I’m sure this isn’t the first time someone has told you how important it is to keep a journal and I’m most certainly sure it won’t be the last time, but let me say it just a little bit louder for the ones in the back…
Writing daily in a journal can change your life.
Maybe you’re currently searching for something that will inspire you to finally pick up a pen at the end of a long day. Or maybe you know you should be journaling and you really want to, but you just haven’t taken the time to actually sit down and write.
While I was most definitely a sucker for any Lisa Frank notebooks back in the day, keeping a journal is not something exclusively reserved for preteen girls venting about their latest middle school drama.
Writing in a journal is more than cataloging the day’s events. It’s about freedom of expression, it’s about capturing what’s in your heart, and it helps you to better understand yourself.
Did you know that Ben Franklin kept a journal where he asked himself daily prompts every morning and night?
Did you know Thomas Edison filled over 3,500 journals, which were essentially over 5 million pages of notes over the course of his life?
Did you know Oprah Winfrey starts her morning routine by opening her gratitude journal to take note of five things she’s grateful for?
And don’t even get me started on Leonardo da Vinci and the 13,000+ known pages that this man filled with his ideas over the course of his life.
If you’re wondering why I’m telling you this, it’s because of what all these people have in common.
These people are successful, they are innovators, they are change-makers, and they all wrote or write in their journals every day.
It doesn’t matter whether you take the Benjamin Franklin or Oprah Winfrey approach and come back to the same prompts each day or pick up a pen whenever creativity sparks like Thomas Edison or Leonardo da Vinci. All that matters is that you start!
5 Reasons Why Need To Write In A Journal Every Day
To help inspire you to pick up a pen, here are five of my favorite reasons why journaling should become part of your daily routine.
Keeping a journal brings you clarity and eliminates the buzz that keeps you up at night.
Have you ever tossed and turned all night because there’s one unchecked item on your mental to-do list taunting you to not forget about it in the morning? How many times have you gotten up in the middle of the night to write it down or type a note into your phone so you could try to forget about it and fall back asleep?
When you keep a journal and integrate it into your nighttime routine, all those last-minute thoughts before bed can be transferred onto the page so you can lay your head down without an intrusion of “remember me” thoughts when you want to sleep.
Journaling creates a time capsule of your thoughts and emotions for you to look back on years later.
As someone who’s struggled with mental illness throughout my entire life, I am so grateful for the fact that I kept a journal during my darkest moments. You may think that what you experience is so strongly rooted in your memory that you’ll never forget, but I can promise you these emotions and memories fade. When I look back on old journal entries from when I was in the midst of my eating disorder, I am always shocked by how much mental pain I was in during this time. It’s not that I forgot, it’s that I’ve moved the experience of pain into a memory bank that I no longer visit.
This same effect will happen with milestones in your business. That moment you finally hit your monthly income goal or the moment you make your first sale seem like moments you’ll never forget because there is so much emotion attached to them. But, I promise that if you don’t express the joy of reaching these milestones in your journal, there’s a chance that the moment’s emotion will fade away in your memory bank.
Our limiting beliefs are often uncovered and easily identifiable through freewriting in our journals.
Freewriting is the main form of writing I do in my journals. This is when you write whatever comes to mind without censoring yourself or using prompts to guide your thoughts. You simply write whatever pops into your head.
Sometimes when you free write, the words on the page will surprise you. You might begin to see patterns in the topics you write about or similarities in situations you experience that you never would have noticed until you put pen to paper. When you freely write about your day, within a week, a month, or a year’s time you may uncover new information about yourself such as the limiting beliefs that are holding you back in your life or business.
If you already keep a journal, look back on your previous entries and see if anything sticks out at you. Maybe you’ll discover that as soon as your sales start to increase you begin to experience headaches (two situations that you never connected or thought correlated before) and this is your body’s way of telling you that you’re unconsciously afraid of being successful.
Your most creative ideas come to you when you’re not sitting behind a screen.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t scientifically proven, but you can’t tell me that you don’t have the best ideas at the most inopportune times. I feel like my best ideas always happen when I’m either in the shower or in the car. To help catalog these ideas, I keep notebooks throughout my house and in my bag so I can always jot down what comes to mind when I have a free moment. I feel like my second best ideas happen when I sit down with a notebook for a brainstorming session. While on the opposite hand, when I’m behind a computer, my creativity and idea generation tends to come to a halt. Have you noticed this happening to you too? Try stepping away from your screen for a bit and be mindful of the ideas that you develop.
Speaking of being creative, who said you have to actually write in order to journal?
One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling creative but I don’t know what to say is I let other people talk for me. What I mean by this is I love printing out my favorite quotes and graphics from my Instagram feed and Pinterest account.
By creating collages of inspiring imagery and quotes, I’m able to express the thoughts in my head without writing down a single word. If this is something you’ve never tried, I invite you to experiment with this idea. Once you start, I’m sure you may even want to add your own notes, stickers, stamps, or other personal touches.
Now, I know I promised you five reasons for journaling every day but I can’t help but include this additional reason as it ties back to the reason why people like Benjamin Franklin kept a journal.
Writing in your journal every day ensures that you have one positive habit in your daily routine.
Through the act of journaling, you are able to add one positive habit to your daily routine. The more you do something, the easier it is for the task to become habitual. According to the New York Times Bestselling author, James Clear, “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.” I love thinking of habits in that way simply because it means that every effort we put towards improving our lives will eventually lead to our actions becoming second nature.
Right now, writing in your journal every day may seem like a chore, but as time goes on this little step to improve your life will become part of your daily routine and you’ll forget what it’s like to not journal daily.
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear states that the first law of changing a behavior is to make it obvious. To help you start changing your behavior and to help make your daily task of journaling a bit more obvious, I invite you to download this free planner. There’s a dedicated section on each page of the daily planner to write what you are grateful for.
Pretend like you’re Oprah and start every day by writing out five things that bring you gratitude.
And there you have it! My top five reasons to add journaling to your daily routine.