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Over the years I have found great strength and resolution in the practice of journaling. It’s my time to talk to God, to be thankful, restate my goals and to focus on what I want to accomplish.
I decided to write this post when I realized I’d gotten away from journaling and how much it had negatively impacted me. It’s been months since I lasted journaled, after over a 6-month daily streak. And I can tell.
I wanted to share with all of you how journaling can have such a positive impact.
In today’s busy life we all struggle to find any quiet time. At least I do. Journaling, even for 5 minutes, gives that time where you can be alone with your thoughts.
I’m old fashioned and like pen and paper. I keep a special notebook that helps to inspire me to write in it; I love beautiful things when it comes to office supplies. But more than the accessories that come with journaling (as pretty as they are) is the feeling it evokes.
Journaling is a very personal process. What works for me might not be what works for you, but I’m going to share my process. Then feel free to tweak it as you see fit.
When I start writing sometimes, I could go for hours, so I do set myself a time limit of 15 minutes. This time is blocked out on my morning schedule. I prefer to do it first thing, but when I’m working out early in the morning, I can’t bring myself to get up THAT early. So do it during my after workout coffee.
I start by writing a note to God. I’m not a regular churchgoer, for reasons I doubt I’ll ever blog about, but I am a Christian. I’m very spiritual, and I stay connected to God in my own way.
I thank Him for all he’s blessed me with, and I ask him for help I may need. And trust me I always need it. I used to feel guilty asking for things when I didn’t deem myself worthy, but then I realized that’s kind of the whole point. Having a relationship where you can celebrate together, cry together, and work through problems together. He is always here for us.
I then write down all the things I’m thankful for. Many of these are the same each day, but it’s still important.
I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and everything I have. Even though life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, I do realize how awesome my life is. I couldn’t ask for more.
I end with my affirmations. Years ago when I was going through my divorce, I listened to a lot of Louisa Hay and Wayne Dyer. It made me realize how important telling yourself positive things are and how to manifest that positivity into your future desires.
I know some may feel its corny but the mind is so strong, and it can impact your mood. What happens to you depending on your thoughts whether positive or negative.
Framing what I am working on in such a way that I’ve already accomplished it works. I know you might think it’s hokie if it’s not your thing but trust me when I tell you it works.
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I listened to a Marie Forleo video once that talked about the power of the phrases “I can’t” versus “I don’t”. That “I can’t” gives a connotation of deprivation which makes you feel depressed and usually makes you want it more (like when I say I can’t have nachos makes me want 5 plates of them). But “I don’t” is a conscious choice. It gives you power because you are making a choice not to do something.
I know it might seem silly, but I’ve tried it, and it works. Anything that will help keep my mind in a positive place is something I’m going to do.
Something I need to do.
If my reasons and methods of method of journaling aren’t enough to convince you then let me list a few other reasons why I believe in the positive benefits of journaling.
1. Time with yourself to reflect and meditate.
2. Active thinking about what you are grateful for and what you want in life.
3. Time to focus on your goals and how you’re going to get there.
4. Time to recenter yourself if you’re feeling out of control.
5. A chance to practice gratitude.
6. A chance to get your frustrations out on paper and move forward with a clear head.
7. You can work through problems and find solutions.
8. To create future plans and ways to get there.
9. To commit to something routine which will help you create other routines.
10. To note things that you can look back on and appreciate and celebrate.
11. Can help you track patterns of behavior (good and/or bad).
You might have only 1 or 10 reasons to journal. Maybe you have 50. Whatever the case if you’ve not tried it go ahead and give it a chance. You have nothing to lose and a lot to possibly gain.