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If you find yourself in any of the following situations: –
- Constantly struggling to clear some space in your mind
- Keeping yourself motivated
- Being on track in your life or
- Feeling as if something is missing in your life
Then, I believe that writing a journal is the perfect solution for you to fix all those problems.
In the following article, we will discuss what writing a journal actually means, how it can help YOU and how you can start writing a journal.
So, let’s begin!
What is journaling?
Journaling in short means keeping a personal journal which you fill with information on a regular basis. The journal can be a digital journal or a physical journal. It does not matter what you write in the journal as long as you do that on a regular basis. That is all!
Is journaling for me?
It is natural to question everything that you do or wish to do in life. Writing a journal might be new for you, so I will let you decide. Read the article and decide if writing a daily diary can help you make your life better or not.
Writing a daily journal is a habit which I would recommend to almost every human being. Writing a journal is very easy and takes just 5 to 10 minutes from your daily schedule. Everyone SHOULD get started with writing a journal as soon as possible.
Many famous people from history and modern times have maintained a private journal. All creative people maintain a journal to help them stay focused. Here are a few famous people who used to keep a journal for themselves: –
- Albert Einstein
- Marie Curie
- Mark Twain
- Charles Darwin
- Thomas Edison
- Leonardo Da Vinci
Why should I write a journal?
Well, I didn’t give much of an explanation when I said that you should start writing a journal. Have a look at the example of a regular person’s life and you might find a reason why.
We all live busy lives and we have a lot of appointments to keep. You wake up in the morning, hurry up and gets ready to leave for the office. You spend 8-10 hours a day working in your office and an additional 1 hour in transit. You reach home in the evening and want some free time to relax from a hectic day at work.
You stretch your legs on the sofa, switch on the TV and start scrolling through various TV channels. In just a few moments, it is time to have dinner. So, you have your dinner with your family. After eating, you start scrolling through the Facebook feed and check your message on other social media sites. Then before you know it, you are asleep and the process starts over again next day.
How will this change?
People live empty lives with no aim or motivation in life. They are just heading mindlessly in the direction where life takes them. They are not in control of their life. Writing a journal will help you take the steering wheel of your life back in your hands! When you write a journal, you are able to analyze your life and track activities which use up your time. You will then systematically be able to understand which tasks are required to be done and which do not require your time and attention.
Even Socrates said – “An un-examined life is not worth living”. It is a very true that if you do not know where you are heading in your life, you will reach nowhere. Examining your life gives you power to move in the right direction to achieve your most important goals.
What are the benefits of keeping a journal?
Let me just highlight a few of the important benefits of writing a journal so that you have some motivation to get started.
1. Release some stress from your life
Yes, writing a journal is a great stress relieving tool! A lot of things are going on in a person’s mind throughout the day. You must be worrying about the bills or thinking about your partner or your kids or thinking about the big upcoming project – all at the same time!
Writing all these thoughts on a journal would help take same of the burden off your shoulders. Writing your thoughts down forces your mind to let go of those thoughts because they are OUT OF YOUR MIND and onto a diary. This will naturally help relieve some stress from your life because you would not be constantly bombarded with stressful thoughts.
2. Keeping important information in one place
Not only will you be stress free, you would not have to worry about important events/numbers or any other information. When you develop the habit of writing a journal, you can just write down important phone numbers/bank account details/email addresses and almost anything important in your diary.
You will not lose any important information and can have easy access to all your required information in just a minute. No need to look through all those emails and search through all those folders or keep looking for that piece of paper where you wrote the phone number.
3. Stay Organized
Writing a journal enables you to keep a list of to-dos in one place. When you start writing a daily entry in your journal, you will eventually follow a particular patter because that is who you are. You might start writing about your feelings or thoughts or just creative ideas.
You can then track your progress over time. Every day when you make an entry, you would see what is done and what needs to be done. You will be able to see the progress that you make in your life in all areas of your life.
When you start writing about relationships for example, you will notice ALL the thoughts about that relationship would come to your mind. You can just write them down and then move on to the next part of your life when you are done.
4. Get rid of distractions
Yes! There are a lot of things we do in our daily life that waste our time. One of the leading causes of time wastage is spending time on Social Media. There are many small things we do that waste our precious time. We do not even realize where we spend our times because most of the times we are on auto-pilot.
As Bruce lee said – “If you love your life, then do not waste time; because time is what life is made of”.
When you start writing the things you did in your day, you would slowly find out those areas of your life where you waste your time. Once you realize where you waste your time, you would be more focused on getting rid of those distractions to achieve your goals.
5. Heal your life
The biggest benefit of maintaining a journal is the healing effect that it has on your life. Writing a journal helps you figure out a LOT about yourself.
It is YOUR PERSONAL JOURNAL so you write anything and everything that you want to write. After you start writing a journal, you will find yourself writing about all your emotions and feelings in your diary. Writing about what you feel will give you the power to understand about yourself.
You will start becoming your personal psychiatrist who is able to figure out any emotional problems that you might be facing. You will be able to understand how you feel during certain situations and you will have a better understanding of yourself. Writing all the happenings of the day gives you an idea of things that are lacking from your life.
This will allow you to heal yourself and your life.
What to write in a journal?
I believe that you are convinced by now that you should start writing a journal as soon as possible. If so, you might be wondering as to what needs to be written in your personal diary.
It is YOUR journal, YOUR diary and it is YOUR life. You should write anything that YOU wish to write about. It can be writing about the events that happened during your day. You can write about the interactions you had with different people. You can write about the To-Do list that you have. You can write the poems that came to your mind during your day. You can DRAW your thoughts. You can write ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING that you want to.
Since you are just starting out, you might not have an idea of what to write, so here are a few things which can give you a good starting point.
1. Write the date first
Start simply by writing Today’s date. This is a great starting point as it forces you to remind yourself that you have just this day. There will be no 5th April 2017 in your life ever again. Hence, you remind yourself that you need to make most of this time.
2. Write about your current feelings
After you put down the date, you can start writing what you are feeling at this moment. You can write a few lines about your mental and emotional state at this moment or you can simply write it down in just one word. I feel happy or I feel sad or I feel anger or I feel fantastic. After writing your mental state for a few days, you will understand your general state of being.
After doing this for a few weeks, you will start seeing the patterns of your life and this will enable you to see why you are sad or it will force you to make changes if required in your routine.
3. The 3 most important things for the day
After writing the date and your current emotional state, you can make the best use of your diary writing by writing the 3 most important things that you need to do today. If you write your diary early in the morning, then you should start by writing what you need to do that day.
When you have a clear idea of what you need to do during the day, you would be focused on completing that work throughout the day.
These 3 things are just the basic things which you can start writing in your journal. These are by no means ABSOLUTE. It is YOUR diary after all. Write what you want to write and draw what you want to draw. Let your imagination go lose.
WHERE should I write?
By now, I am sure you have decided to start writing a journal. Why else would you be sticking around to read this paragraph?
So, the first question that might pop up into your minds is WHERE should I write? Should I decided to write on my phone or should I get online account or should I use a paper and pen?
To be honest, the best and the most efficient way to maintain a journal is to have a physical paper and a pen. It is the best way to keep a journal as you can have access to it just about anywhere. Even if your phone battery is low, even if you have no internet connection or even when you are in the middle of nowhere.
But of course, digital ways to maintain a journal are by no means bad. They are easy ways to organize your thoughts and find anything instantly. Some of the ways to maintain a diary is writing it on MS-Word. That is correct! Just open MS-word, write about anything and everything. You can then either save the file with a different name or just add everything in one single file with different dates as headings.
There are many apps and services dedicated solely to writing a diary on your phone and your computers. Everything you write on your phone or laptop gets synced automatically. The added advantage of writing daily entries on digital devices is that you do not need to worry about getting your diary in the wrong hands.
At the end, it is up to you to decide what works best for you. So, create online accounts on any journal sites, download apps to write a journal, use your own tricks or do it the old-fashioned way.
Now that you have finally decided to start writing your journal, I wish you all the best for your journey to improving your life.
If there are any question, do not fear asking them on this site. Also, share your success stories so that we all can learn from them!