Do you journal regularly? Have you tried it and then gradually ‘fall out of habit’? Well, you are not alone!
Journalling does require you to create a new habit but it’s a habit is strongly linked to success. Who’s success — yours, if you journal.
A look at successful leaders throughout time reveals they all journal in some way. Journalling help them gain the clarity of their vision, learn from successes and mistakes, and capture ideas when the iron strikes. Proponents of journalling state that putting pen to paper to write your vision and goals, sets a stronger intention and makes them seem more real than if you were to type that information into a computer. I have to agree with this suggestion. Every year I write (or draw) my plan for the year and all the milestones I want to achieve. I tried using a mindmap software program and writing my list of goals, also using the computer. After about 2 months I realized that I didn’t have a strong connection to my plan and went back to pen and paper (and colouring pencils) and copied the information from the computer on to the paper. After this change, I was much more connected and successful in achieving what I set out to accomplish.
Will keeping a Journal Help You?
Keeping a journal for your career or business pays dividends if you use it consistently. A journal offers the following:
1. A vehicle to strategize and set your intention. If you take time to visualize what you want to achieve and and where you want to be one year from now, you can create your vision and create the goals that will support this vision. Writing goals down in your journal where you can see them quickly and easily every day will help reinforce your aspirations.
2. An opportunity to plan your day, week, month. Different than a day-timer style book, a journal can assist you in staying focused on the bigger picture and maintain a connection between your strategy and goals to your actions each day, particularly if you record your priorities, successes, thoughts and opportunities. Use your journal to create your business/career plan and the tactics and milestones which you need to reach to be successful.
3. Keep yourself Accountable. Working toward your goals and vision can be challenging when day-to-day demands get in the way. I often use the analogy of losing your way through the forest because the path becomes covered in leaves and blends in with the rest of the forest floor. If you want to reach your goals and dreams, using a tool like a journal will keep you focused when the path is blurred. The journal allows you to easily review your plan and you record when you reach milestones, what actions were taken to move you one step or leap forward.
4. Time to Reflect. When you experience a success or a set-back, do you take time to reflect on it? Identify why your action or outcome worked or did not work? Learn what to keep or change for a better outcome? Journalling offers this opportunity. When you take time to reflect or review, you will
5. Keep Brainstorming, Problem Solving and Exploring. A journal allows you to record your thoughts, feelings, aspirations and frustrations. This process unloads your brain and opens it up to be more creative, innovative and productive. Each day when you recognize what you accomplished, how you feel about your progress and where you want to be, you are more likely to keep moving forward. Journalling also allows you to record those thoughts and insights that are normally lost because you are too busy with day-to-day activities and priorities.
Make it a Daily Habit
If you are not a regular journal writer but want to start, it is important to remember that you want to establish a set time each day to write in your journal. Like any new process that you want to perform consistently and make a habit, repetition and consistency is vital. It will take you 21 days of daily journalling to make it a habit. I find that the best time for me to journal is just before I go to bed. It usually takes me less than 10 minutes unless my thoughts are prolific, to complete the journal. Having the journal beside my bed comes in handy when I have a thought in the middle of the night too — better than recording the thought on a piece of paper.
What’s stopping you?
Take action to start journalling today.
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($2 from every journal goes to “Create Change” to send a girl in Northern Ghana to high school)