"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." --J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan
You're going to get healthy.
You're going to be more present with your loved ones.
You're going to start that home-based business.
You're going to learn another language.
You're going to be more patient and happy.
You're going to be more organized.
You're going to overcome bad habits.
But the problem is: doing these things is really hard. And it gets harder every day. Some days it seems more realistic to just give up entirely. The whole taking one step forward and one or two steps backward pattern is getting old.
Developing a habit of daily journaling is one of the best ways to break unhealthy cycles and get you moving in the direction you want to go.
1. Journaling optimizes your creative potential
Most people live their lives on other people's terms. Their days are spent achieving other people's goals and submitting to other people's agendas.
Their lives have not been consciously organized in such a way that they command every waking, and sleeping, moment of their lives. Instead, they relentlessly react at every chance they get.
For example, most people wake up and immediately check their phone or email. In spare seconds, we hop on Facebook and check the newsfeed. We've become addicted to input. In other words, we've become addicted to reactively being guided by other people's agendas.
On the other hand, Josh Waitzkin, author of The Art of Learning, wakes up and immediately writes in his journal for 30 minutes.
He does this because, while he's been sleeping, his subconscious mind has been brewing, scheming, problem solving, and learning. So when Josh wakes up, he rushes to a quiet place and engages in a bust of intellectual and creative flow.
2. Journaling accelerates your ability to manifest your goals
As part of your morning creative burst, use your journal to review and hone your daily to-do list. Review and hone your life vision and big picture goals.
As you read and rewrite your goals daily, they'll become forged into your subconscious mind. Eventually, your dreams and vision will consume your inner world and quickly become your physical reality.
3. Journaling generates clarity and congruence
This keystone habit has so much power! By journaling in the morning and evening, you'll quickly see the incongruencies in your life.
You'll see crystal clearly what needs to be removed and what should be included in your life. Journaling is a beautiful and powerful facilitator of self-discovery. My own journaling is how I've come to form my sense of identity and path in life.
On the pages of your journal will be the future world you are creating for yourself. You are the author of your life's story. You deserve to be happy. You have the power to create whatever life you want. As the designer of your world, get as detailed as you desire.
4. Journaling clears your emotions
- Reducing scatter in your life
- Increased focus
- Greater stability
- Deeper level of learning, order, action, and release
- Holding thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated
- Releasing pent-up thoughts and emotions
- Bridging inner thinking with outer events
- Detaching and letting go of the past
- Allowing you to re-experience the past with today's adult mind
After you've vented on the pages of your journal, you'll quickly find a release. Objectivity will return, and you'll be able to move forward.
Without a journal, intense emotional experiences can be crippling for hours, days, and even years. However, an honest and inspired journal session can be the best form of therapy -- quickly returning you better and smarter than you were before.
5. Journaling ingrains your learning
Humans are bad at retaining information. We forget most of what we read and hear. However, when you write down the things you've learned, you retain them far better. Even if you never re-read what you've written, the simple act of writing something down increases brain development and memory.
Neurologically, when you listen to something, a different part of your brain is engaged than when you write it down. Memory recorded by listening does not discriminate important from non-important information.
However, writing creates spatial regions between important and non-important pieces of information -- allowing your memory to target and ingrain the important stuff you want to remember.
Furthermore, the act of writing allows your subconscious mind to work out problems in unique ways, intensifying the learning process. You'll be able to work out problems and get insights while you ponder and write about the things you're learning.
I dare say that journaling is one of the most important things you can do in your life. If done effectively, it will change everything in your life for the better.
You'll become the person you want to be.
You'll design the life you want to live.
Your relationships will be healthier and happier.
You'll be more productive and powerful.