Goldsmith Journaling for a Better Life
One of the most powerful ways to grow yourself is via journaling. It helps you to self-reflect, to see yourself, and to think clearer thoughts.
I recently started a new form of journaling that I refer to as Goldsmith Journaling. (It joins Drucker Journaling and Daily Reflection Journaling in my lineup of useful techniques.)
As described by Marshall Goldsmith: "It's hard. It's embarrassing. It's humbling.... [but answer] these six questions every day, you're going to have a better life."
Answer these six questions every day, you're going to have a better life.
What's this hard, helpful practice?
Each evening, write down a self-rating from 1 (low) to 10 (high) for each of these six questions.
Did I do my best today to:
- Set clear goals?
- Make progress toward achieving my goals?
- Find or make meaning?
- Be happy?
- Build positive relationships?
- Be fully present?
I've added a few of my own as well:
- Eat well?
- Move my body?
- Build a good habit?
And a last numeric score:
- How many PQ Reps did I perform today?
Let's look at why this system works so well.
Personal Empowerment and the Internal Locus of Control
The list of questions starts with, "Did I do my best today to...?"
It does not ask "Did I succeed?" but rather "Did I do my best?"
Why do we ask it like this? Why is this better?
Turns out, we can succeed -- and fail -- at external accomplishment through the intervention of luck and circumstances. So actual goal achievement sometimes is a sign that we performed our part well... and sometimes it's a sign we got lucky or unlucky.
So, when we ask using the form "Did I do my best...?" it shifts our attention away from circumstances or luck, and focuses us 100% on our own individual effort, focus, and follow through -- which are among the only things any of us can truly control.
One secret to truly succeeding is to focus 100% on the things we can control. This technique of questioning supports us to do exactly this.
For a deep dive into goal setting, I recommend the Huberman Goals Toolkit.
For a step-by-step guided walk-through of Huberman's Goals Toolkit, ask me about the Goals Walk-Through on the Best Boss Academy.