Journaling isn’t the one life hack that’s going to solve all your issues. But it is an effective way to document your ambitions, hopes, and dreams for your professional and your personal life.
It is a buzz word for good reason. It evokes mindfulness and there is a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness. Writing goals signals to your brain that “this is important” More detailed goals provide a psychological blueprint, and increase the likelihood of achieving them.
Setting time aside to write, whether morning or evening, is an act of discipline, And discipline begets discipline. Like a muscle the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. And habits formed in one area of life have a tendency to spread.
So many people cringe at the idea of putting their thoughts down on paper. Some equate all journaling with keeping a diary and they don’t want to revert back to their 10-year-old self. Others worry about keeping a journal secret or prevent themselves from being honest and vulnerable for fear that others will read their words.
Are these fears weighing on your mind? Don’t talk yourself out of experiencing the power of journaling; the benefits certainly outweigh the likelihood of someone finding your journals and passing judgment. Like anything else in life, you need to find a form of journaling that works for you and that you enjoy doing; otherwise, you won’t incorporate the habit into your daily routine and will miss out on its many benefits.
BENEFITS OF JOURNALING
The biggest benefit of journaling is to dump all your ideas and dreams onto paper so your mind remains clear and ready to focus on your action steps. If you want to achieve your goals and dreams, taking action is mandatory but it’s very easy to get lost in distractions if you don’t journal and create an action plan.
Journaling about a positive experience allows your brain to relive it. And re-affirms your abilities when self- doubt creeps in. It is super effective to get your creative juices flowing and expressive journaling is a route to healing – emotionally, physically, and psychologically. And as there is a unique relationship between the hand and the brain, sparked by the composition of thoughts and ideas, journaling strengthens the mind to compose ideas and forces you to engage in cognitive recall.
Another benefit to journaling is the ability to revisit older entries and compare them with where you are today in your professional life. Did those older ideas come to fruition? Did they morph into an even better idea? Did you follow through on action steps to reach those goals or milestones? Use these older entries as a reminder to revisit ideas or to learn more about yourself and your motivation.
If you’re not into writing pages and pages of notes, bullet journaling is a quick alternative. The idea is to write simple bullet notes that are a combination of a to-do list, a diary, and a list of upcoming events. Part of the appeal of bullet journaling is creating your own journal with your own handwriting, bright ink colors, doodles, and unique pages that will serve your needs. In addition to business action plans, some people find it useful to include gratitude lists and workout schedules.
If you’re a born talker and get stumped every time you see a blank piece of paper, create a multimedia journal using your smartphone. Record voice messages about your day, your plans, and your dreams or record videos with those same thoughts. Transfer these recordings to a service like Dropbox to free up storage space on your phone.
Take a blank piece of paper – or open up a Word document – and just start writing ALL the things that are occupying your mind. Include ALL decisions that must be made, projects or goals you want to achieve, as well as personal items or errands to remember. There’s no thinking allowed while doing this; don’t judge if an idea is crazy or silly, just write it down.
After you complete your list, add these items to your calendar or delegate some of these tasks. If multiple items fall under the same general heading, block out some time to complete them all at once. Ignore the phone during these time blocks so you can focus your attention completely.
Patience and consistency are crucial when forming new habits. Be kind to yourself and remember even if you start with journaling twice a week, that’s a great start and it doesn’t matter if its first thing in the morning or last thing at night before sleep.
WHO AM I?
I’m Annie Ashdown, Author, Success Coach, Speaker and Cognitive Hypnotherapist based in London. I write about everything I’ve done wrong as a woman personally and professionally whilst out there in the trenches.
I work with high achievers who want to conquer imposter syndrome, crush self -doubt, and de-escalate anxiety. I help them knock down the wall that’s causing them frustration and standing between them and their next level of success so they can get closer to the dream life they’ve set their sights on.
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This piece was originally posted on www.annieashdown.com