Writing a journal every single day is a topic widely discussed already and many agree on the positive impacts it can have on one’s life.
Every article about it states the countless reasons why journaling is so great.
This is not one of those. Or at least that’s not where the focus is.
Yes, I do believe journaling is awesome. Yes, I do trust it contributes to changing one’s life. Yes, I do believe it is necessary for anyone who wants to improve his own life to journal every day.
The reason for this though is focused on 2 specific aspects for me. We will get to this soon but let’s start with an important part of the title you might have glossed over.
There is no “Journaling”
There is “learning to journal”. Journaling is not a fixed task. You learn how to do it and, there, you’re good to go.
No. It is a task which calls for constant evolution. As your life evolves, so should the way you create and use your journal.
While, of course, there will be optimal ways to use your journaling style at certain times of your life, what works now may not work tomorrow. Furthermore, despite this being very unfortunate, you normally only realize it was perfect at a specific time after said time.
The first step to successful journaling is thus acceptance.
You need to accept your journal isn’t perfect and start using your daily practice of writing it as a potential way to improve it.
In the past year and a half, I’ve had 3 “types” of journaling styles. The first one didn’t work well and made me give it up for a few months. The second one lasted from mid-August last year to the end of the year. I was limited by the number of lines per day so I was able to give myself more opportunities with my new one.
I am greatly happy with it. Those 5 to 10 minutes every day are both insightful and pleasant. But still, it needs improvement. I am aware of it and reflect on potential opportunities to improve it slowly.
I know you’re not here to listen to me rambling about my diary (which I could definitely do for hours!) so let’s dive into what you came here for.
Don’t worry ‘bout a thing ♪
As Bob Marley said, “‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright!”, journaling’s biggest advantage is its capacity to stay positive and contribute to your happiness.
I won’t tell you how to journal as there are already many articles about it and I still lack the experience in it I believe, but what is common to pretty much every single technique of journaling is: write about 3 positive aspects of the last day. (Or 5, or 10, depending on who says it. I prefer three).
It allows you to become more aware of what is going well in your life and brings a smile on your face.
This gets particularly difficult after an awful day but this is also the best time to do it as you can learn to find the little positive things even in the darkest of places.
Some would say this brings happiness into your life. I disagree with this statement due to its vagueness.
Indeed, happiness has been within yourself all along. What journaling does is that it makes you realize little by little, day by day, that you hadn’t been looking in the right place.
You were looking for happiness while it was just hidden close to you.
So stop worrying, start writing and notice that happiness and positivity in your life.
Remember your Dreams
No, I’m not talking about the ones you had last night.
I know some people can remember the dreams they had when they slept and I heard journaling can help a whole lot with that, but I won’t be one to tell you it works as I haven’t been able to remember a single dream for months, if not years.
What I am referring to are the ones you have for your life. The dreams you have awake.
Some call them goals, others objectives, yet others call them dreams as well. I don’t have a preference for any but I usually go for “goals” or “dreams”.
This way of referring to what you want to accomplish in the very long run is often looked down upon for one reason: “dreams are not supposed to be achieved”. Or some gibberish like that.
I could not disagree more with this but this is not a lesson on vocabulary so let’s move on.
By journaling daily, as time passes by, you will notice trends appearing.
- Maybe the same daily goal appears every Tuesday.
- Maybe the same person contributed to your day being positive every time you saw her/him.
- Maybe the same action you take every day makes you particularly happy one specific day of the week.
- Or maybe a specific meal you have once a week fills you up with more energy than other days.
Some of those will start to demonstrate to you what you should focus on to improve your life, to act towards what you wish to accomplish.
Your dreams will appear as written as a daily story on your journal, thus creating a long thread that will stick in your head and allow you to never forget your dream.
I have noted that 3-4 days a week, one of the positive aspects of my previous day is somehow related to blogging. It helps me remember the importance of continuing, even when during tough days.
What about you? Any trends you’ve seen? Or maybe looking forward to discovering?