In this online, digital age of ours, we are all looking for the next quick solution to change our lives and achieve success. And we expect that solution to be online or in the form of a new feature on the latest iPhone.
But sometimes the solution to the problem we’re facing or the goal we’re trying to reach is the simplest one. Picking up a pen and putting your thoughts to paper can be a surprisingly powerful practice that you may have thought died out long ago.
This isn’t just a matter of scribbling down some notes on the back of an envelope. You need to get a journal. For many of you, when you hear “journal”, you either think of a 12-year-old girl writing her secrets down alone in her room or a Brooklyn hipster as he contemplates writing at his favorite coffee house.
“Be a collector of good ideas. Keep a journal. If you hear a good idea, capture it. Write it down. Don’t trust your memory.”
– Jim Rohn
What to Write
Even for those who have heard about the importance of journaling, believe in it, and like the idea of it, they often get stuck in worrying about what to write. And though you can certainly write about anything, it helps to have some ideas to spark your mind into getting started.
Below are five topics that are not only good prompts for getting started, but they are also powerful ideas to consider every day.
- Gratitude. This is an incredible way to start your day each and every morning. The minute you wake up, write down five things that you’re grateful for. These can be big things like your spouse and children and the house you live in, as well as small things like the coffee you know is waiting for you in the kitchen.
- Goals. A journal is the perfect place to work through and line out your goals, both business and personal goals. You should put down your large, one-year and five-year goals down, along with 90-day goals. And then each day, break those down into smaller goals that you need to achieve that day in order to stay on track and reach those larger goals. The BestSelf Journal is perfectly designed for this. It helps you define your top 3 90-day goals, and walks you through how to chunk those down in daily actions.
- Record your wins. It’s important to keep thriving and reaching for what’s next in your goal setting. But it’s also critical that you take at least a moment and celebrate your achievements. What worked today? Who did you help today? What did you mess up, but then learn from so you’ll be better tomorrow? These are empowering thoughts to reinforce in your journal before you go to bed each night.
- Ideas. This is why you keep your journal with you, including having it on the nightstand when you sleep. So, when that inspiration for the next software company pops in your head, or your next book or podcast idea, you’re able to record it.
- Resolve stress. If you’re frustrated with someone or even at a situation in your life at the moment, you often stew on that stress factor and replay it over and over in your head. The best thing you can do in that moment is to write down in your journal exactly what has you so frustrated. Author Lisa Tams writes, “Journaling serves as an escape or emotional release and forces you to check out on everything else and focus on you.” Include all of the elements that have triggered you. You should even do this before talking with the person you’re upset with. This lets you get all of that frustration out of your head and in front of you where you can see it.
So, whether you get a specialized journal that prompts your writing like Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning: Journal, or you run to your local bookstore and grab one, start your journaling habit today and change your life for the better.