So a frequently asked question that I usually get is: “How exactly do you journal?”. There isn’t a very complicated answer, but I’d like to emphasize the importance of writing your thoughts & goals down, and how it can help with every aspect of your life. Some of you may already have a method that works for you, but I’ll discuss the technique that I’ve found most efficient for me and how you can integrate it.
One of the things that I mention quite often, is organizing your thoughts and de-cluttering your mind. This is something that I think journalling helps the most with. Instead of juggling with several different thoughts and reminders in your mind, having a safe space to let them out and analyze them can do wonders for you. Not only do you become more productive and goal-oriented, but you also notice what’s holding you back and things that aren’t generally supporting your well-being. These are some of the useful times to write your thoughts down:
- When you have a busy schedule & need to prioritize tasks
- When you’re trying to learn something new
- Planning projects or events
- When you’re feeling overwhelmed or going through a difficult period
The points aforementioned are but a handful of the times journalling could be useful. It’s important to also write down when things are going well or when you’ve achieved certain goals, since these will serve as self-motivation. Journalling overall can serve as an incredible tool for personal growth and insight, especially when you read back on entries after a few weeks or months. You have a chance to gain from your experiences and learn from your mistakes even more deeply, since you have a much clearer image of it. A time capsule of your own life.
As mentioned in The Journey II, I find writing down most effective in the morning before I start my day. This gives me clarity for the day ahead and helps me achieve the goals of the day. This also works well at night before you go to bed, so it really depends on what works for you. I do have different journals for different reasons, but this will focus more on a general “mind dump” journal. The 4 main writing points are as follows:
- Empty out your mind
- Summarize your previous day
- Write down your objectives for the day
- Talk about what you’re grateful for
These 4 points integrate with the previous bullet points as well, whereby you could empty your mind out by writing down any specific thoughts you have. Don’t feel shy with this, let it all out as you deem fit, so that you’re not keeping yourself occupied with unnecessary thinking. The second thing I enjoy writing about is my experiences, this would generally be a summary of the things I did, the people I’ve met and how I’ve felt about it. It’s like adding a diary aspect, where you could read back on those moments and maybe feel nostalgic. Putting your objectives for the day into perspective is also vital, since this would give you a better understanding of how to manage your time and get as much done. Finally, I can’t emphasize the importance of starting your day with gratitude and positivity. It’s honestly one of the best things you can do for your soul, since it allows you to appreciate what you have more and enables you to deal better with tragedies and losses.
Some of these may sound repetitive and obvious, but it’s truly been life changing for me which is why I advise it so much. As with every other habit for success, consistency is key. Doing this on a regular basis and reflecting on the entries would make it even more valuable, since you’ll be able to identify thought & behavioural patterns. Remember that you’re writing for yourself, so it doesn’t have to be an essay or anything strenuous, just enjoy the quality time you deserve with yourself.