Fortune may favor bold choices, but a solid plan is the best way to secure success. Keeping a journal to focus on goals and get things done may seem old-fashioned in this digital day and age. It’s a practice that stands the test of time for a reason, however.

Not only does it act as a record of choices, but it crystallizes and clarifies thought processes and creates a visual mind-map that paves the way forward. Consider these tips to create a personal goal journal.

The Right Size and Fit

If a personal journal isn’t suited to a person’s natural preferences, they aren’t as likely to reach for it frequently. Listening to these sensory cues and choosing a journal style that attracts the desire to use it is like picking the right shoe for a morning run. If it isn’t comfortable to use, it will become a point of pain rather than personal growth. The right journal should be easy and effortless to use once a routine is established.

Set a Predictable Routine

Daily goal-setting works for some people while others may find a weekly planning session suits their flow better. Keeping and maintaining the appointed time for journaling about current achievements and future plans is a key to making a goal journal work the way it should. The habit helps fuel motivation, plus it provides easy-to-measure progress between milestones.

Think Short and Long-term

While it may seem inconsequential to write down daily goals like personal hygiene or mindfulness practices, it can actually be a huge help in developing a sense of accomplishment. This can have a positive impact on maintaining the willpower to sustain the energy for long-term goals. Be specific and review past achievements regularly in order to have a realistic grasp of personal progress and planning patterns.

Review, Revise and Recalibrate

As a journal grows, it’s important to review prior entries and make notes in the margin that reveal how those plans panned out or how they were altered to fit the demands of the day. This also helps to catch loose threads of ideas and thoughts that may have fallen to the wayside as other plans took priority. Use this opportunity to refine current and upcoming goals in order to make the most of past, present and future accomplishments.