community Sort of success? I know what I want to join, just didn’t have the time to devote to it this month, so I never pulled the trigger. I was active in several Facebook groups, so I’ll count that as a win here.
  • Pick up a freelance gig
  • Call Chase to lower my credit card interest rate This was laziness. I had no excuse not to do this.
  • Write one guest post/submit an article to the Billfold I did pitch (haaay) but it was turned down. I think I could have framed it a bit differently. I have a few other ideas I’m bouncing around as well to pitch again, and try to get published there before the end of the year. The Billfold has been one of my favorite blogs for a really long time, so this is a long-term goal for me.
  • Read two books I read SmashedHyperbole and a Half, and All the Bright Places. Highly, highly, highly recommend All the Bright Places.
  • Renew car insurance Apparently I’d had this on autopay. Good job, past Desi!
  • Find a therapist I actually found more than one, and made several appointments. My first appointment went really well, so I ended up canceling the rest, which was a nice relief. Therapist shopping can be overwhelming and hard.
  • Sort out a budget that sees my credit cards paid off by June
  • Buy a desk
  • Give blood
  • Passion Planner roadmaps
  • Sort out insurance stuff I did get this taken care of, but a new issue popped up that I’ll need to stay up to date with next month.

All in all, not a bad month! Even outside my goals, I felt like I had a really productive month. I started working on a secret new blog, started strategizing ways to monetize, and made a trip home to see my family. (And ate a lot of pizza.) I’m expecting to keep the momentum going into March, and hope that the change in seasons will help encourage that productivity! Read more…

March 1, 2017