I know Jim Rohn did it and so did John D. Rockefeller, George Patton and both Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison. Of course the meditations of Marcus Aurelius is big example of journaling. So many blogposts and business books emphasize why you should be journaling, if you take growth in your life seriously that is.
Journaling takes just a few minutes a day
Keeping ideas, though and questions all in your head will eventually limit your progress. You head will overflow and this will take too much processing capacity from your brain. If you think you don’t have time, think again. In reality it might just cost you 5 to 15 minutes a day. You have 5 to 15 minutes a day do you?
You can use any paper notebook or any text-processing app on your device. I prefer a paper notebook, but I also like Day One because it’s beautiful, works really well and syncs seamless on all my devices. Apple Notes is a free alternative. Evernote might work for you too, but only syncs 2 devices on the free plan.
Benefits of journaling:
- Helps you process your day.
- Cleans up your mind and sorts out the chain of thought.
- Tune in to your intuition.
- Ask the bigger questions.
- Keep a record of “wins” and “fails”.
Writing vs typing
The act of writing, as apposed to typing, requires a different connection in your brain. It lets you be more creative and allows you to dig deeper. Especially if you manage to put the inner critic on hold and let thoughts flow as they come. Every big question in your life can be answered with just a pen and some paper and a few minutes of your day. Take time away from connectivity and quite down, channel your intuition (you might be surprised by your own wisdom).
- Forces you to slow down
- Disconnect from screens and internet
- Improves your handwriting
- Forces you to just write, not focus on perfection (ability to delete and start over) just write and let the words or images flow
My format for journaling twice a day
- What made today memorable?
- How could I have done better today? (My learnings)
- List 3 things that am I grateful for today?
- Plan 3 tasks for tomorrow that contribute to my year-goals
- Review 3 tasks for today, set yesterday
- 5 to 10 minutes free format journaling
The free format journaling I use to capture all thoughts, ideas and questions of that moment. If helps me dig deeper and because it’s written down (and not buried in my head), it’s easier to review. As a result I have an overview of every memorable moment in my life to review at any time.
In addition it is extremely useful to review your learnings to see if you can do better in the future. This way you can grow and learn from your mistakes. Lastly if that isn’t enough, keeping your memorable moments and victories in mind makes you a happier person too!
Thank you for reading, you are awesome! You know that, right?!