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How To Use A Personal Development Journal

Damien Thomas



How to use a personal journal

“If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down.” Jim Rohn

When personal development legends Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins and Darren Hardy recommend that you use a personal journal you just might want to listen.

For many years I used to write my goals, ideas and plans for the future on pieces of paper found in my desk drawer. It was not until I read Leading an Inspired Life by Jim Rohn, that I discovered the amazing value and life changing benefits that using a journal could have.

I strongly believe that by starting each day with the exciting ritual of writing in a journal for just 10-15 minutes, you will help to keep your mind-set positive, stay on track with your goals, keep your productivity high, and also increase your happiness.

Tim Ferriss said this about using a daily journal It is one of the simplest ways that I have found to consistently ensure improving my well being and happiness. Both in terms of achievement and actual measurable, quantifiable results.”

I recommend that if you are going to write down all of your valuable thoughts, insights, goals, dreams, and favorite quotes, then they deserve to be saved and treasured in a good quality journal. Writing in your journal should be a highly enjoyable experience.

I noticed that once I started to write in a good quality journal, my writing style improved, my goals got bigger and more exciting, and it has become a ritual that I look forward to every day. So, get yourself a good quality journal. I have built up a collection of different types of journals over the years, soft cover, hard cover, Moleskine, Jim Rohn journals, leather bound journals. Below are some of the journals that I have used.


personal journals


“Journal writing is one of the greatest indications that you’re a serious student. Take the time to keep notes and to keep a journal. You’ll be so glad you did. What a treasure to leave behind when you go. What a treasure to enjoy today!” Jim Rohn

1. The first entry into your journal should be: What am I grateful for today?

Write down at least 5 things that you are grateful for. By writing down what you are grateful for, puts your focus on the positive and away from the negative. Also, by focusing on what you are grateful for, sets you up for the best possible start to the day.

“Begin and end each day with gratitude and more blessings will flow into your life.” Damien Thomas

2. The next entry into your journal will be recording your wins of the previous day.

Write down any achievements that you have accomplished. There are no set rules here. Large or small, you did it! So write it down. We often forget how much we actually achieve every day.

By recording your achievements, it will push you to achieve more on a daily basis. Subconsciously you will know that you are going to keeping a record in your journal. If you don’t record your achievements you will not hold yourself accountable or give yourself something to strive for.

  • What book did you read?
  • How much exercise did you do?
  • Write down if you opened a savings account to save up for your dream vacation.
  • Write down if you went to a car dealership and sat in your dream car. What did it look like? How did it make you feel? What actions are you now going to take to turn it from a dream into a reality?
  • Made a list of your exciting goals for the future.

3. What will make today great?

Write down three things that you have control over, that would really make today great. It could be…

  • Start a new exercise program.
  • Read personal development material for 30 minutes.
  • Meditate for 20 minutes.
  • Eat a healthy lunch.
  • Feel positive all day!
  • Ring a friend or family member.

“Focus on what you want, but never forget to be grateful for what you already have.” Damien Thomas

4. Thoughts and ideas

Next, write down any thoughts and ideas that come into your head. Use these few minutes to brainstorm for new ideas, or help you make up your mind about anything that might be troubling you. Write down the pros on one side of the page and the cons on the other.

I have found that if you want to solve any problem, it is best to write down your thoughts, facts and feelings about it first. You can then use your mind to think with much more focus to help solve your problems.

“Journal Writing is a voyage to the interior.” Christina Baldwin

5. Read your goals

If you don’t have a written list of your short, medium and long-term goals, I highly recommend that you start. Writing down your goals can be one of the most rewarding and exciting exercises that you will ever do; have a list of your short, medium and long-term goals at the back of your journal.

Every morning read your goals,close your eyes and focus on each goal and ask yourself: “What can I do today that will move me towards the achievement of this goal?” Write down your answers and commit to take those actions that day.

“You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you.” Brian Tracy

6. The last part of your journal writing ritual is to capture great passages from the books that you are reading, quotes that have inspired you, your thoughts about what is happening in the world around you, and any important events happening in your life that you want to record.

Journal writing on a daily basis can encourage you to read more books and take more notice of the wonderful world around you. Be more positive, more grateful and take more notice of the sights, sounds, and smells that make up the mosaic of your awesome life.

Over time, as you keep your journal you will see how your interests can sometimes change. You might see how your opinions can also change about many issues in life. It can also be interesting to see how something that was once important to you in the past will have little or no consequence now.

I sincerely hope that you take action and start the exciting daily ritual of using a journal. Once you do, you will achieve your goals faster, appreciate the world around you more, and take your life to a whole new level.

If you want to start journalling, why not start with the wonderful 5 Minute Journal. I use this beautiful journal every day. Each day is broken down into easy to follow steps to help you become more productive, reach your goals and be more grateful.