On your journey to that new you, there needs to be a timeline. That timeline needs to measure your journey in two distinct ways: firstly as a route map with milestones to pass plus events to allow for and to plan for, and secondly there as a record of where you have come from and all those success points along the way. Large or small, these markers are so important as nourishment for your motivation.

There are many different ways of meeting this need and everyone has their preferred options. You may like using Things To Do lists or weekly planners; diaries, whether paper or electronic; or wall planners, journals, log books or day books. Whilst you should certainly use whichever works best for you, I would recommend adopting more than one in order to help to reinforce your efforts and keep you focussed.

At the core of your organising will be either a diary or journal, or both. So what’s the difference, I hear you ask? The two words are synonymous but in practical terms they are very different. A diary may remind us of significant events and is used to record experiences we may wish to remember. A journal on the other hand can also record experiences but it does so on a much more detailed and personal level. A journal is used to record feelings, emotions, challenges and reflections on those experiences as they happen. This record can then be used to evaluate one’s life and instruct future behaviour.

The word diary comes from the latin word diarium which translates as ‘daily allowance’. A diary is a record of our daily routines where things like date, time and place are of utmost importance. Journal however, was originally a French monastic term used to describe a book which contained the appointed times for daily prayers and services. These days a journal is seen as a book in which we record day to day events in some detail, not as simply catalogue of events but of the feelings and emotions attached to them. Journals are much more reflective in nature.

Personally I believe that both have their place and in future posts I will consider the merits of both in some detail. I’m sure that some time over the Christmas period, many of you will have taken the time to diligently transfer those all important birthdays etc. from last year’s diary, to some shiny new one that you may have received as a Christmas gift. Of course the more tech savvy among you will simply have seen those essential dates roll forward seamlessly. One of the things I hope to do is to show how and why you should add some extra dates to your diary to turn it into an inspirational tool to drive your ambitions.

Of course before we start to record progress, we need to know where we are going. In the next blog I will look at setting powerful SMART goals that you can engage with and feel passionate about.