Here at my company we have long been advocates of regular journaling. Children are often encouraged to keep a diary of their hopes and dreams because we believe it helps them sort through their experiences, and it's even more beneficial for adults.
Adult journaling has all sorts of benefits:
- It's quite literally a 'life tool', it helps you to get the most out of your life
- It helps you identify ideas that may be yet to surface from your subconscious
- It allows you to chart and measure success on a daily (or near daily) basis
- Life is pretty chaotic and human beings quite often take two steps forward and one step back, journaling allows you to know how you get the most progress, getting you ahead of your personal barriers and minefields
- It allows you to work out your fears, your obstacles and your day to day problems
- Some of the world's most successful people in business, sport and art use journaling to help them achieve their goals
- It may also lead to better health by helping you deal with stress, hence preventing stress related diseases. The simple act of writing about our problems can stop them from churning inside us
- It will increase your sense of inner peace
Okay, so if you really want to reach those goals and live a life that fits you well, journaling is definitely for you!
So what's the best way to do it?
Find just 5-10 minutes at the end of every day to do your journaling. You just need to get in to a habit of writing about your progress towards your goals and how you're feeling. If you travel a lot, use a word document on your computer, if you can rely on being home at your journaling time you can invest in something ornate, a book of some kind. (Just keep in mind that something stored on your work computer may be accessible by other personnel. Make sure you feel able to be honest when you write.)
Try and write daily to get the habit quickly, once you have the habit (takes around 9 weeks to develop a habit) you can adjust it to reduce or increase your writing according to your needs.
At the end of each journal entry repeat the goals you are working on at that point in time, this way you can refine what you're doing. Rewriting and clarifying a goal also works to get your subconscious on to the task, it convinces you that this goal is what you really want to achieve despite the difficulty of it. Human beings are set up to go for easier goals so you have to convince your brain that you're serious. It also helps you to do step 3.
Journaling helps you to clarify the previous hidden bits of you and your circumstances that hold you back from your goals. By writing about the goal itself and your progress toward it, you can clarify plans to reach that goal, do things that work for you, use your resources better and find out what you need to learn and do. It also helps you to tackle those fears and personal obstacles in a considered way and it helps you to get ahead of things when circumstances change, you can adapt your plan and still reach your goals!
Try it! Journaling does amazing things for you personally and professionally, just wait and see!