There are so many reasons to journal your personal life. To be able to look back and see how far you have come over the year is paramount to human health and emotional well-being. Maybe you are in the same place, saying the same things over and over, reading it all back may stimulate the passion and motivation to finally move forward.
Journaling is only for you.
As a practitioner I am always encouraging people (of all ages) to write a diary or journal as a method of showing them how far they have come, to help recognise patterns of thought or behaviour.
Our physical body is intrinsically connected to our emotional self and writing it all down can be the catalyst to seeing this connection in black and white!
1. Keeping a journal helps us to take responsibility. The importance of committing our goals, strategy, thoughts, dreams, mistakes and achievements to paper is a great way of accepting and highlighting what we may take for granted. It also gets them out of our head. Writing out our goals provides the opportunity to articulate them clearly, makes their achievement appear easier and gives us responsibility to work towards them. I realised early in my school life that I could recollect information with greater effect and clarity if I had physically written it down. To this day I still use pen and paper to help me work through things, organise myself and get motivated.
2. A journal serves as a permanent record. Success can be quickly forgotten, mistakes happen over and over. When I hand write notes in my sessions, write my books and all my articles researching first with a pen and paper I am creating a permanent record I can refer back too. Looking back over them when I am feeling blocked or if I am missing something helps to reorganise my direction. Clarity and focus comes from accepting and acknowledging our progress (sometimes lack of). Even my ‘to do lists’ are in my journals, seeing what is constantly not completed helps me to recognise areas to work on or things which are clearly just not that important!
3. Writing helps us to think through and adjust strategy. Committing thoughts to paper or simply being creative by writing from inspiration helps us to evaluate and work through our process on a deeper level. Often when I am cross or frustrated, writing it down gives me a release and also helps me to feel empathy to see through my reactions and anger. I am a huge pro’s and con’s list writer. As an eternal optimist, I love to always see the brighter side of any situation, writing it down helps me get through the negative to the other side. By acknowledging negative emotions and thoughts you can quickly dissipate their control over you. Knowing you have a safe space to 100% be yourself is very important. In the world of increasing digital hacking and disclosure, it is nice to keep something private. You can always destroy paper, ripping paper is hugely therapeutic as is burning it (safely of course!).
4. A journal helps us to think big. Sometimes we feel foolish verbalising our deepest dreams and desires. So many of us think that our lot in life is to keep small and we are not worthy of wishing for greatness. To be honest, it’s even hard to admit, even to ourselves, our greatest desires. By writing down everything, however likely or not we think it is in our lifetime, writing it down gets us one step closer to finding out our true purpose and desires. The little voice in our head which blocks us can be silenced as we strategise, manifest and be truthful about. As we write the big things it may change our focus and remember to have gratitude for what we do have. There is always something to be grateful for. In our safe space we dare to dream and hope for our future. Prayers, hopes and wishes can be written down with pure intension and belief. A life pictured without limits holds so much positive value and drives us forward.
5. Journaling is so simple, stress relieving and good for your health: I am a kinaesthetic and visual person, so I work better with pen and paper. However I have notes on my phone, computer and I have notebooks everywhere! My blog is even a journal (find out how to start your own blog here). You can journal in words, pictures or even as a vision board of cut outs from newspapers and magazines. As long as it is charting your thoughts and actions the world is your oyster! By releasing stressful thoughts and emotions onto paper and building a strategy. Following that with positive affirmations and goal setting and you are helping the body to enter into rest and recovery mode, therefore calming the nervous system for every part of your body to begin to heal and restore!
Here’s how I journal:
1. Don’t worry about how many times, time of day, what to write, JUST WRITE. Forget spelling grammar, colour of pen or how you format it. That can all be sorted later.
2. Simply follow your train of thought, you can begin with “i have no idea what to write or how i feel” things will come. Journaling is only to help you track where you are and brings you to the present so JUST BE, ALLOW FLOW. I have some of my best ideas and to do lists when I am exercising. Having notebooks helps me as I sit straight down and write when I get back! I also do it on my phone for reference and transcribe into my paper notebook later in the day. It is amazing sometimes where these thoughts take you!
3. Find a list of journal prompts (pinterest is good for this) or inspiring quotes (here on insta) for great starting points. This can help to guide you. Try to ban negative tirades- instead do pro and con lists about situations to find the positives in your life. Gratitude lists are also great starting points. Simply WRITE 5 THINGS you are thankful for, things you have or things that have happened for you.
4. Goal setting is a part of journaling. Start with the obvious and see where the thread takes you. REACH FOR THE SKY, your journal is a safe space.
5. If you cant write, DRAW, doodle, sketch what is right infront of you. Journaling can be song writing, poetry, pictures, scrap books, photos and so much more than just writing. Use it to help you find the beauty in the world. You can keep track of anything in your journal, food, exercise, dreams, accounts, things your kids/partner say, dream jobs, goals, movie/book reviews and anything else in your life.
Here are some great journals to write in and organise yourself.
(all you really need is a notebook!)
Here are some great journal apps;
Check out Pinterest for some vision boards