Keeping a personal journal, a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences, is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them. Stephen R.Covey, author
Have you ever wondered why people like Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, and Sara Blakely spent so much of their precious time writing things never to be seen by another soul? Because they knew the power of daily journaling.
Here are just a few advantages of journaling:
- Writing what you’re feeling helps you clear your emotions, detach from the past, and vent any pent-up anger. You do this by transferring your emotions to paper which helps you get them off the hamster wheel of your brain.
- Journaling helps you achieve your goals. Writing down long term goals is an important step to achieving success. Writing about what you want to do and/or have achieved each day to move you toward reaching your specific goals is what makes this happen.
- Keeps you in an attitude of gratitude. One of my favorite type of journals is a Gratitude Journal. Write what you are grateful for everyday. Keeping gratitude as a central part of your life keeps you forward thinking and positive. A similar journal is a Prayer Journal.
- Records your life history. My former husband wrote in his journal every day for most of his adult life. When he died suddenly at the age of fifty-three, his journals were the history of his days on a Naval aircraft carrier, the weather, and what had happened in his life day to day life.
Affirmation: Journaling can make a difference in my life.
Coaching question and request: How might journaling make a difference in your life? I challenge you to keep a hand-written journal for one week.
PS I’m starting my new journal (see below) today. I’m with you all the way!
When trying to go to sleep, instead of counting sheep, try counting things you’re grateful for— in alphabetical order. AJ Jacobs, author
Our national day of gratitude is behind us but I believe every day should be a day for giving thanks and AJ Jacobs, author of Thanks a Thousand, is just the guy to emulate. His book recounts his mission to thank every single person who played a part in making his morning coffee, over 1,000 people. His journey took him from coffeeshop barista to the Colombian coffee farmer to the lid designer. Oh, he also thanked the lady from pest control who kept the bugs out of the coffee warehouse.
It’s a fact that showing gratitude is good for our physical and mental health. Studies show keeping a gratitude journal helps patients in their recovery and health-care workers’ stress levels decline by an average of 28 percent. We humans are naturally negative. Spreading gratitude is a way to make the world a better place.
Affirmation: I’m grateful.
Coaching questions: Who have you thanked personally today? What difference does it make when someone thanks you? Think of someone who rarely receives appreciation and thank them.
Harnessing your creative capacity can reduce your compulsion to consume–and enhance your joy in living. Quoted from an article by Dallas Hartwig and Pilar Gerasimo in Experience Life Magazine
We live in a society that promotes consumption–more things, more information, more experiences, more external approval. The more we consume, the less inclined we are to create; the less we create, the more inclined we are to consume. Creativity includes more than the obvious painting, writing, sculpting, etc. For you it may be creating an herb garden, cooking a meal, organizing a closet, or inviting friends to a book discussion.
Once we shut down the constant need to watch TV, play video games, shop, peruse social media and get into the flow of a creative pursuit, we will trigger a positive feedback loop that will inspire us to create more, leading to a greater sense of confidence and joy in our daily living.
Affirmation: I am creative.
Coaching requests: Identify a place where you mindlessly over-consume–TV, food, social media– then replace at least an hour of that time with a creative activity like writing in a gratitude journal, planting a succulent bowl, or making a new recipe. Improving your personal space also counts—like cleaning out a closet or decluttering the junk drawer.