Sunday is always the day I focus on self-improvement in my life, and I wanted to share one of the things I do every day that’s significantly improved my ability to focus, my memory, and helped me fight a huge bug of procrastination: Journaling.
There’s many ways to keep a journal, online, in a word document, on your phone, in photos, but today I’m focusing on a written, physical journal, and the 6 things I’ve found it helps me with.
#6 Encourage Routine: Even adding one regular thing you do EVERY day in your life can make you feel more on track and determined. The smallest successes, even planning for other success and reviewing your day can get you ready to conquer the world. For me, adding a to do list to my morning helps me focus my mind into what needs to be done and what will make me feel successful that day, and I love the satisfaction of checking off tasks throughout the day and knowing what to do next.
#5 Lists: I bet there’s at least 5 lists in your head right now, and that’s just the ones you’re aware of. What do you need to buy? What book was it you heard about that you wanted to read soon? What do you need to do tomorrow? When are your bills due? My bullet journal has all of the lists I need regularly and ones that I want to update on the fly, and they’re indexed so I can refer to them quickly. This is my favorite one right now, and contains all of the books that I’ve read to date this year. The blanks also encourage more reading so I can fill up every one.
#4 Looking Back: Every Sunday I look back at my journal and there’s at least a dozen memories of things I accomplished or little moments I shared with my guy. Special things that happened, new ideas, inspiring songs, quotes that made my day. I love looking back whether it’s a day, a week, a month, or years later. My little asterisk here marks a recommendation of another restaurant we received while visiting one of the bigger cities near us.
#3 Brain Dump = Sound Sleep: You know that feeling when you talk something out with your S/O, your best friend, even a work problem being talked out and started to be solved with your boss? Everything in your head takes up the ‘ram’ of your brain. Once you think of something you need to do, part of your brain thinks you should be doing it right now, so you add a second thought of what needs to be done and already you’re behind! Writing out the thoughts, tasks, reminders, goals, ideas, and everything else in your head that pops up when you sit down to think will help you dump everything onto paper so your brain knows you’ve got a way to handle it, and you can sleep easier without all those thoughts in your head as you lay awake subconsciously worrying. This can be a daily thing, or something you create a spread for and list everything involving one subject or project.
#2: Creativity: There really is something about the act of physically writing that lets your mind work through all of the thoughts. It might be the time it takes to scrawl the words out onto the page, and your mind is already onto the next thing. Or maybe it’s just the act of seeing the empty space and wanting to fill it up with all of your ideas. It’s like the energy flows out of you through the pen, linking your creativity to the page itself. It’s much more satisfying in my experience to write things out on a page, than to type it up. There’s a feeling of completion. Mine usually end up with doodles.
#1 Pen to Paper: Writing your goals, plans and commitments in an un-editable form makes them solid in your mind. Every time you see that page, that line, you’ll remember your commitment. Tell yourself that today the day you’ll eat healthier, and do it. Commit. Put the pen to paper. This is the Level 10 Life layout from The Miracle Morning starter kit. I usually do one of these every 1-2 months. Some of my goals were a little personal on this spread so I had taken a photo before filling them out.
My journal is a mishmash of the traditional Bullet Journal, some daily log entries, quotes that inspire me, and several challenges and activities. It’s the best thing I’ve found that works for me, and it encompasses everything I need in my day to day life in one simple little book that can come with me anywhere. I write in it every single morning, adding my to do list and any reminders or commitments and inspiration, and do a full spread every month and at the start of every week.
Do you keep a journal?