Goal Setting Using Journaling

Before you can set a goal you must have a plan to be productive in order to ensure the success of accomplishing your goal. And your plan must include doing a mental detox.

“Journaling allows you to dialogue with parts of your psyche that are frozen in time. It allows you to tap into deeper reserves of creativity and problem-solving. By keeping a journal, you can get a flash of knowing and awareness that you haven’t seen before.” – Dr. Laurie Nadel, PhD

Journaling may be a hot trend right now but it definitely is an investment in your business success.

You’re probably wondering how journaling relates to setting a goal. Why does journaling even matter? Well, journaling is one part of accomplishing a goal. I’m going to share a simple goal setting plan that anyone can use. That is, if you’re motivated to do the work.

First, do you know how to set a goal?

Most people struggle finding one goal. So let’s stop getting frustrated. What is one goal that you know you can accomplish but it will take a while to do? That’s what you start with. Once you accomplish it, you will gain confidence and momentum that will carry you through future situations.

In one of my group programs I ran, I had a participant never choose a goal the entire 90 days. She was so indecisive. That indecisiveness lead to her accomplishing nada. Nothing. Therefore, while the rest of the ladies in the program finished projects, completed goals, she was busy. And that busyness just left her even more frustrated with herself.

Don’t be that person.

Well you can’t grow your business, make money or stay in business if you’re not productive. This is different from being busy. One you make a decision then follow through. The other you never settle on going in one direction to see what happens.

Being productive means you are taking steps that move you forward in the right direction that helps bring your business vision to life. Productive is choosing what should be done and doing it. Being busy means you do stuff all day but it was all for nothing. You gain nothing from it. Busy is doing a lot of stuff but getting nothing done.

Now how can you be productive instead of busy?

  1. The first thing you should do is journal 3-4 times a week. This allows you to declutter your mind so you are sharp and focus on doing everything necessary to accomplish your goal. No random idea taking you off course.
  2. Stop writing to-do lists. You know your to-do list has a to-do list. People spend 20 minutes creating a to-do list and 2 years to finish it. That’s busy work. Think about those classes in high school where you would get worksheets. Did they help you learn anything? Absolutely not. There were given to you to keep you busy and quiet so the teacher could do what the teacher needed to do. A to-do list is similar. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t give you a direction to accomplish anything.
  3. Every week you should have 1-3 implementation intentions to complete. With each implementation intention comes several steps and tasks. Remember some implementation intentions will take more than a week to complete. So don’t add new ones until you finish one.

What is an implementation intention?

These are the main tasks to help you complete the focus for your goal.

A focus is a big project associated with helping you achieve your goal. And you should only have 1-3 focusses per goal.

The reason you should have only 1-3 implementation intentions per week is to make sure you actually get something done.

Your productivity comes from what you do i.e. your implementation intentions and how well you execute them.  That’s why it’s important not to have too much to do at one time.

For someone like me, I have no problem tackling a big project. I have always been able to figure out how to get things done. But for most people, a big project or goal is overwhelming. That’s why I created The Truth Confidant™ Journal to help those who struggle in this area.

Here’s what I want to leave you with when it comes to setting a goal. The first step is to make a decision. Once that decision is made. Then you work the steps until that goal is accomplished. Can goals change? Sure. But most don’t unless you never wanted it in the first place.

Go after you goal with focus, concentration and efficiency so you don’t have a 20-year time frame to say you did something you always wanted to do.

Set your goal with a deadline. Decide what implementation intentions should be done. Then do them.


vrf-head-shotVernetta R. Freeney is The Truth Confidant™ and the Organizer of the Houston African American Bloggers Association. She teaches entrepreneurs to use simple productivity tips, mentally detox while sharing business truths. Learn more about her at vernettarfreeney.com.

Setting Up for Success

Dean: “You are really good at this. I think I need your help.”

Me: “Thank you! I’ll help you.”

Dean/First Client: “No I want to pay you for this, send me an invoice.”

Me/New Entrepreneur: “Oh! Ummm Ok. Thank you! I’ll get that for you.” Calls friend, “Girl I just started a business, what should I charge?”


I was an accidental entrepreneur. I was minding my business, trying to survive law school, when my first client asked me for an invoice which started my coaching/consulting firm Making Straight Paths. I had no guidance, no idea what to do, and definitely not an invoice template (thank you Microsoft!).  Since then I have made it my focus to help other new entrepreneurs avoid the deer-in-headlights experience I had, and start their business on the right foot. If you are an intentional entrepreneur and want to set yourself up for success here are my top 5 steps to getting started:

  1. Know your “why” – One of the biggest and hardest steps to starting a business is knowing your why. Your why is different from my why and different from hers. Your why is connected to your purpose and will make your business unique to you and the people you are called to serve. Knowing clearly why you want to start this business will keep you from chasing shiny objects and taking on other people’s problems. Once you know your why write it down and post it somewhere you will see it often. Keeping your vision in front of you will help you stay focused.
  2. Know your view of success – This is big! Your first year is one of the toughest! However, knowing what you view as success can help you keep focused when the going is tough or great! Creating your own measuring stick can help you not get distracted by the 20 people who liked your post or the lack thereof. Further, it will help you stop comparing your growth to such and such and losing momentum with what you have to do. Whatever your view of success own it, write it down, and keep focused.
  3. Prepare your inner circle – No you don’t need anyone’s permission but you will need support. Share your vision with those closest to you and ask for their support (not to become your first clients – not everyone is your client). You want to give them a chance to walk this out with you if they are safe. By talking it over you also give them a chance to make a real change in their life as well. One conversation can change your loudest critics to your biggest fans.
  4. Know your numbers – Be clear how much you need to replace and surpass your current income. Unclear and unrealistic numbers will have you charging too little or too much which can delay your success. Hopefully, you created a business to help create some financial independence in your life. Knowing what it will take to get you there will keep you determined to work your business idea until it pays off.
  5. Plan for success – Switching from a consumer to a producer is a big change, and we all know big changes do not happen overnight. So make a plan! Get a calendar and begin to track your time. After you’ve monitored how you actually spend your time, then map out how you want to spend your time, and create time to work on your business every week. Whether it’s an hour or 5 you have to begin to create space in your life for this new thing and to give it a chance to grow.


These are simple yet profound ways to start your journey on the right path. Knowing your reasons, motivations, and numbers will help you focus on creating a business that will lead you to your goals. There is so much that is needed to run a successful business but I want to encourage you that you already have everything you need to start successfully!


markitaMarkita Samuel is a business coach, consultant, and the founder of the all-inclusive coaching and consulting firm Making Straight Paths. As a teacher, author and lawyer, Markita decided to create Making Straight Paths to help others discover their entrepreneurial paths to success. Connect with Markita on LinkedIn and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact her here!


Dream Team up to Win

On a daily basis I do the work of many.  Often times,  people ask me how I do it all without losing my mind. The answer is simple.  I don’t do it all by myself AT ALL! I have a First Class Dream team.

There is no way I could be an effective mother, wife, friend, daughter, business owner, author, consultant, housekeeper, chauffeur, mediator, youth minister and  SPADES expert (you better ask somebody!)  all at the same time.

ee33b90b2cf51c3e81584d04ee44408be273e4d01ab2194193f2_640_meeting-2Everyone’s Dream Team may look different.  Your dream team should be constructed around your needs, strengths and weakness!

Your dream team should be there for you on a personal and professional basis.  Sometimes these two groups may crossover but rarely.   Just like these two groups have certain expectations of you, you have expectations of them.

My personal dream team helps hold me up.  They are my friends, family, and people who I can call on to watch my kids, pray for me, or even have a night on the town with; My inner circle. They are people who directly support me!

Then I have my professional dream team.  These are the people who assist me in the day-to-day operation of my business, my realtor, accountant, web designer, my mastermind, marketing director and stylist.   These are the people who directly support the Business and the Brand.

So how do you build a DREAM TEAM?  I am so glad you ask.


Look for people who already support you without fail

Talk to them about how you can INTENTIONALLY place them on your DREAM TEAM.  Don’t overlook your supporters.  For me this was the key helper to getting my school, Imagine Me Academy, open.  They help with enrollment drives, typing handbooks, painting, building a fence and so much more.  In my 1st year, there were about 20 volunteers in all.  They want to support the VISION.  Of those 20 about 4 are constantly on my DREAM TEAM, but they all played a significant role!

Identify what causing the most stress and time

Look at who can help you continuously.  This is great position for you team.  This person may already be in your circle or you may need to seek someone new.  All the people on your team are not FREE labor.  Be conscious and considerate of who you need and pay and who will help for free.

Communicate your vision and role to each team member

This is super important;  Effective communication is a true sign of an effective leader.  You need to make sure you not only write the vision, but  also need to communicate your WHY and plan to accomplish it.  The people on your dream team should be able to communicate that vision and your core principles if they will run this race with you.

Surround yourself with people who can contain and uplift your VISION

 Most likely people with no vision for their life cannot understand your vision.  I am not throwing shade! Okay, I am. But it is true.  Don’t feed your BIG goals to SMALL minded people. This will be important when you need the encouragement of your team.

Have mentors and advisers on your team

Don’t worry this is not a pitch…. But it is necessary for your success.  Mentor and advisers do not have to be a complicated or expensive component of your team.

When I decided to start the school,  I looked for people who were doing the exact thing I wanted to do.  I look for signs of excellence and integrity before I ever approached them.  I approached each of the 3 people and simply asked if i could  interview them for 15 minutes  about their experience and they each agreed. I asked the quality targeted questions at the end, I asked them for permission to talk them again based on their availability.  That was the start of forming a personal mentor-ship relationship.

Then I had “CRUSH MENTORS!”  Some of my crush mentor include Lisa Nichols, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Amy Porterfield, Iyanla Vanzant, Oprah Winfrey, John Lee Dumas, Ron Clark, Mikki Taylor and Marie Forleo.   I have had the pleasure of meeting several of this people.   But primarily the are “CRUSH MENTORS”  that you can easily connect with through the books, sermons, courses, appearances, conference and mailing list.  These icons give so much information and encourage and are not as unreachable as some may think!

Having a dream team is a huge part of my success. I can’t do it all alone.  In fact, my dreams are so much bigger than me.  They are not designed for one-woman show.  With sincere gratitude, I thank every person who supported Imagine Me Academy and Powerhouses (and the host of businesses that didn’t make the final cut!)

This journey of entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be lonely.  Create a support system to help you along the way! Just remember, don’t abuse your Dream Team.  However, make sure you are utilizing them to their greatest potential so you can reach yours.


Brandy Woods,
Imagine Me Academy, CEO
Powerhouses United, Founder Blog Post
Dream Team up to Win