I used to shutter every time I would hear someone talk about journaling. It made me think about being a child and having my older cousins tease me about having a diary. I’d roll my eyes and say “yeah what ever.” Truth is I wasn’t able to stand the idea of being alone with my thoughts. Now, I have a little perspective on it and realize how important it is to have a place where you can check in with yourself.
I started journaling about ten years ago. I don’t always do it, and there have been times that I have fallen out of the habit, but ever since I started my own business it has become a super important thing that I do (almost) daily so that I can check in with myself, my goals, and have a space to look back and stay aware of goals I want to achieve. We all know that to-do list that gets written over and over again until that one thing on the list just kinda disappears into the universe? Yeah, what ever happened to that job, that person, that email?
Here are 5 things that I have learned while journaling, and some questions you can ask yourself to start your journaling journey.
- Journaling gives you freedom to talk freely. In today’s world we can’t go to the bathroom without a tweet, check-in, like, heart or post. I’m gonna age myself here but stay with me… when I was growing up my internet was magazines or the library. I didn’t have to worry about being watched all the time and when I responded to a friend’s comment I didn’t have to worry about trolls. Heck back then the only trolls I had were neon troll dolls with gemstone belly buttons. In an era where everyone wants to have their own safe space, your journal will always be there for you, always listen, and won’t judge you.
- It’s a great way to see how we have grown. After a certain age we stop growing up in inches but that doesn’t mean we stop growing. A journal can help measure personal growth. Looking back at where I was two years ago in my old journals I am so happy with where I am today. Without having a journal I wouldn’t have been able to work that thought into my head and seen my personal growth.
- When we check in with ourselves we keep our goals and intentions always forward in our minds. Because of this we are more likely to seek out activities or actionable tasks that direct us towards our goals. One of my current goals is that I’m trying to pay off my student loan debt (that’s a big pill to swallow.) Sometimes it’s easy to loose site of that goal when I get a payday. Yes I’d much rather spend that “extra” $100 on a new pair of shoes, but every morning by checking in with myself I can say “I’m working on paying off my debt and every “extra” dollar goes towards paying down those student loans.
- Journaling allows us to dream freely. Have you ever played the what if game? As an adult I like to play the what if game, but with a positive twist. I call it the possibilities game. Think of something you’d like to do and then be open to all the possibilities. Example “What if I hired someone to help me run my business? What would that look like? By answering questions to our dreams sometimes we can know the answers to get there.
- Slows a racing mind. At the end of the night after a long day sometimes I just can’t sleep. On nights like that I grab my journal and just write. I let the ink flow until I get out every last thought that might be weighing on my mind. When I lay down I can sleep sound knowing I won’t miss a thought tucked away in my journal ready to be revisited in the AM.
Are you ready to get started journaling but not sure where to start? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to start off.
1. What are 5 things you are grateful for today? ( giving gratitude everyday changes your brain.)
2.What goals do you have today? This week? This month? This year?
3. What are you scared of and why?
4. If you had to walk away from your job right now and switch career paths (money/education being no worry) what would you do?
5. When you where a child, what did you think your life would be like right now? What would you tell your 5 year old self if you could write them a letter?
Remember journal writing is fun, and free, and yours!
Check out these journaling guides for more inspiration: