Journaling is a great way of getting things out of your mind and down on paper.
Many of the most successful people keep journals (post on habits of the successful here) and that should be a good enough indicator for you to start doing the same thing. Journaling can mean different things to different people but it is really just about getting your thoughts down on paper and out of your head, not to occupy more of your precious capacity to stay focused. Some people use it to write down thoughts throughout the day, some write down goals and strategies and some people write down solutions to things they have been thinking of.
There is no right or wrong and as you can tell, some are more structured about it than others and the key is just to find your way to improve your days and life. It might mean that you have to test a few different strategies but you will soon figure out which way works best for you (just as I have).
Why you should be journaling
I am sure you have had some brilliant ideas that you have thought about, then forgotten about them until you see them i real life… Someone else has taken “your” idea and executed on it! It has happened to me as well and that is one of the reasons I always have a journal so that I can jot down ideas that pop up, big and small. Every now and then I flip through my journal to have a look at my ideas and see what I want to proceed with.
As you start journaling, your thoughts and ideas will help you to more clearly see your own goals and dreams.
By continuously opening up to your journal (yes, it is for your eyes only) you will start seeing patterns of your mind and when you do, you can strengthen those patterns or change them. To dig deeper into this, check out my posts on autosuggestion and brainwashing.
Some people just want to “empty” their minds so they just write whatever is on their minds and just let the pen go until there is nothing else coming out. There is not supposed to be any reflection involved, just a “therapeutic” stream of words flowing out of you and onto that paper. If you want you can of course go back later and think about it but as it comes out like that, it is probably going to look quite different compared to when it has been running in your analytical mind for a while. If there is something coming out that you feel you need an answer to, either let your dreams have a go at it (if you have been journaling before you go to bed) or follow the process below….
Another great way of using a journal is to write down a question to yourself which you have been thinking about and then write down the answer to that question. Do this without analyzing or judging, just write whatever comes to your mind and pen. When I do this it often becomes very clear what it is that I should (or shouldn’t) do as I then feel that it is my inner intelligence talking and not my analytical mind. I would recommend you to give this a try right now. Grab a piece of paper, ask yourself that question and then just jot down the answer that comes to mind (and please let me know what happened)!
I also have a separate journal only for gratitude. I basically use it to just write down whatever happens during the day and which I am grateful for. I find this very eye-opening as I make myself think about and reflect upon the smaller things in life, which I sometimes take for granted! This is something I would recommend you all to do because it will put you in a different state of mind when you every day pay attention to and write down all the positive things you have in your life to be grateful for.
How to start journaling
Remember, there is no right or wrong in journaling but it is a great way to clear our minds and sometimes some amazing things can come out of this simple exercise. Another great tool I recommend is meditation and these two combined will do wonders for your brain. The gratitude journal will also help you attract even more things and events to be grateful for in your life. It will make you feel like you are on a constant roll as all these synchronicities will just become more and more frequent and it’s truly magic! Check out this post on how I attract synchronicities to my life.
- Buy a couple of notebooks (so that you have separate ones).
- Start by writing down 3-6 bullet points of what is on your mind every morning and evening, without analyzing or thinking about it. This process will just take a few minutes so always do them just after you have been brushing your teeth so that you have a set time for it and it becomes a routine.
- Always carry one of the journals with you because I really want you to be consistent with a notebook to create a habit. You can of course also jot something down on your phone, but it might also get you distracted with other less important things.
- Use this journal for two purposes: 1. Write down things that happen for you during the day, for which you are grateful (however small they might be) and actually try to recreate that emotion as well. 2. Write down random ideas, thoughts or solutions as they just pop up in your mind so that you don’t miss any of them!
- Every morning (whilst having your morning coffee), read all the things that happened for you during the previous day and you felt grateful for. This will get you off to an amazing start of you new day. Big smile on your face, warmth in your heart, gratitude in your soul. It is going to be another great day!!
I would love to hear what you are experiencing after having done this for a couple of weeks so please reach out!!