Why You Can’t Keep a Journal.
If you aren’t a writer,trying to keep a journal can sometimes feel like torture- but it doesn’t have to be!
One of the biggest reasons that people don’t keep up a journal, (even when they are the types of people who absolutely love writing), is because they lose sight of the REAL benefits of journal-writing.
What’s the REAL benefit?
Journals are your encyclopedia of Self. They are a handy way to make notes, notice habits and to create change over time… you know what I mean. I’m talking about the kind of change that happens with a daily shift of awareness, thinking and behaviour.
Change that might take you a while before you realize you are doing now something different.
REAL benefits are the benefits that might be hiding away until you take a few minutes, pull out your journal and take a glance back over the past week, month or… maybe brew a cup of coffee and take a walk back through your last year. Isn’t it amazing the things that felt so important in the moment, that 6 months or a year later we have all but forgotten.
When we keep up with our journal on a regular basis we are acting in a way that helps us live happier and more unstoppably by helping us remember the new habits that we desire to live into.
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful”.
~ Margaret J. Wheatley
The Simple way To Keep a Journal.
1. Get a journal book you like! Whether it’s a hand-bound, hand-made journal, or a spiral-bound notebook, it should inspire you to hold it and open it. If gridded pages turn you on, get a notebook with a grid, if you like wide open spaces for doodling, then get a blank book without lines at all. The key is that you should have a journal that you enjoy looking at and opening.
2. It doesn’t have to look like anything in particular! You can write notes, jot ideas, draw pictures or doodle. Maybe you make lists or use different colours of ink. Maybe cutting out articles or pictures and pasting them in helps you track your ideas or flesh out your goals. Whatever it looks like inside is totally up to you. It’s your journal, so don’t play by anyone else’s rules, make it a reflection of who you are.
3. Find the time to write each day! That might be 15 minutes in the morning, or at lunch or in the evenings. Whatever time works best for you is the “right” time. Try to set aside at least 15 minutes to make some notes for yourself about your day or whatever your daily topic might be.
4. Write things down as they happen! Try not to wait until the next day, or a few days later to record things. Our brains are really good at forgetting how we were feeling, or other small details. When we note them as they occur they become knowledge for us to build a firm foundation of Self upon.
5. Read your journal! At the end of the week, reflect on each day’s entry. Ask yourself some key questions about what you read. How was your mood? Did it fluctuate a lot or a little? What event really threw you into a strong reaction that day? How did the weather affect you, your mood, your activity level? Did something exciting or unexpected happen? At the end of each month go back and do a quick review of the month; what do you notice about how things flowed this month? how does that compare to last month, or to several months ago?
6. Take a few moments to reflect upon what you see being different about how you lived this week versus last week, or the month before. Notice what habits might still be showing up and see if there is something new you now know about them. What do you want to do differently next time that habit creeps in?
Your journal is your compendium, your encyclopedia and your reference guide to your Self. It’’s a map that you continue to build of the territory of your habits. Seeing the map lets you change the life you are living in simply by becoming more aware of what and how you are choosing to step into each moment in your day.
Jump Right In!
Join the hundreds of people who are creating journals that excite them. Create your ‘go to” guide to building the life you want to live.
“I have new techniques for finding the positive in things and for expressing gratitude. Amy provided a great information that resonates with me. Through the better use of words I am changing bad attitudes earlier and quicker. By being aware of the balance in polarities, I can better see when there is too much of a good thing, or the other side a polarity”.
– Rick, CEO, Financial Services
“I have seen a huge payoff from coaching. It broke an ongoing cycle and I can see the longevity in my position at work where I could not see that before. I see that things aren’t getting me so wound up. I’m better equipped to take a step back and not to respond from a purely emotional position. Now I am working more from a place of much more compassion”.
– Jennifer, Clinical Director, OB/GYN