I wholeheartedly believe journaling is one of the best things that everyone can do for themselves. I incorporate it in my quiet time first thing every morning before my day has a chance to get away from me. What does it look like? There are no right or wrong answers.
Since I was a young adult I always kept paper journals. Then in 2011, I switched to electronic journaling as I felt it was safer and much easier to edit. It is also fun to add relevant photos. I use the pages app. On my Mac but there are many other good ones to choose from.
The content will vary from day to day. There are lots of good reasons to journal, but these are my top 10:
1. Journaling is a great way to start your day. It establishes a platform for what comes next.
2. It is a great way to vent without burning out your closest friends with your verbal vomit.
3. You can use your journal to write out your prayers to God. Because I have a wandering mind, it keeps me focused on this spiritual practice which is essential for me to thrive. It is also really cool to look back and see how my prayers have been answered.
4. It is a great way to process a challenge that you are facing or how to tackle the most important issues of the day. It can be a list of pros and cons or a running commentary…whatever works best for you.
5. You can use your journal to practice gratitude. Even if it’s a short list, there is always something to be grateful for. Gratitude helps the mind to shift from what’s wrong to what is right. This is very helpful for establishing a positive springboard for your day.
6. Journaling is an amazing way to measure growth. Part of my practice each day is to look back one year at the same time period. It is encouraging to see the amount of growth that has taken place. It is a good reminder of where I have come from, and where it is that I am going.
7. It is a helpful way to reassess if the course you are on is still suitable and relevant, or if changes need to take place.
8. A journal is a great place to make assessments. I like to jot down 3 things that I did well the previous day, what is the most important thing to get done today, and how I intend to accomplish that task. It helps keep me focused and on track.
9. Journaling creates focus.
10. Journaling imparts clarity.
Remember to have fun with it. You are not going to be graded and are not writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. It is for your eyes only, so you don’t have to worry about being judged! (Unless you judge yourself, and I highly discourage it.)
One last thing I would like to share. Every year the week between Christmas and New Year, I will reread my journal, starting with the previous January. Every time I had an a-ha moment; a breakthrough thought, I would write it down. By the time I get through the entire year’s worth of entries, I have several pages of rich life lessons to reflect on. They are my nuggets of wisdom that I treasure as they were hard-earned and specifically for me. Then I move forward with vision casting for the next year. It is a ritual that I value highly and will continue for the rest of my life.
As we reach the end of yet another year, I would encourage you to make journaling a new practice for 2022, if you haven’t already. If you have, I hope that you have been inspired with new ways to use your journal to your benefit.