How Journaling Can Improve Your Business Success

Journaling. A woman sat at her desk writing in a journal. Her laptop is open next to her


If you're looking to start or grow your business, there’s one thing you may not have considered – using journaling as one of your foundational business tools.

In this article, we will look at the transformative benefits of journaling for both personal and professional success. There are also some prompts specifically tailored for your goals.

Whether you want to boost your motivation and productivity, cultivate an unwavering success mindset, manage stress, reflect on all of your achievements, or develop a plan for your business goals, journaling might just be your secret weapon.

Journaling to Boost Motivation and Set Goals

If you’re looking to achieve success with your goals this year, it’s important that you focus on both planning well to get crystal clear, and maintaining your motivation as you work towards your goals.

Clarity of your goals is essential as this allows you to break them down into smaller, specific, actionable and achievable steps where you can track your progress and remain focused as you work.

Journaling can help you in the beginning with getting that clarity of your goals, and turning those dreams and aspirations into achievable goals that you can bring to reality. Creating goals that are SMART (Specific, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound), ensures that you’re setting off on the right foot and that your goals are realistic and achievable. It helps to provide you structure and makes the goals more tangible when they’re written out like this, which will be easier for you to keep yourself accountable.

When you take the time to plan well at the start, break them into smaller milestones to remove any overwhelm and create a timeline to help you stay on track. Always remember to check in with your goals and regularly update them as you progress.

As well as this, journals are a great tool as you’re working towards goals, especially bigger ones, because you can also track new ideas, how you’re feeling about different aspects of your work and when you feel things are or aren't working too well. It’s a great way to stay motivated and adapt when you need to. It allows you the space to regularly review and reflect on your goals and your progress.

In addition to goal setting, journaling provides a space for self-reflection and motivation. Take some time each day or week to write down your successes, any challenges you've faced or overcome, things that have inspired you and what you're grateful for. Acknowledging your wins (big & small!) and celebrating yourself and your achievements, will help you to create a positive mindset that will then also fuel your motivation.

During those times that your motivation lags, or you’re feeling uncertain about your ability to achieve the goal, you can use your journal to process these feelings and get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. As you journal about the challenges you’re facing, you can take meaning from the experiences, the lessons you’ve learned and recognise the growth you’ve already had. It really helps with removing overwhelm because you’re allowing yourself to brain dump all of those worries and concerns, and honestly it’s so therapeutic!

You can be as creative as you want in your journals, it depends on what inspires and motivates you. At the start you could create a vision board where you identify those dreams you’re working towards. This can be really motivating to look back on – especially when you begin to see these things come into your reality!

Cultivating a Success Mindset With Journaling

Cultivating a success mindset is key in helping you stay motivated and achieving your goals. This doesn’t mean you have to plaster a permanent smile on your face and pretend that you’re rocking it if that’s not how you’re feeling, but it’s about nurturing and cultivating a positive belief in yourself.

Your mindset shapes your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. If you don’t believe that you are capable or worthy, it’s likely that self-doubt will be an ongoing issue for you. So many other therapists / coaches / OSP’s that I’ve met or worked with over the years fully acknowledge that their lack of belief in themselves, or this underlying feeling of not being good enough, impacts their ability to create the life or business that they truly desire.

As a therapist myself, I always encourage people to be open about working on their belief systems, especially if it’s what is holding them back, or having an impact on their happiness and wellbeing. But not everyone wants to go to therapy though and I completely understand that. 

By using tools like journaling, you can reflect on these feelings and the impact they're having on your life, your success or your happiness. This awareness is how you get to change things.

By journaling your thoughts and fears, you can begin to understand why you feel this way and then work on changing them so that you feel empowered and capable of achieving your goals and dreams. 

Without working through the things that keep you stuck, it will become harder to maintain motivation and stay focused on your work – especially when you face obstacles along the way.

Journaling will help you to understand why things may not be working and enable you to have a solution-focused mindset where obstacles become learning curves instead of immovable blocks. 

Use affirmations in your journals where you can rewire your thoughts into more positive ones, for example,


“I’m not good enough, I’ll never achieve my goal” to

“I am capable and resilient” and

“I am taking steps everyday towards my business goals”

By repeating and reinforcing these statements, you’re implanting them into your subconscious, replacing the negative thoughts with these so that you can build your confidence and gradually shift towards a mindset of success. 

Additionally, journaling your success – regardless of how small they may feel, helps to reinforce that you are capable and that you are making progress. This is a brilliant way to quieten those doubts and increase your confidence.  

Remember to keep your goals in mind as you journal, allowing yourself the time and space each week to review and reflect on your progress. This helps you stay focused and motivated as you appreciate your progress towards each milestone. Sometimes the end goal can feel so far away that it doesn’t feel tangible, so these mini milestones help you to see that you are making progress – even during the times that it doesn’t feel like it!

Managing Stress and Overcoming Challenges With Journaling

Building and growing a business takes work and it’s not always easy. It can take a lot of hours – especially in those early days – and at times it can feel like you’re getting nowhere with it. A level of stress is inevitable as are challenges along the way, but being able to manage these is how you’ll see the best results and prevent overwhelm.

Journaling can help with your mindset during these times, helping you recognise signs of stress and learning when you need to take a step back or pivot to lessen any pressure that you may be feeling. 

Awareness is what’s key in being able to navigate times where things feel more stressful or you feel a bit lost in a long list of tasks. By using journaling as a tool to keep track of your progress and a space to focus on your mindset as well, you’ll be supporting your mindset and your progress at the same time!

When you create this space for reflection, self-care, and problem-solving, you’re already actively using stress management techniques. You can explore the causes of stress and brainstorm potential solutions, identifying where things may need to change. By writing things down you’ll gain clarity and perspective, which will allow you to approach challenges and stress triggers with a calm and proactive mindset.

Through journaling you can release these feelings that may have been stuck in your head, causing your body to hold on to stress and tension. This is a great thing to do at the end of the working day, especially if you’re based from home, it acts as a buffer between work and home life, allowing you to switch off completely and recharge. 

Brain dumping is one of my favourite things to do. I never knew it had a name, it was something I learned to do many years ago when my insomnia was very severe. The process of removing all of those thoughts, ideas and worries from my mind onto paper always brought with it a feeling of relief and calm.

These can all help you to develop a good toolkit for managing stress with more ease and confidence, which will help you navigate any of the challenges that come with starting or growing a business. 

Reflecting on Achievements and Growth Through Journaling

How you view challenges or obstacles will make a huge difference in the level of stress you’ll experience and in maintaining motivation during these times. When we face setbacks or new problems occur it can be too easy to think “why bother? It won’t work out!” 

If your thinking tends to go down this route, it’ll probably be more likely that you’ll struggle to remain focused and motivated. However, if you can reframe these thoughts and begin to view challenges as opportunities to learn from, the underlying fear or worry of failure will become less powerful. 

People generally don't like to feel certain emotions – like disappointment or embarrassment. If you’re someone who bases a lot of your value as a person on your achievements, this can be one of the things that will derail your progress and possibly stop you from achieving your goal at all. The worry of failing or what people may think of you can be the biggest block to your success.

How to change this? 

Try to view challenges as learning opportunities rather than setbacks. Approach them with a growth mindset and focus on what you can learn and gain from each experience. Use your journal to write down your thoughts and feelings when things crop up. Search for meaning and understanding to allow yourself to swap those beliefs to more empowered and compassionate ones.

This will lessen the impact of any felt stress and give your confidence a huge boost as you become solution focused and successfully manage the ups and downs of business growth. 

Use journaling to regularly assess progress and to reflect critically:

What milestones have you achieved? What new skills have you developed? How can you improve your mindset? How can you change and adapt to meet the demands of your work? How have you improved your current offers and business strategies? 

These reflective questions will help you gain a real understanding of your business, your strengths and areas you need to focus on improving. This is how you continue to develop as a person and your business – recognising and supporting your own growth. 

This as well as frequently reviewing your achievements will help you maintain the level of motivation and momentum that you want. 

Acknowledging and writing down and celebrating your progress and wins, will boost your confidence and continue to reinforce your belief in yourself and your ability to achieve success. What’s not to love?!

When you celebrate your own achievements and progress your confidence and belief in yourself will also increase because you begin to see it actually happening – you’re actually doing it – and that feels SO GOOD!!


Journaling is a brilliant tool for both personal and business growth. There are so many different types of journals available (I have a mini obsession with journals, so much so I’ve begun selling my own…!), that you can make your journal an integral part of your day to day planning and action taking. 

Some prefer to keep a separate journal for personal and professional reflections, while others like to merge their journal with their planner. Whatever your preference is, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. It’s all about making it work for you. It’s to be used as a tool to help and support you as you work towards your goals.  

Whether you write in your journal daily, weekly ad-hoc, it’s simply a way for you to reflect on your progress, maintain your momentum and motivation and work through any difficulties or challenges with confidence. 

When I completed my MA research dissertation I had to keep a journal of my progress. At the time I remember thinking “Great, another thing I have to do..!” But that journal became so entwined in my life throughout the research and the write up that I honestly don’t know how I would have managed without keeping one!

My study was heuristic so it paid a lot of attention to the experience of the research, and it was a pretty frustrating research approach because it was so nuanced and difficult to keep structured. My journal was not only a space to write my feelings down, it was used to make quick notes when I had some random inspiration – whether that was 3am or out walking the dog!

I captured the times when I felt excited by my findings or by my progress. The positive feedback from the supervisor and celebrating when the lit review was finally signed off! There were many times that I doubted I would actually do it, I never fully believed I would be able to, but I did and I believe that this journal helped me a lot, especially in those days where nothing made sense or it all felt a bit too much.

Over To You…

I’d love to know how journaling has helped you, or if you’ve not used journaling in this way before, how do you think you could make it work for you and your business goals?

Do you like digital planners & journals or are you firmly in the pen and paper camp? 

PS. If you want to check out some of my journals, or create one of your own – check out the links at the bottom!

30 Journal Prompts:

What would my biggest goal be for my business if I didn’t doubt that I could do it?

How can I turn this dream into a realistic goal?

What exactly would I need to do to get from where I am right now, to my goal?

What support would I need to achieve this goal?

How much time do I have to commit to this goal?

Is this goal SMART?

What do I need to change to achieve this goal?

How realistic is this goal?

What makes me doubt myself with this goal?

How could I change those doubts?

How confident am I that I can do this?

What do I need to do to increase this?

When was the last time I achieved something that I didn’t think I would?

When was the last time I celebrated my win?

How do I feel when I think of achieving this goal?

How do I want to feel as I work towards this goal?

What makes me feel worried about working on this goal?

What can I do to lessen this worry?

When I’m feeling stuck, what would future-me do next?

What inspires me?

What are my biggest strengths?

Describe a time that I faced a difficulty or obstacle and overcame it

What skills have I previously used to face challenges?

What makes me feel calm and peaceful?

What makes me feel good about myself?

What new skills have I learned or developed?

How have I shown resilience & how did that help me?

The reason why this is my goal is… This is important to me because…

What bit of advice would you give to the younger version of yourself?

Visualise yourself in 10 years from now, what bit of advice would you give to you right now?

As a bonus – Create 3 affirmations that will help you as you work towards your goals. 

“I am…”

I'd love to know if the prompts helped – share below or pop me an email [email protected]


Would you love to create your own Journal?

An image of the cover of an Art Journal with the text "Create your own Art Journal - Art Journal Template" The image is blue & white

This template is ready for you to rebrand – add your own touch, your brand colours, fonts & style!

Use as a lead magnet, sell the finished product (not to be resold as a template) or make a journal for yourself just how you want it to look!

Visit the portfolio to see my latest journals.

Meet The Author

Lynsey Wall, Coach & Mentor at Coach Writes. About me - A headshot of Lynsey smiling. Wearing a black t-shirt, blue framed glasses. Office walls behind her.

Hey there! I'm Lynsey, a fellow entrepreneur, therapist, and accountability business coach. With over 5 years’ experience of running businesses, and over a decade as a tutor and trainer, I've learned the value of effective time management in creating a thriving business and a fulfilling life.

I'm passionate about sharing practical tips and insights to help fellow entrepreneurs find their rhythm and achieve their goals while maintaining a sense of balance. Join me on this journey of mastering time together & staying as authentic to yourself as you can.

Time efficiency is key to maintaining and growing my businesses. I have lived with chronic illness – ME/CFS since 2011 and since then I retrained as a counsellor, achieved a distinction for an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice; all while running 3 businesses! I want that for you as well & it is possible with the right support and pathway to success.

To find out more, visit The Authentic Growth Community

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