How was your week? Do you even know? Have you been writing a journal? It's confidential what you write in there. Written by you, read only by you. No one will see it except you and it gives you a wonderful and very powerful way to express yourself, releasing tension on your mind. It is good for your health. Good for your future. Great for your goals. Let me explain.
First let me tell you what a Journal is. It is ‘a daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary.’
A journal is a written record of your thoughts, experiences, and observations. You can write in your journal daily, or only when you feel the urge. You can write with a fountain pen in a leather-bound book if that inspires you, or you can use a notepad, online app or paper stored in a folder. It's entirely up to you.
A journal is an ordinary, honest record of what is going on in your life, how you feel about it and your awareness of where your mind is, your feelings, thoughts, attitudes and responses to daily events. It captures things that would otherwise just vanish in the busy-ness of life. It allows you to build a record of what’s going on so that you can reflect, over time.
It is not a diary. A personal journal is a record of significant experiences. It is much more personal than a diary. It contains feelings, emotions, problems, and self-assurances and can be used to evaluate one’s life.
The real benefits of writing a Journal come through the sustained writing of it over a period of time.
The practice of writing in a journal is a powerful tool for cultivating what you want from life.
Journaling is an integral part of my Single Page Plan system. Having determined what needs to change in your life and then setting goals to bring this about you have created a plan of how to achieve them. Now you need to monitor both external events as well as internal thoughts. Journaling is the best way for you to keep track of your progress and the quickest way to spot when you’re going off course.
By writing a Journal you can:
Review your goals
An important habit for you to develop is to review your goals progress daily. Looking at your goals on a daily basis is a habit that will focus your energy and set you on a path to get what you really want out of life. I personally review my goals as part of my evening journal writing ritual. The more often you check your progress and performance towards your goals, the quicker you’ll reach your desired destination. Analyse everything you’ve done towards your goal today and put your observations and thoughts of how to do better in your journal.
A great place to plan
I use my personal journal to do my daily planning. Every night I sit down and plan my activities for tomorrow particularly with regards to the high valued activities connected to my goals. These tasks are divided into personal and professional tasks, put into the areas of importance and then prioritized. It simply enhances and supports my life plan.
Brings awareness of your actions and behaviours
Keeping a journal is a great way to build better habits, as it forces you to be aware of your actions and behaviours you demonstrated today. If you're starting a diet, using your journal to record everything you eat and drink will be a key tool to your success. Tracking your activities during the day just gone will show whether you are using your time wisely or just throwing it away. Recording it, makes sure you notice what you’re doing, and enables you to make immediate changes.
Self-Reflection: Collect your Thoughts
Sometimes nothing feels better than releasing all your thoughts. Writing in a journal helps you collect your thoughts and important moments throughout the day so you can revisit and recall important details much more quickly. It forces you to crystallize your thoughts into writing which forces you to think deeper into the topic that is important to you. Your written record and reflection of the events of your day so they become clearer to you. They are now outside of you, on the page, and you can look at them and think about them from a different perspective.
It is incredible what you can achieve if you get your issues out on paper and expect to find a solution. Sometimes it is really the only way to dig deeper and find the underlying principle or cause of your “problem”. In our day time thinking we often focus on our negative thoughts, these go round and round in your head. At night sitting over your journal you will find answers coming through your mind, let them flow, just focus on answers, and jot down what comes to mind.
Jot down your ideas
I also write down any great ideas I may have in my personal journal. Capturing those sparks of genius that previously I’d forget as quickly as I had them. These ideas may appear out of thoughts, of intuition, of talks with other people or out of something I read, heard or saw anywhere. They are worth capturing and by journaling you ensure you do.
Tell your story
I imagine this… The year is 2034. It’s evening. A curious, twenty one year-old girl notices a leather-bound book on a shelf. She begins to read it. It’s my journal. Sharing my story of my life, joys and sorrow triumphs and defeats, hopes and dreams. It is my 4 year old granddaughter, learning far more than I could ever tell her about who I was. Everyone has compelling life stories to share. Journaling is a great way to share your life story.
A journal will support you through both the good times and bad. It can always be by your side and a comfort when needed. You will find that after one of those bad days just by writing in your journal you begin to feel better. It helps you to start making sense of the madness.
“A journal is also a tool for self-discovery, an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul, a place to generate and capture ideas, a safety valve for the emotions, a training ground for the writer, and a good friend and confidant.”
Finally I hope I’ve encouraged you to start writing a Journal and shown you some of the benefits of doing so. I’d like to hear about your journal experiences, just write them into the comments below!
‘Write how you really feel and not how you think you should feel. Record what you really think, not what you believe you ought to think’ Ron Klug.
Let me share with you the template we use at the Single Page Plan. As a member you would be able to record your journal on a daily basis everything being saved so you can read over it at any time, or print it out if required.