Future Self Journaling Guide: How to Set Financial Goals That Pay Off Later
Source | Kayla Montgomery
Future self journaling is the practice of being in tune with your long-term goals to spark positive change in your actions today. This form of journaling is designed to make you more aware of your current behaviors and actions and how they impact your future goals.
When it comes to your finances, future self journaling can help you manifest your dreams and identify bad spending habits getting in the way of your savings goals. For example, if you have a goal to save $1,000 dollars in three months, but you’re still eating out five times a week, you’ll likely have a harder time meeting your goal. By tracking your behavior, you can identify and put a stop to any bad habits, and replace those with positive actions today. Utilize our app to keep track of your purchases and address any spending habits.
Setting goals is easy, but meeting them can be difficult. In fact, 92 percent of people who set New Years goals never achieve them. Discover how you can plan your future and your finances with our self journaling tips and tricks below.
What Is Future Self Journaling?
Future self journaling is like writing a letter to future you that allows you to tap into your subconscious mind. Clarify your goals, express gratitude, and be aware of your actions by regularly practicing this form of mindfulness. Start by writing out where you’d like to see yourself in a few years. Would you like to have $1,000 in your savings or have invested in a house? Future self journal every day to keep these goals top of mind, and act like your future self would.
If your future self has a nice house, a new car, and invests regularly, you most likely need to become a better saver. Journaling helps you reflect on your long-term goals on a daily basis to ensure you make choices that benefit your future self. Learn how to start manifesting better habits through future self journaling below!
How to Start Self-Journaling
Writing to your future self can help you fine-tune your wants and create actionable goals to help you achieve them. To create a habit, it takes roughly 66 days of repetition — start out writing for 10 minutes a day and repeat this action daily for two months straight.
Grab a blank journal and find a quiet space to yourself to reflect on the present and set goals to better your future.
Step 1. Evaluate Your Present Self
Start by addressing your current situation. Are your finances where you want them to be? Do you have a budget that allows you to have some financial freedom today while also setting you up for a fruitful future? Ask yourself the hard questions to ensure you’re on the road to meeting your future savings goals. For example, do you trust yourself with money? Deep dive into what your relationship with money is to find areas you can grow.
Step 2. Display Inspiring Aspirations
Hang up motivational notes throughout your home to stay focused on your goals. Print and cut out our free affirmation cards and stick them to your mirror or on your workstation. These tiny reminders may motivate you to say no the next time email sale reminders flood your inbox.
Step 3. Establish Healthier Habits
Take a look at your current life compared to your dream life. What habits can you start today to benefit your future self? This may mean setting your alarm earlier to work out before starting out your workday and fueling your body with healthy food without breaking your budget.
Step 4. Create Real-World Strategies
If you’re struggling to overcome financial roadblocks, stop to evaluate the situation and find a solution. What’s causing the problem? What are you able to do about it? For example, if you have a love for fashion, create nudges that’ll help you refrain from purchasing trending items you don’t need. Examine different parts of your life to see where you can formulate strategies.
Step 5. Don’t Focus on Perfection
Setting unrealistic goals may just hold you back. Before starting out your journaling journey, brainstorm realistic goals that you can measure and don’t forget to reward small victories! For example, if you skip the Starbucks line for 60 days straight, celebrate by purchasing yourself an affordable home espresso machine.
Future Self Journal Prompts for Personal and Financial Success
Putting pen to paper can be hard if you don’t know where to start. Brainstorm prompts to kickstart your journey and let your manifestations flow. We’ve listed out 15 prompts to help you work towards your dream career, reach financial success, and discover yourself.
Questions to Find Your Career Niche
- What habits do you want to change?
- What does your dream job look like?
- What activities set your soul on fire?
- Who do you look up to the most and why?
- What are five things you’ve learned in the last year?
Power Questions to Help You Save More
- Where do you see yourself in six months, a year, two years?
- Write out five financial goals you want to achieve in one year.
- What unnecessary expenses are hindering your budget?
- What actions could you take today to simplify your life?
- What do you need more of in life? What do you need less of?
Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery
- What does your ideal day look like?
- What are five things you’re grateful for?
- What limiting beliefs are holding you back from your dream life?
- What does happiness mean to you?
- When do you feel most in tune with yourself?
How to Get the Most Out of Your Future Self Journal
You most likely have your best intentions at heart when setting goals, yet you may find it difficult to keep up the momentum. When in need of some extra motivation, think about your dream life, career, finances, and routines that’ll bring you to success. Once you’ve recorded your first entry, repeat this task for 66 days to establish the habit. Here are a few more tips on how to maintain your journaling practice.
Figure Out Your Writing Style
Get in your writing zone without any distractions. Find a quiet area in your living space and put your electronics on silent to focus. Experiment with writing at different times of the day and in different settings to discover where and when you feel most productive.
Make Room in Your Daily Routine
Once you’ve found the best time and place for you to journal, turn this action into a habit. Schedule 15 minutes each day to write a letter to your future self. Keep this up for 66 days and you may have permanently added a healthy habit to your routine.
Avoid Negative Self Talk
If you have a slip up when reaching your goals, speak to yourself like you would a friend. Instead of allowing negative thoughts, think of your mistake as a healthy growing pain of your new routine. Shift your focus back to working harder to reach your biggest goals.
Visualize Where You Want to Be
Always think about where you’d like to be in six months, a year, or even five years. Do you want to have a house or pay off all your debts? Remind yourself of these aspirations using our printables as you go through your routines and practice being that person.
Act Like the Person You Want to Be
Confidently walk around as the person you’d like to be. You may feel less tempted to overspend because your future self wouldn’t give into the same temptations. While acting like the person you want to be, you may attract a network that’ll motivate you to keep it up.
Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. When you need an extra boost, think of yourself as the future you that has everything going for them. You may not have paid off your loans just yet, but your future self did in a few years. Stay focused on the resources and tools that will get you to your biggest goals and implement them into your mindful daily routine. To track your progress, download our app to see how fast you can become your “future self.”
Kayla Montgomery is a digital content marketer who helps Mint create helpful and compelling stories worth sharing. Her background in digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to lifestyle. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, writing for her own blog, traveling, and exploring all the in’s and out’s Austin, TX has to offer. To learn more, connect with Kayla on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayla-s-montgomery/
Republished with permission and originally published at https://blog.mint.com/