As the first quarter of the year has ended, now is a great time to reflect on all that has occurred, both personally and professionally, in your life. Are there any changes you wish you had made earlier? Have you made progress on the goals that you set for yourself? How are you keeping track of the goals and your progress? A great way to keep it all contained is by journaling your efforts.
By keeping a journal, you can track your growth and it gives you little moments each day for self-reflection. There can be a lot of events throughout the day and it can be a challenge to keep everything in your head and journaling provides a great method to capture those events and process them on a daily basis. Some of the items you write down may just be random thoughts, they could be your perspective on events or they can be a way to check on your progression and challenges you may need to overcome. I have been journaling for years! Too many to count and I can say it has been therapeutic, meditative AND empowering all at the same time. I journal several times a week and it always helps me with perspective and positivity.
If you haven’t started a journal before, it can be tough to get started and to find a cadence in which to write entries. Here are a few tips I found that helped me and still do that will help you to get started on the right foot:
Select A Medium: Where you choose to write your journal won’t have an effect on the content of it. Every medium will have pros and cons so be sure that you pick something that works best for you. I love using a beautiful notebook. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. By using a notebook, it gives you time to disconnect from the online world and from any other distractions that can arise by using a computer. It is also fun to see the journals from previous years begin to stack up on the bookshelf. Your own personal history. 🙂
Set Limitations: There are going to be times where your journal entries will come very naturally and it may be hard to keep up with all your thoughts and goals. Other days may prove to be a struggle to get anything written down. You can try to either limit the amount of words or pages that you write per entry or you can set a timer for how much time per day you dedicate. In the beginning, I think it is important to write your thoughts and ideas every day or almost every day. I now write several times a week but not every day. It is a time I definitely look forward to!
Dedicate Time: The ability to keep a journal can be an impactful activity for yourself so it’s important that you make it a part of your daily routine. I usually sit down with my journal first thing in the morning. It helps me start a great day. Set the same time each day to take a break from the world and write in your journal. It can be about your thoughts or your goals but the important thing is to make the time to do it. Mornings can allow you to start with a clear head and evenings can be good to utilize the entry about the events of the day. Pick a suitable time and follow through with it. Believe me, this process helps with gratitude too!
Keep Focused on Goals: If you haven’t considered it, I suggest that you keep your goals for the year at the back of your journal so you can refer to them easily. Journaling is a wonderful way to keep track and remind yourself of any goals you have set. This will help you stay on track in your pursuit to achieve them and any progress you have made towards them. Focus on what you have accomplished too. This isn’t the place to moan about what you haven’t gotten to but to gently remind yourself that these are things you really set out to do this year.
Be Open & Honest: One of the best aspects about keeping a journal is that you have the ability to be open and honest with yourself with each and every entry you write. All those thoughts and ideas that you may have been hesitant to share with others can be contained in your journal so utilize it as the outlet it is. If you’re concerned that unintended parties may see it, this may hinder your ability to truly be open. (Maybe you remember your childhood diary being found?) Keep your journal in a private place just for you.
The process of keeping a journal is one of the easiest ways to keep us engaged on our goals and how we spend our time. By taking just 10-15 minutes a day to write down the events, your thoughts and your progress can provide you with a creative outlet! I really do look forward to writing in my journal and it is also the place where I keep my travel dream boards. I travel so much that I created 5 x 7 dream boards that I can enjoy and ponder too while I journal. One stop shopping so to speak!
Another bonus is that by acknowledging every goal we have achieved, we begin to build confidence in ourselves. Journaling just makes us feel good. There really is a therapeutic and meditative component to it. Every entry you write is a snapshot of that day and, years from now, as you look back on the entries you’ve written, it will be interesting to see how much progress you’ve really made. Even if you never look at the entries again, it is comforting to know they are there. Have a great day and hope you start or love journaling as much as I do.