To keep a journal and to write regularly can be one of the most rewarding things that you can do for yourself that you’ll be constantly kicking yourself for not starting or sticking with it long ago. The reason for this is because of what keeping a journal means after you’ve gotten consistent at it over the years. You will start to find the feeling of writing about you and your feelings to be so therapeutic that you will have to fight the urge sometimes to not keep going during your writing sessions as your allotted time to write has past (those dishes aren’t going to wash themselves).
Your memory doesn’t really work all that well after time goes by and it definitely doesn’t work when it comes to remembering how you felt about something that was going on in your life on say, June 17th, 2019. Unless on the at day something really amazing happened, like it’s your birthday or something, most likely you won’t remember it at all. With a journal you can have a written memory as to how you actually felt about life on that day. It’s powerful to go back and look at past journals and see what was on your mind at that particular moment. Not only is it powerful, but it is also shocking at times because you may look back at a journal from many years ago and not know who wrote it as you have grown and changed so much since that time. So keeping memories of your life, in your own words, will give you a growth chart in a way, into how much you have changed and grown over the years as a person. The big memories will also have their place and to look back and read what you were thinking when your child was born or when you landed your dream job or fell in love are important to cherish and reflect upon as well.
We all need to vent and get words out. Often we call someone or bend the ear of a friend or partner but when we do that it’s more like bouncing ideas off as the other person is most likely going to say something in return and that alters how we are thinking in a way. When we are only venting to ourselves on paper for no-one to read, we end up working through more of the problem and start to come to solutions on our own. Our own inner voice starts to come out and often we need to slow the pen down a bit because we are writing the problem or thought so fiercely and the solution is popping in and out at the same time that it’s easy to let the mind go faster than the hand. But we all need that vent. We all need to let words out and not be judged on what we are saying. Not all of us have a partner or best buddy that is next to us that we can just let loose on the rumblings of our brain. With the journal, it is always there waiting to take in all of your anger, happiness, joy, sadness and anything else that you want to throw its way.
As the pen rolls the ideas from your mind to the page, you start to plan your life onto those pages and sometimes this happens by accident. As you get into your session of writing, you start to realize that you’re coming up with ideas about ideas and making plans to conquer your world without even trying sometimes. The journal is a great place to plan your life and write down what you need to do.
*Note: Try not to turn your journal into a planner/schedule/calendar. There are many of those types of books or apps out there and the idea of the journal is that you write thoughts, words, sentences, etc. Planning your life in a journal means that you write down the things you want to do with your life and why. Expound the ideas into a longer range of ideas that helps you to think of all of the outcomes from one planned action to the next. Let it evolve and bend around your thoughts and feelings that you had, have or will have as you write.
GOALS! The journal is the place that you can write down all of your GOALS and actions plans to get those goes going. The journal makes you more accountable as to whether you reached that GOAL or not and to re-evaluate those GOALS periodically in the same place. You can make changes to your action plan and see where you made a mistake or where you didn’t take the appropriate action/s. Your words to yourself are often way more important to you than when someone else says it to you. You know what to say to yourself to get you going or to make you understand that you need to do or not do something in life. It’s like looking into a mirror. What you are seeing in the journal is the mirrored image of your heart and mind. This cannot be augmented. Even if you are not truthful to yourself as you fear that someone will read your sacred words. When you read it to yourself, you will know that you were lying to yourself at that moment. So this book will track who you are, were and who you would like to become later in life.
Saving the best or most powerful benefit for last. Reflection is hands down the most powerful benefit to keeping a journal. You’re able to look back at what you did or didn’t do for almost every part of your life, providing that you have kept consistent in sitting down and writing in it.
We learn more about ourselves when reflecting on our past transgressions than we can from any book or someone else giving us some advice. Our own reflection of our own words is something that really gets us thinking about ourselves. I have read words that I wrote about all types of things and my perspective almost always changes a bit once I read what I was thinking at that time compared to how I’m thinking about it now.
Looking back at our journals is only one type of reflection. We are constantly reflecting on things as we write in our journal as well. As we recap events, feelings and thoughts, we are putting them all through a reflective lens as we write them. You will often question your decisions when you start to write them down and the words are coming out for you to read. So it means that the journal is helping us immensely learn about ourselves every time we write in it. Why not get that learning going today?
I just came across this amazing journal that would be a great gateway into getting into keeping a journal. Although the drawback could be that it is for 5-years and this could be a bit daunting for the newbie of journal writing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to use it for a full five year hit.
It could be a great way to just make sure that you get a few lines in everyday and you will surely see that it feels good to write about whats going on in your mind and world on the regular. It’s hard to say that you don’t have time to write a few sentences as it would only take about 5 minutes out of your day to just write a paragraph. Who doesn’t have 5 minutes?
I can almost guarantee that you would start to fall in love with writing and it would be soon that you would get a blank journal and start getting after it everyday or at least regularly. A few sentences soon won’t be enough to satisfy that hunger. It usually takes a few paragraphs for me to get warmed up and next thing I know and I’m turning my 5th page and a half hour has rolled by. It feels great too. You know that you’ve covered a few topics, possibly, and you’re looking to either keep writing a few more pages or wrapping it up to get on with the rest of your day.
Start with just that if you’re having a hard time to stay consistent or to get started. Just focus on writing a few sentences and close it to move on. The next day, do it again. Soon the habit will be started and you will be hooked on the drug of self reflection and writing to self. Ahhhh…… a star is born.
In closing, keeping a journal is so positively positive for you to do in your life. There isn’t a drawback for the most part in my opinion and I base my opinion in the fact that I’ve kept a journal consistently for many many years and I feel a bit off if I go more than a day or two without filling a few pages.
Just start writing and the words will start to flow how they flow. When starting out, don’t be too concerned with what you’re writing, just write. If you’re worried about others reading your words, then don’t write so critical of others and focus more inwardly and also tell those that you fear will read it, to not read it. If need be, keep it in a safe place. I often have my journal with me in my daily travels so that when there is time, I will sit with a cup of coffee or a beer and write a bit.
Lastly, have fun with it and use it to just let some thoughts roll off the pen onto the paper. You don’t have to try to write like Hemingway, just be yourself and use your own style of speech in your writings.