‘Keeping a journal will change your life in ways you’d never imagine’-Oprah
I believe in the power journaling. It’s magic for me personally!
It has become part of who I am and a huge aspect of my life over the past 20 years.
If you have read any one of my articles, there is always an exercise on journaling.
The importance of consistent reflection and being clear on what I am actually trying to accomplish in my life’s work, for me…
Can only be expressed through journaling.
It is a way to relax and express my thoughts, feelings, and emotions and has slowly transformed into a life changing activity.
It is an exercise that I gift myself with, everyday!
I start off my day with journaling, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.
For me personally, it has become clear that there is a difference between how I show up in the world…
- Feeling utterly overwhelmed and all over the place
- Calm and peaceful and in control of emotions throughout the day.
In other words…
It has become so engrained in who I am that if I miss a week or even a day, I can feel it affect me negatively in my relationships, my work and even my passions such as career coaching and writing.
HOW DO I START?
When getting started it might be difficult to choose between handwriting or typing.
There is no right or wrong way – it is a personal preference.
- Many people enjoy the slow and methodical form of handwriting journals.
- Others enjoy the ease of access and speed afforded by typing a journal.
Generally, if you are a just starting out, you will determine over time which method works best for you.
There are benefits to journaling on electronic devices.
In fact, some people swear by this method, as a way to keep their journals organized and effective.
Some benefits include:
- Multimedia capabilities
- High accessibility
I am consistently asked what journals and tools I use to record my thoughts.
I like journaling by hand because it connects me with my feelings and the words I use when I am putting pen to paper.
I do like to splurge a little and use a hard cover journal with blank lined pages and a beautiful pen (usually a quick dry blue or black medium gel pen). I also have an extra gel pen handy in a different color (green or teal) to circle or highlight important sentences, sketches, or visuals.
I prefer writing by hand because it allows me to:
- Get away from screens and tech distractions.
- I can customize by adding pictures, sketches, and other visuals.
- It becomes a quiet activity because you are focusing on your own thoughts.
- Requires concentration, solitude, and mindfulness.
Personally, I enjoy the feeling of putting pen to paper.
You can learn a lot about yourself and gain valuable insight into your life.
There is something wonderful about writing, that ‘thinking’ alone, just doesn’t provide.
When you begin writing, especially by hand, do not worry about penmanship, spelling, or grammar. Let the words and sentences flow freely.
Journaling is for your eyes only and no one is in the background judging your writing style.
This will allow you to reflect more clearly and focus on what’s important…
Expressing your true thoughts and ideas.
‘A life worth living is a life worth recording’-Jim Rohn.
I understand journaling can be difficult for people to start incorporating into their lives as a habit or routine.
Not to mention keeping and maintaining momentum so it becomes part of your daily growth activities.
Here is a list of why journaling is important and…
How incorporating this simple activity in your daily habits can …
Transform your life!
- USE A JOURNAL THAT RESONATES WITH YOU.
When starting your journey in writing your personal thoughts, it might be helpful to start with a journal that has built in prompts to guide your thoughts.
I always recommend journals with prompts because it makes the writing process easier, and you can focus on the harder work of self-reflection and introspection.
Below are 2 journals with prompts to make self-reflection a little more seamless
Becoming: A guided journal for Discovering your Voice by Michelle Obama.
This journal includes thought provoking prompts created to help you reflect on your goals, challenges, and dreams.
The journal is available on Amazon.ca by following the link below:
The Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Writing and Reflection on the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday.
This is a beautiful journal and is based on the stoic philosophy, a practice more than 2000 years old.
The journal is available on Amazon.ca by following the link below:
2. JOURNAL FOR AT LEAST 10-15 MINS, 3-5 TIMES A WEEK.
Incorporating this habit can significantly improve your physical and mental health.
If you are new to journaling, the simplest way to begin the process is to find …
A time and place where you are least disturbed, preferably alone.
Most people find this time in the morning by waking up a few minutes earlier, which helps with making this exercise intentional.
Remember, you are writing for yourself and no one else.
Take out your journal and ask yourself these powerful questions:
- What are 3 things you are grateful for and why?
- What advice would you give your younger self?
- What is a current challenge you are struggling with and possible solutions?
- What are 10 things you wish people knew about you?
- Write about 1 thing you did this year that you are proud of and why?
- Write about someone extremely important to you and why?
‘Keeping a journal of what’s going on in your life is a good way to help you distill what’s important and what’s not’-Martina Navratlova
3. IMPRINTS DELIBERATE GRATITUDE
I believe that the happiest people are deliberate in their gratitude.
Writing in your journal about what you are grateful for only heightens your blessings.
Taking a step back and looking at the little things around you that that make a positive difference in your life…
Can be transformational.
Gratitude is a muscle – the more you exercise gratitude by consistently recording in a journal, the more your gratitude muscle will grow and expand.
People who are grateful…
- Get more things done.
- Are more creative.
- And have the fire in their bellies to live into their purpose and passions!
4. A PLACE TO RECORD LEARNING INSIGHTS
Everyday is a platform for learning more.
Recording your daily learning increases your awareness.
It also accelerates the learning process because writing it down and reflecting on it will nurture and sustain the new knowledge.
‘Keeping a journal of our thoughts, experiences, insights and learnings promotes mental clarity, exactness and context’. -Stephen Covey
5. A SPACE FOR RECORDING YOUR DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS
A journal is the ideal space to write about your creative ambitions and highest hopes.
By writing about your intentions, it deepens your habits and self discipline to make them happen.
I believe there is power in writing about the person you want to become.
Write about how you want to show up today and the week ahead.
Be intentional about who you want to be and how you want to be perceived.
6. JOURNALING CAN FOSTER HOPE
If you are going through a hard time in your life, writing gives you the space and time to process through the pain.
When experiencing disappointment, confusion or anger journaling can be outlet to not only manage your feelings but can promote forgiveness and re-calibrate your mindset.
Journaling is a tried-and-true way of consciously tuning into your feelings and helping yourself make the changes that you desire.
7. ALLOWS YOU TO REOPEN AND RELIVE YOUR FAVOURITE EXPERIENCES
When I experience a small window of joy in my life, I am quick to record it in my journal.
If I had a memorable moment with friends or family at a great restaurant, I paste the business card in my journal and record the experience.
I do this by writing all the things that made the night special…
- The quality of the food.
- The ambiance.
- The company.
- And how spending time with loved ones made me feel.
My journal is full of cards, movie stubs, airplane tickets and concert event tickets with accompanying text that will resonate with me now and into the future.
In summary, journaling allows you to record your remarkable life!
Your journal is your autobiography.
It will serve as your friend in hard times and become your greatest ally in times of joy.
It will be a weapon in your journey to living your best life!
Daily Journaling will…
- Imprint deliberate gratitude.
- Increase learning sustainability.
- Provide a space for recording your dreams and aspirations.
- Foster Hope
- Allow you to reopen and relive your favorite experiences.
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I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder