A NEW 'Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread' has re-emerged.
"Keeping a journal will absolutely change your life in ways you've never imagined." - Oprah Winfrey
This is one of BIGGEST techniques for so many that have succeeded in whatever chosen destiny they seek.
Well-known individuals such as Tony Robbins, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Twain, Tim Ferriss, and many, many others use a journal regularly.
This truly is a life-changing plan for success. There are so, so many benefits of journaling, but one of the most important ones is to help keep your life organized and to eliminate overwhelm (which is a huge factor in NOT succeeding).
Why is it so important to keep a journal?
Here are just a few of the benefits a personal journal will provide you:
- A journal will remind you of your goals and the actions you are taking towards them every day. You are writing down your goals?
- It allows you to factually track your progress as you head closer towards your goals. Here is an example. Suppose you had set a new goal to lose 20 lbs in the next 3 months. Record your weight in your journal each day, you will now be able to see trends in your weight loss that you would not have seen without the journal.
- It provides detailed information such as dietary changes, calorie reductions, fat reduction, and so on.
- It helps build your self-esteem because you are reaffirming the positive benefits you are achieving as you get closer to your goals.
- It helps to paint the picture every day of who you are becoming.
- It can be a super-great way to clear your head, especially if you have experienced troubling times in your life.
- When you see positive results as they happen, you will become energized with optimism.
Here are a couple of simple journal tips:
Keep a simple, short log, it's easy, and it usually only takes 1 minute of your time. Each day, make short entries into your journal, list such things as your attitude, emotions, diet, weight, responses to situations and conditions in your life.
For example, if having a healthy heart is one of your goals, you will want to keep track of your cholesterol levels, your blood pressure, your weight. (Obviously, all of this data would not be recorded daily, but some entry would be recorded each day)
- You can record your exercise plan
- You can record your goals and actions to reach those goals
- You can clear your mind by writing down your thoughts
- You can get menu-plan for easier meal preparation
- You can eliminate forgetfulness
- You can create a more clear 'picture' of your daily tasks
- You can look back on important daily entries
- and so, so much more!
More then likely, you completed writing down the information in approximately 1 minute. Yet, in that 1 minute, you created an important snapshot of important data in your life. You now have historical data you can refer to as time goes by, to help you track your progress as you move towards your life goals.
Testimonial: I know how well this works. For the past 6 years, I have kept a simple, yet informative log of every day of my life. I can tell you exactly how I felt on Wed., July 25, 2000, or any day since. I can look back and see how I reacted to issues in my life and what helped me overcome an illness, injury or stressful period in my life.
It generally takes me less than two minutes to record the log for any day. It is a habit that has become a part of my life; it is now second nature to me. If you have a computer, I recommend typing just three to four lines of descriptive text into a word processing program each day.
One of the best ways to gain clarity about your life is by journaling your thoughts and feelings. Especially if you're feeling conflicted or confused about certain situations, writing your thoughts out can be incredibly enlightening!
You don't have to be a "writer" to journal effectively. In fact, your writing skills don't have to be good at all. Just the act of putting your thoughts into logical order and translating them to written form can help you to understand what you're feeling, and why.
Here are some tips to help you use journaling for personal growth:
1) Keep it simple. You don't need to spend a lot of money on a fancy journal. In fact, unless you're an experienced journaler, I recommend using an inexpensive, lined notebook. Then you won't feel so much pressure to be "perfect" in what you write. You won't be afraid to scribble and scrawl whatever happens to flow onto the paper.
2) Don't hold back. When you journal for the purposes of personal growth, don't try to edit yourself, or make your writing understandable to anyone else. The most freeing technique is to put your pen to paper and just write whatever comes to mind. No one else will see it unless you want them to, so let 'er rip!
3) Focus on the feelings. If you find yourself stumped about what to write in your journal, begin with the phrase, "I feel...". This will usually get your thoughts and feelings flowing, and you will be better able to express them in writing.
4) Guided journaling. Another helpful technique is guided journaling, which means providing a prompt for yourself. Especially if you're struggling with something specific, you can more easily get the words flowing with a nudge in the right direction. Some example prompts would be, "Describe your perfect career and the reasons it would fulfill you." Or, "Think about the most painful experience in your past and write about the ways it has affected who you are today."
5) Review your entries periodically. Going back to look at your journal entries can be very illuminating and provide amazing clarity about yourself. With time and practice, you will likely begin to see patterns in your thinking, behaviors, and beliefs. The most important thing is to keep an objective mindset while you look at your entries. Don't judge or belittle yourself. Keep the focus on personal growth and development. Instead of beating yourself up or cringing over your latest rant, ask yourself, "How can I use this knowledge to improve my circumstances now?"
Testimonial: If you're not a natural writer, journaling may seem like a lot of effort at first. But it is so worth it! Because I am a writer, journaling is something I've always done. As a child, I kept written diaries that focused more on my day to day experiences. "Dear Diary, today a cute boy smiled at me and I melted!" In my twenties, I decided I wanted to understand myself better, so I began keeping written journals with a focus on self-discovery. That practice has paid off in amazing ways over the past decade or so.
You can also keep journals for other reasons besides personal growth. For example, you can begin a gratitude journal to jot down a few things you are thankful for each day, which will help you to feel more positive about your life. You can keep a spiritual growth journal to record prayers and meditations that were effective for you. You can keep a dream journal to learn more about the messages your dreams hold. The possibilities are endless!
Finally, don't feel that you have to follow any set rules with your journaling. Do what works best for you, and enjoy the journey! :-)
If this doesn't inspire you to start your own journaling plan, then you're probably already doing it or you are comfortable with overwhelm (just saying)!
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Happy Journaling and here's to your Journaling SUCCESS!