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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Journaling

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Growing up, many of us were encouraged to keep a journal or a diary. We might not have been aware of the benefits it came with but we did it all the same. Writing your thoughts in your little book of secrets seemed so mysterious and exciting until we grew out of it. With the everyday jostle and a busy schedule, sometimes it becomes hard for one to consider writing in a journal. Just like how we become so pumped up at the beginning of the year, we see the need to document our resolutions and how the previous year went, it should continue like that throughout the year. The reason why many of our resolutions are never realized is how we choose not to make a habit of journaling.

One might be wondering why they should keep a journal as it might seem trivial. There are many benefits to keeping a journal, it has been seen to be a great way of reducing stress and anxiety in turn improving a person`s mood. People who keep journals have better mental health and even physical health as the immune system is boosted. It helps you to organize, clarify, and articulate your thoughts. You develop better self-knowledge and problem-solving skills. It even aids with creativity and innovation as you get time to brainstorm on ideas, enhancing the curiosity to learn new things.

Keeping a journal sounds easy, l mean what could go wrong with just writing your thoughts in a book? Plenty of us at some point picked up a book and started journaling maybe for a couple of days and probably just lost interest in the process. It takes a lot of willpower and organization for one to be able to be consistent about keeping a journal. Below are some amazing tips to help you keep going once you start, all the while enjoying the process as well as getting the most out of it.

Always have your journal with you

Your journal shouldn’t be a book for special occasions or just one you use when you want to write something special.  Dump all your thoughts into it. By always being with your journal you give yourself more chances to write in it. You get to scribble down ideas and decisions you might need to get back to. Inspiration can strike anytime. And if you have a journal that you can also color in, it allows you to have something to do that is both therapeutic and relaxing. A coloring journal allows you to plan out your week or further ahead, while also having fun coloring.

Make lists

It is not always easy to make detailed entries in your journal especially when you always have a busy schedule or when you are someone who doesn’t really like writing. A bullet journal will work just perfectly for you. Write lists instead,

  • things you like,
  • what excited you today.
  • Interesting quotes you come across
  • bucket lists.

You don’t have to narrate your whole day.

Create a layout that works for you

Write in a way that makes the experience enjoyable, one that allows you to go back at some time and still understand what you were writing about. If you list your goals, things you want to work on, let them be clear also with a specified time frame that allows you to go back to them and track your progress. Include how you plan to achieve the desired goal in well-articulated steps.

Don’t be hung up on perfection

Many times we end up losing the zeal to write because we will be obsessing about doing it the right way. There is no right way to do it. Embrace your thoughts and go wherever they take you, it is alright to be spontaneous. Your handwriting doesn’t have to be perfect, that idea doesn’t have to make sense entirely before you can scribble it down. If you find it difficult to write anything down unless it’s “perfect”, then before you start, write at the top, “no one else has to see this”or  “practice  pages  only”  or  something  else  that  will  encourage  you  to write,  rather  than  edit  yourself  before  starting  to write.http://www.motivation4success.net/

Don’t overthink it…

Write it down no matter how ridiculously big or how small the idea might be. Write about what scares you; your long-term goals, the short-term ones and be sure to always document your wins and celebrate them no matter how small they might be. Keep your journal entries short and easy to follow up on. Use diagrams  or mind maps or speech bubbles or drawings of scrolls or whatever you want to record a few words and make them stand out.

Journal consistently

Make it a culture, it might not necessarily be every day but to make the habit stick it is advisable to write daily and even push it with a specific time you find flexible. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time you give yourself – five minutes daily to write up a few thoughts. You can even choose to write during a specific activity during your day, if you take a bus to work or to school you can even make the bus ride a time for reflection and writing daily. Set reminders if you are one to forget.

Eliminate distractions while journaling

To be in sync with your mind and to able to tap into the creative realm your mind should be free of distractions. Find a serene spot that is relaxing which makes it easier for you to focus. If music calms you down, play some to shut out all other distractions. Or maybe color in and focus on the coloring. It is surprising what useful ideas suddenly start appearing!

No need to make it too serious!

Journaling should be fun. If you love color and glitter, if you are into pictures include some in it. It does not have to be strictly writing. Spice it up to keep it interesting in line with your preferences. Sketch a drawing if you want to.

If you have not yet started the journaling journey, anytime is the right time to do it. Don’t wait for the beginning of the month or the year, start now. Grab a book and get on it, you will not regret it!

 

 

 

 

 

Gain Clarity By Keeping A Journal

http://www.motivation4success.net/Thoughts come and they go, the same goes for wonderful ideas capable of changing the course of your life for good. I could liken them to the rain, in due season it falls but if we aren’t witty enough to build dams to retain it then it goes deep into the earth wasted. The sun as well with its magnificent shine and the heat it comes with consistently rises and sets but only those with solar systems can harvest its power. Without the proper infrastructure and organization, it would be impossible to take a day just to go and admire nature’s beauty in animals at the zoo or game park.

All these are natural phenomena that follow a certain pattern engraved in their being; but without human effort to make the best out of them, their full potential cannot be known. See a man leading a confused life, making unwise decisions, and perhaps blaming one person or the next thing for his disadvantaged fate? There is disorder even in his thinking. Disorganized thinking leads to actions and words of the same nature and the opposite is true. There is something about keeping a record of one’s thoughts and plans that helps eliminate grey areas of doubt in their path. This is because naturally when you set out to keep a journal, as opposed to a diary which is often a chronological list of events, you are inclined to note down only important things and so the more you write them down the more you focus your mind on those.

 

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  1. Journaling empowers you to gain clarity about where you are.

Sure, you may read your diary years later and laugh at some of your folly and immature thinking one day but if you want a fair assessment of where you stand today, start writing down your experiences, your reflections, and your takeaway from these in a JOURNAL. It’s a busy world we live in and without sufficient time taken to analyze ourselves, we gradually lose touch and just blend in with everything else happening around us. Give yourself a kind reminder of who you are and what you represent, your values, your pains, your joys, regularly to make sure you aren’t just existing. A business cannot know how well it is doing and how much improvement it needs without thorough bookkeeping. You also, unless you keep your personal account books cannot be sure of where you stand and what you need to improve to lead a more profitable life.

  1. You need to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Going through a picture album with all my photos from babyhood to childhood through teenagerhood gave me an interesting perspective recently. I realized how much I had been ‘mutating’ over the years without even realizing it! It is the same feeling when you read your journals or diaries written in past seasons. You can only look and be grateful for the character growth and otherwise. Sometimes when we are hard-pressed by current challenges, we only need to look over our shoulders and see where we have come from. Reminiscing how we won over the Goliaths of that time gives us the courage to face the present ones. Keep journaling so that you may not forget to be patient and always hopeful in every circumstance.

 

  1. Journaling removes the mist around your future.

This is by far the most important part of all this: using the power of writing things down to paint a clear picture of the future you want.  The mind can be a dangerous place to keep important information because it may not keep it all ready for reference at anytime. We may forget. Or time and circumstances change our notions of what we want to be and do. With our imaginations, we see what could be but when we write it down, we cement our imagination thereby increasing the chances of us living to see the dream. Without clearly defined goals written down, one can only hope to stumble upon a favorable future.

Something else very interesting happens when you take the step of keeping a record of your life. You may not be a skilled writer but somehow your level of excellence in writing advances when you set your mind to do it. This then spills over to even the way you execute your plans. It as if your mind hears the message, “We are organized and we are taking ourselves seriously” and so it passes it on to every fiber of your being.

After adopting the winning habit of writing you will find it useful to organize the journals themselves because if they look like trash it’s only a matter of time before you toss them out. Neatly written and well-organized work will make you want to read and keep it. Imagine that day in the future when you will want to tell your story to inspire others, your written work will be most valuable then so keep at it, and don’t forget to insert dates and even times in your journals.