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I know what you might be thinking!
Journaling…that’s not for me. I don’t do it now, nor do I have any intention of starting to in the near future. I’m just going to skip over this article and wait for the next great one that applies to me!
BUT, hang on, give me a few minutes of your time, and see if I can offer a fresh perspective on why journaling could be a very effective discipline in your life.
Why you should have a journal
Reason #1: Journaling is a Tool for Personal Growth
Any time that you take to work through your thought processes, it is inevitable that you will be provided helpful insight in to how you think. This is an opportunity to analyze and understand any of those patterns or negative beliefs that consistently show up in your mind.
When you are able to look back and see exactly how you overcame a challenge in your life or business, your hope can be renewed in the present as a reminder that you are capable of overcoming whatever new challenge has presented itself.
Did you know that there are many famous people who kept a journal or a diary? Just to name a few: Ronald Reagan, Mark Twain, John D. Rockefeller, Anne Frank, Kurt Cobain, Mother Theresa, etc.
I imagine that each of these people have various reasons for why they chose to write, but I think it is easy to assume that at the very least they utilized it as a tool for personal growth and development.
I for one want to be someone who learns from those that went before me!
Reason #2: Journaling Provides a Healthy Outlet
Journaling is much more than just recalling your day’s events. It’s mainly an outlet for your thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative. Remember that feeling you had after meeting with a good friend for coffee and talking life? Or after that long phone call with a close family member where you vented about a tough situation? Journaling can have that same effect!
Journaling essentially allows you to take those circling thoughts from your head and put them down on paper. The more you create an exit for those thoughts, the better you will be able to sleep and focus because you won’t be as distracted or overwhelmed.
The purpose of re-reading your entries allows you to see progress, as well as areas where you still might be stuck. This insight is crucial to your journey as you move forward in the process of changing any patterns or habits.
Reason #3: Journaling Enhances your Problem Solving Ability
Think about that last meeting you attended where you and a few coworkers strategized on how to solve a problem. What was your process?
Typically, we identify and name the problem and then brainstorm what might be the best solutions. The same can be true for journaling. You would write out the problem that you are having, re-read it, make any additions or corrections, and then begin writing out potential solutions.
This can be written out in the form of a list, to help structure your ideas and resolutions. You will see various perspectives, you will develop and facilitate alternative ideas, and you can examine any implications or repercussions at this time as well.
Eventually, your solution will be identified, and you will feel confident in how you arrived at that choice. This feeling of satisfaction will then lead you to take the necessary action steps that are required in moving forward.
Reason #4: Journaling Organizes Your Thoughts and Ideas
If you are an internal processer, this benefit of journaling is unparalleled. Regardless of what circumstances lead you to journal, having a place to write out your ideas and formulate a well thought out, articulated plan is extremely beneficial.
When you are able to communicate more clearly to someone, it can often eliminate any misunderstandings or further conflict that you might have. For example, how many times have you tried to have a hard but important conversation with your spouse, child, co-worker, or close friend and the words didn’t quite come out as you had hoped?
Utilizing journaling in this way, allows you to organize what you want to say, thus leading to a more clear and concise conversation. After all, doesn’t better communication, whether in the workplace or at home, become invaluable?
Reason #5: Journaling Helps Provide Perspective
Many people understand the value of gratitude and positive thinking, but sometimes it can be easily overlooked as well. I know that when I am able to remind myself of those things that are going right, my attitude tends to shift a bit. This shift in mindset is known as fresh perspective.
I want you to pause right now and spend 20 seconds listing five things you are grateful for.
It is hard to continue dwelling on the negative when we allow ourselves to acknowledge the positive. It doesn’t make the negative go away, but it does allow perspective to come into play. This is incredibly significant!
And when we are able to write these things down on a regular basis as part of our journaling routine, it has that much more power in our lives. We can then revisit these entries and be reminded (again) amidst the hard that we really do have a lot of good in our lives. This renewed sense of hope gives us new energy to keep running the race!
I hope that you were able to see the many benefits of what journaling can add to your personal and professional lives! I encourage you to not see it as a chore, see it as a tool that can help propel you towards additional success in life!