Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Are you using one of the best, least expensive ways to gain personal clarity and emotional power?
That’s right, I’m talking about the power of journaling. Setting aside some dedicated time to meditate on and write about life-the job-can not only help you keep a record of your day-to-day and keep track of things you want to remember, but can actually help you deal with troubling situations, not worry about the future and get creative by flushing out new ideas that are buried under , dig up new ideas that are buried under task lists.
Ever been to a business or personal retreat and notice they often provide a journal? It’s not just for taking notes or drawing pictures. Quieting our reptilian brain that is concerned with survival tactics of flight, fight or freeze doesn’t work in everyday life and journaling slows that process, allowing you to capture creative and helpful ideas.
Journaling is the number one tool to change our belief sets. But it’s one thing to want to start journaling, and another to actually do it. We’re busy people, after all. You have a lot on your plate, I get it, so how can you dedicate time to plunk down and begin writing about your day, right?
The first step is redefining what “journaling” is. Many people have this notion that to journal effectively you have to sit down and write pages and pages of poetic language about your feelings. In actuality, journaling simply means taking quiet, undistracted time to think about your life. The next step is finding a habit that works for you.
When should I journal?
If you can set a daily time, that’s great. Mornings are considered best, but if you can keep it to the same time, it’s more likely to become a habit. Honor your own body’s schedule and when you’re most alert.
What should I write?
Begin with these 3 lists.
101 things of gratitude, abundance, etc.
101 things you want
101 things you need
You won’t get to the end of each list but magic begins here and things start to unfold. You realize you don’t need as much as you think which puts you in a great frame of mind.
Write on the journal: "I commit to this journal 10 min everyday for 60 days until XXXX date."
Next you’ll need a few tips to get your pen actually moving.
Use this acronym, GAGA each day = Gratitudes, Affirmations, Goals, Attraction. Write through each of these items to get you going. Do the same tomorrow and you’ll see it evolve over the next 20 days. An inspirational quote, anything you're worried about, where you ARE and where you want to GO and begin to see opportunities crystalize in your mind.
The next acronym to use is: BAGELS
What are the absolute things you MUST do today in your business. This will begin like a todo list and begin to emerge as more of a daily mission providing inspiration to do the hard stuff first. This is based upon the Eat The Frog principle from speaker, Brian Tracy, one of the Godfathers of motivation when he said, if you have something difficult to do first thing to avoid procrastination and small troubles becoming bigger ones.
What attitude do you need to work on that will make you better at what you do? Where is the struggle and how will you conquer that challenge
For the next 24 hours, you will be grateful for this ONE thing. Use your 101 things list.
Did you meet your behavior, attitude and gratitude goals? Where can you improve?
You will be amazed at just how wise you can become just by listing the things you’re learning through everyday living.
Celebrate yourself, above all else. We move from one thing to the next faster and faster and rarely stop and breath in the small little success that gets us closer to what we want and who we are.
When it comes to goals, break them down to daily, weekly, monthly, quarter and for the year so as not to get overwhelmed. Remember that goals should be SMART.
Write about your belief systems regarding health, money, success, business, relationships. Just free-flow writing can identify massive value in how you’re operating and provide a wonderful road map to your success.
In all of this writing, aim high! Yes, that’s right, aim bigger than you think. Start and let this evolve with what’s called the BHAG, Big Harry Audacious Goal. (I fully realize this post has a LOT of acronyms. Stay with me here!)
What should I journal with?
The easiest tool to journal on is the one you’ll actually use. There are beautiful moleskin journals with fine pens that look amazing to carry, some integrate with wallets and sketch pads while others will hold phones and iPads.
The one I recommend is the one that is most comfortable to use. For years I filled up dozens of mid-sized, Mead Five Star notebooks because they were only $7, came in various colors and folded over for easy writing and held a pen nicely. Viola!
Later I moved digital because I was tired of digging through dozens and dozens of journals for ideas and tracking of my results.
My favorite is Evernote (free) for it’s ease of use, integration of images, voice dictation and web pages. I use the premium version for $7 month and it allows me to sync across all three of my Mac devices (iPhone, Mac and iPad).
Others digital options are:
One Note (free) - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-onenote/id410395246?mt=8
Momento ($3.99 year) - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/momento-private-diary-daily/id980592846
Day One ($4.99) - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/day-one-journal/id1044867788
Simple Note (free) - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simplenote/id289429962
Bear (free) - http://www.bear-writer.com
Other helpful tips:
If starting on a blank page feels daunting, rely on the acronyms above or create a template.
One of my favorites is the “Gathering Momentum” worksheet by Jessica Mullen, which is full of great ideas to focus your thinking at the beginning of your day. Print out a dozen, place them in a binder, and fill it in each day over your morning coffee or tea. Brilliant and full of Soul Gold!
I have clients that use journaling to calm their anxiety, track their progress in relationships and step into mindfulness by placing concerns and worries on the paper versus taking up valuable mind space.
To your good health.
Copywriting for content Blog
CLIENT: Noel McDermott
TITLE: The Power of Journaling
DATE: March 27, 2017