Learning a language, writing a book, getting a job promotion, improving productivity, becoming a million dollar business, becoming healthier, developing fulfilling relationships, getting out of debt, eliminating bad habits, and lowering stress may feel insurmountable at the beginning of the journey.
Having this feeling inside, you may start to feel disgruntled, unhappy, mentally exhausted, and maybe even feel like an impostor.
The reason you may feel this way is because you haven't established a way to track your daily progress and reflect on your journey to self-improvement. If you obsess and only think about the big goal each and every day, you'll only feel as if nothing is happening because these monumental feats require time to happen.
Enter the magic of journaling.
Journaling provides an outlet to document the process and see growth in your development and thus build momentum to continue along.
You don't need to be a Hemingway, Shakespeare, or Garcia-Marquez to start journaling. Here are some powerful benefits to daily journaling.
1. Improve your mental health
Whether it's the stress of personal relationships, past events in your life, or an assortment of other issues--optimum mental health is a key factor to thriving in business and in all other facets of your life.
Writing about traumatic, stressful, or emotional events for 15-20 minutes on multiple occasions was found to improve your physical and psychological health in a study by the Advances in Psychiatric Treatment journal.
Journaling isn't just writing down flowery words and feelings, it's providing you a safe outlet to let go of emotions that are preventing you from being the best entrepreneur and person that you can be.
2. Improve your mindfulness
There's a strong connection between your quality of life and the level of your happiness that mindfulness helps bridge.
Using journaling to help you become more mindful helps with past frustrations and potential anxieties that await in the future. This is because you're able to stay in the present moment more and not allow your wandering mind to drift off into things that you have no control of.
By improving your mindfulness, you're developing better clarity about your life while lowering your stress levels. This helps you make logic based decisions instead of ones based on emotion which doesn't usually pan out to great long term decisions.
3. Improve the chances of accomplishing your goals
Having somewhere to read and re-write your goals on a daily basis will help those goals become entrenched and cemented into your sub-conscious mind.
Writing goals (especially in cursive) not only signals to your brain that this goal is important, but it also improves your thinking, memory, and language skills along with increasing the chances of it happening.
4. Improve your self-confidence
As you're trying to build a business, grow your income, improve your health, write a book, or any other goal--confidence can (and will) often waver on a roller coaster.
However, by journaling, you can stop self-doubt in its track by acknowledging the small daily improvements going on in your life and thus create momentum.
In his TEDx talk about the happy secret to better work, Shawn Achor mentioned that "journaling about one positive experience you've had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it."
Naturally, having a positive experience triggers some of your happy chemicals which in turn help your self-esteem and daily mood.
5. Increases your gratitude
Talking about gratitude may seem out of place until you realize the powerful benefits of giving gratitude. Giving daily gratitude takes you from a place of scarcity to abundance. The world becomes bigger and opportunities and potential become infinite.
A couple of options for how to get started with journaling
- Paper and pen is a great way to get started. Mainly because you can't edit your words nor blaze through your words since you can only write so fast as opposed to typing.
- But if you don't want to carry around a moleskin or extra notebook, then there are two apps worth exploring: Penzu and The Day One Journal.