I started keeping a journal when I was about 11 years old, I have found over the years that this practice has been invaluable to me both for my personal and professional growth. Much of the life I currently live today first found expression in the pages of my journal long before I was able to see the manifestation of those dreams and aspirations. Journalling is a powerful practice and if you don’t already journal below are 10 reasons you should start to now.
1. It can help to reduce stress
If you are feeling tense, angry or sad writing about how you feel can help to reduce the intensity of these emotions. Getting it all out on the page can help you to manage how you feel.
2. Helps you to capture and expand your ideas
Often we come up with inspired ideas however if we don’t capture them then and there they can quickly disappear. I keep my journal by my bed, so that I can easy jot down an idea should something suddenly come to me. However journalling also helps you to build upon your idea and consider it from different angles.
3. Helps you to solve problems
Often when we are faced with a problem our thoughts can become chaotic as you try to find a solution. Taking time to jot down your unedited thoughts can help you see things from a different perspective and gain clarity allowing you to identify a solution which at first may not be obvious.
4. Allows you to get clear on your feelings and thoughts
Often we can experience certain emotions and have absolutely no idea why we feel that way. Journalling allows us to examine our feelings and thoughts, asking the question why do I feel this way? This simple question can help us to pin point changes we need to make in life.
5. Helps you to see your progress over time
Often we can become frustrated if we feel as though we are experiencing no progress towards our goals. By keeping a journal we can see how far we have really come and the successes we may have otherwise forgotten can help to spur us on to further break throughs.
6. Helps you to reflect and review what you have learnt
In the haste of life we can forget key lessons we have learnt along the journey. Looking back at journal entries can remind you of these lesson so that you don’t make avoidable mistakes.
7. Helps you to become self aware
Once you get into the habit of questioning your feelings, thoughts and actions you become more self aware. For example you can observe the conditions that make you feel negative emotions and prepare ahead of time how you will deal with the situation to avoid the onset of negative emotions in the first place.
8. Allows you to clarify your goals
As you write you become clearer about what you desire for your life, what you want to achieve and why. Journalling helped me to identify my purpose and question whether I was working towards my dreams or simply coasting along.
9. You can literally write your future
In addition to clarifying your goals through journalling you can literally write your future. You can profess the vision you have for your life, the places you want to go, the people you want to meet, the things you hope to achieve. This process is powerful, it will help you to clarify the vision you have for your life and your business. After all if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know once you have got there?
10. It helps to keep you focused
Writing down your goals helps you to stay accountable to yourself. If you don’t achieve your goal why have you not achieved? What held you back? If you are off vision or not taking daily steps towards your vision your journal will expose this, which will in turn allow you to address the drift. Overall journalling allows you to become more intentional in life, you begin to take purposeful action.
Bonus: 7 key tips to help you get started with journalling
If journaling is new to you these tips will help you to get started.
1. Be consistent, choose a time of day when you will write in your journal for example before bed, at lunch or before breakfast. If you can’t journal everyday choose a day you will journal and stick to it.
2. Record events, your feelings, your thoughts, your ideas, your aspirations, goals, your achievements, your failures, your impressions and your daily experiences.
3. Don’t be concerned with grammar, spelling or punctuation, your journal is for you, write so you are able to get your thoughts down as quickly as possible. If you like drawing why not add pictures to your journal?
4. Don’t feel pressured to write loads, start off short to begin with until writing feels more natural to you.
5. Review your journal to see how you have progressed or spot any reoccurring problems or themes that you need to address.
6. Always write the date at the start of each journal entry, you can also include the time and place, this helps with the tip above, you can identify patterns for example are there certain times of the year when you feel down or more optimistic?
All the best with your journalling, let me know how you get on.