Tools of High Performers

Using a

Journaling is one of my most tried and true achievement tools.  It’s not always fun.  But it is usually effective.  I never thought I’d use one.  Yet I’m so grateful that a younger me bit the bullet and got started on the habit.


What Is Journaling?

Journaling is the practice of putting your thoughts to pen and paper.  Journals are commonly used for planning, productivity, reflection, and catharsis.  It’s a versatile tool that benefits multiple areas of your life.

There are many ways journaling can help improve your life.  Ultimately though, you’re the only one who can find what works for you.

Learn with Me

Hi, I’m Zach.

I’ve been journaling for nearly a decade now.

I was never one for a diary growing up.  But as I began working for myself, I started to need a place for to-do lists.  That’s really all my original journals were.

Sometimes I’d brainstorm a little or write a few Affirmations.  But at first, 99 pages out of 100 were just to-dos.

Over time, it became much more.

Now, I track a number of things in my journal.  I have layouts for Life Goals, Yearly Goals, Business Plans, my Credit Score, and more.  Journaling is a crucial part of my Morning Routine and my overall Goal Setting process.

You could say my journals are my life, followed closely by This Site.

My Experience

I’m just below the level of master.

I still have a few things to add to my repertoire.

However, I already have a very sophisticated system.  It can be a pain to maintain.  But I’m not quite sure I could have built what I have without it.

After all, pages like this get scheduled in my journal.

It continues to evolve as I go.  But the impact journaling has had on my life is undeniable. 

I use journaling to develop my character and design my future.  Beyond a doubt, it is one of my most important Habits.  I use it to create a more intentional life.

It has served me well and I’m sure it will continue to.

Videos Watched

Journey Started

  • My Knowledge – 85%
  • My Progress – 90%
  • My Motivation – 80%

Videos Watched

Journey Started

Why Journaling?

Money is a “Tier 2” Favorite.

That means it’s one of the big pieces to one of life’s main puzzles.

In this case, it really plays a big part in several of them.  In my life, journaling is an invaluable tool in the pursuit of a success and fulfillment.

Here’s how I think about it.

Internal Mastery

This is an odd way to put it.  But it’s the only phrase that captures the entire bucket.  Gary thinks like a Scorpio.

Designing My Future

Many of my heroes talk about company culture.  Gary’s idea of a “Honey Empire” is one of the best.

External Mastery

Most people know Gary as “that social media guy.”  Makes sense.  He’s one of—if not the—best at it on the planet.


Gary wants to buy the Jets.  Big dream, but he has a practical plan for it.  Luckily, he is documenting the journey.

My Top Three Journaling Teachers

I stand on the shoulders of giants.  I've learned how to journal by studying others.

This is my top 3.

Tim Ferriss

operation Director, Elegant Themes

Brian Johnson

Tech Support, Elegant Themes

Vishen Lakhiani

operation Director, Elegant Themes

How I Use Journaling

For me, Journaling is one of my most cherished tools.

It has many sub categories, already 4 or 5 tiers deep–and growing as more knowledge does.  Like it’s parent category, I break Money Mastery into two big chunks… Playing Markets and Financial Literacy.


I am an autodidact.  Learning may be my greatest skill.  It’s also one of my most important.  I don’t always take notes.  When I do, they are very specific.  They may be notes about my life.  Or perhaps a conversations or presentation.  Most often though, I take notes to develop ideas.


If you want to get your life right, you have to get your days right.  Smart daily planning is a crucial part of building the life you want.  I used to hate schedules.  Then I found that planning out my days gives me the calm confidence I need to chase after my long-term goals like a madman.


Affirmations are my favorite self-brainwashing tool, bar none.  If you want to mold yourself into a world beater, there isn’t any better place to start.  Shape an identity you love.  Install better belief systems.  Believe in yourself more.  And convince yourself to do alllll the hard stuff.  

Stream of

Many a brilliant mind has tried to decode the human psyche.  The more we learn, the farther we realize we have to go.  Stream of consciousness journaling seems to help in a variety of ways.  Not quite sure how.  But who cares?  Dunno’ what makes seeds grow but I plant them anyway.


Most people can’t create the life they want because they don’t know what that is.  One of the main reasons is because they were never taught how to set goals.  It usually takes some trial and error, but once you learn how to set goals, a world of possibility opens up to you.  


This site is the definition of a work-in-progress.  I can’t make up my mind whether to focus on the writing or the designing.  I guess it doesn’t matter.  The daily content challenge marches on.

The Zach Bradshaw Blog

How to Leverage a Journaling Habit

For journaling newbies:

The first thing to understand is that perfection doesn’t exist.

You don’t need to know the “how to” on journaling as much as you need to develop the “want to.”  It ain’t fun.  It’s effective.  So the first step is to hammer that home.

Journaling is most effective when it’s done everyday.

Otherwise, it just becomes a burden.

In fact, it will probably feel like a burden sometimes anyway.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile though.

Like many things, you have to experiment to find what works best for you.  Try different methods.  Eventually, something will work.

Keep doing that thing.

Continue experimenting with new things.

Over time, you’ll mix and match your way to a successful journaling habit.

No one else’s journaling plan will be exactly what you need.

But that doesn’t mean you have to figure it out yourself.  I’ve taken bits and pieces from many of my Heroes and others.  I encourage you to do what I did.

Look at what other people are doing.

Choose something and try it.

Don’t succumb to analysis paralysis.


That puts you on your way.

You can worry about advanced strategies later.

GTD Method

Bullet Journaling


Self Authoring

Morning Pages

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