Using a journal every day has many wonderful benefits, and most people do not take advantage of this powerful habit. Perhaps you think of writing in a journal as something kids might do? Did you know that many top performance experts encourage their clients to write in a journal every day.
It can take some time to form the habit of writing consistently in a journal. But, once you do, journaling can quickly become one of your favorite parts of the day.
Let’s look at eight reasons why you should use a journal, and how it can benefit you.
1. It Lets You Plan the Day Ahead
Whether you consider yourself as an organized person or not, journaling first thing in the morning lets you plan the day in ahead of you. Your journal can include a list of things you need to do, or it can flow more like a story as you write out what your plan is for the day.
Writing down what you expect for the day can give you a sense of focus and motivation. You can also look back on past entries in your journals to see what you have accomplished and the journey that you have been through over a period of time.
2. It Reminds You of Your Goals
I have a list of my goals written at the back of my journal. This is the first thing that I read before I start journaling every morning. This is a great way to put me in the right frame of mind before I start writing. Write down your daily goals/tasks that you need to do that day that will help to bring you closer to achieving your list of goals. As you journal your daily experiences and achievements, including the ups and downs, you will eventually be reminded of how you growing and how your hard work is paying off to achieve your goals. Journaling acts as a powerful reminder to stay on course with your exciting goals.
3. It Reminds You to Be Grateful
It can be very easy to forget about the things in our lives that we should feel more grateful for. Journaling makes focusing on gratitude easier to remember. When you write about your experiences, they are bound to include the good things that happen to you, or the people that you are grateful to have in your life.
Journaling each day not only allows you to look back on what you are grateful for, but it serves as a reminder of everything you have and how lucky you are. When you are having a rough day or you feel like things might not be working out as they should, seeing the good things in your life and being grateful can make a big difference.
4. It Lets You Release Your Troubles
Think of a journal as a built-in therapist. It won’t talk back to you, but sometimes releasing your troubles down on paper is the best thing to do to start feeling better.
Keeping your emotions bottled up inside is never a good thing. But, far too often people feel as though they have no one to talk to, or that they are embarrassed to admit that they might be struggling in an area in their life.
A journal is a great way to release. Chances are, once you start writing, you will end up writing down more than you anticipated. Getting all of it out there in detail can help you to clear your head, calm down and work through whatever negative thoughts or troubles might be on your mind.
5. Journaling Keeps Track of Your Wins
Did you have a great day? Write it down. Did you get that promotion in work? Write it down. Did you get into a new relationship? Reach a fitness goal? Celebrate a milestone? Write all of your wins no matter what size down in your journal that happen in your life. The more detailed that you are, the easier it is to look back and see your “wins” throughout the year. Again, that can be a huge mood-booster and a source of motivation on a bad day.
6. It Kick Starts Your Brain
When you journal first thing in the morning, you are essentially telling your brain to wake up and get to work. Even writing down a few thoughts can help to wake up the brain and prepare it for the day ahead, so that you are not in a state of complete grogginess as you head off to work.
7. Journaling Records Your Thoughts and Ideas
Have you ever had a great idea, but couldn’t seem to remember it the next day? Journaling helps to prevent that. That is especially true if you choose to carry your journal with you wherever you go. When you have a thought or idea, you can pull out your journal and quickly write it down. At the end of each day you can review your journal and read all of your great ideas.
8. It Keeps You On Track With Goals
As mentioned above, a journal is great for reminding you of your goals. But, it is also great for keeping you on track and feel more grateful. A journal can also act as an accountability partner. You can look back at your entries and see how far you have come in working towards your goals.
If you see a pattern written in your journal that you don’t like, you can change it. A journal is essentially a road map of what you have been doing and what you need to keep doing in order to reach your goals.
Hopefully, this simple list has inspired you to go out and get a journal of your own. Everyone’s style is different, and there’s no particular “template” to follow. Write whatever you are inspired to write, and let your thoughts and feelings flow from your mind and heart down to your pen. If you make it a consistent habit, you will undoubtedly start to notice some of these amazing benefits above, and you will develop a real love of journaling each day.