Journaling has become a pretty popular activity in the past few years. What used to be seen as something a child would do, is becoming more widely accepted as a tool for personal development and self-exploration. This powerful practice is frequently recommended by mental health professionals, as a way to monitor and even improve our thoughts and emotions. Here are 7 tips for you to use journaling as a powerful tool for self growth.
When you live your life in a state of gratitude, you will usually be in a happy state of mood. Training your mind to be grateful and to look for positive things in your life, will make you more optimistic and confident about your future. One of the most effective ways to increase your sense of gratitude is through gratitude journaling. Every morning, you should write down 3 things that you’re grateful for. They can be small things, such as being grateful to eat a special meal or see a loved one on that particular day. Doing this in the morning will allow you to start your day off on the right foot, with a positive mood and mindset.
#2. Set Your Intention
At the beginning of each day, you should look through your daily schedule. Spend some time on each activity, meeting etc. you have for that day. Write out a specific intention for each activity on your schedule. If you’re meeting with someone, write about the goals you have for that meeting. Do you want to convince someone of something or to learn about something or to come to some kind of compromise? Going into each activity with a specific intention in mind will help you stay focused on accomplishing your goals. Once you’ve written down your intentions, your reticular activating system will subconsciously guide you to accomplishing those goals.
#3. Write Down Your Goals
Every morning, you should write down your goals, both big and small. Think about each of your goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. Write down some of the first few steps you can take towards accomplishing your goals. Now that you know exactly what your next steps should be, you will be able to take action with confidence and begin building some positive momentum to help push you through the rest of the process.
#4. Track Your Habits
Studies show that it takes anywhere between 66 and 254 days to implement a new habit. It can be hard to remain consistent with a habit though, so it’s helpful to use some tools to help you. One of the most powerful tools to help instill positive habits is to have a checklist. You want to write down all of the habits you’re trying to implement into your life, then check off every day on the calendar, once you’ve completed that task. Seeing the tangible data of how many days you’ve stayed committed to your new habit will give you more confidence about your ability to fully implement the habit into your lifestyle. You also get the added bonus of receiving a boost of dopamine, every time you mark off that you completed the task for that day.
#5. Review Your Previous Day
Everyday, you should look back and consider how your previous day went. What goals did you have for the day and did you accomplish them? What things went well for you? What things went poorly for you? What things could you have done better? Explore your emotional state, as well. How did you feel while you were working yesterday? What can that tell you about how effective you were with your day? The more you can become self aware, the better you will perform at work and in other areas of your life.
#6. Stream Of Conscious
Everyday, you should take some time to sit down and write out your stream of consciousness. Don’t think about it and don’t judge your thoughts. Just let it all flow out of you. Write down anything that comes to mind. Afterwards, you should come back and read what you wrote. If you keep doing this on a daily basis, you will start to notice specific thought patterns you have. You might constantly be having the same thoughts, without even realizing it. Once you’re able to pinpoint specific thought patterns in your mind, it will be much easier to consciously work towards removing the bad ones. The more positive your thought patterns are, the more happy, confident and productive you will be in business and life.
#7. Revisit Old Problems
A powerful writing exercise for personal growth is to write about problems you’ve faced in the past. Write about the specific details of the problem. Once you’ve laid it all out, you want to start writing out possible solutions to that problem. What could you do differently now, than what you did when you faced it in the past? If you can think of more than one effective solution, you should write them all out. If you keep doing this on a daily basis, you will drastically improve your problem solving skills, especially in the heat of the moment. This will set you up to do a better job of facing new obstacles in the future.
There are many different ways to write in a journal. People write in them for many different reasons. If your main intention for journaling is self growth, then I highly recommend you implement these 7 writing activities into your journaling routine. I am confident that they will help you grow closer to becoming the best possible version of yourself.
I hope that you’ve found value in this blog post! Feel free to share it with anyone that you think will benefit from it as well.
If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this subject, you can check out my video here:
If you’d like to be even more effective as an entrepreneur, check out my blog post on Richard Branson’s 5 Keys For Success.