It can surprise you, but I need to tell you that there is no one best way you can set up and organize your journal.
However, I experimented with different methods and formats for managing my writing through the years.
I came up with a few suggestions that will help you on your way too.
In the following part, I will show you some best practices to organize your journal for the most growth and positive life changes.
And now, I want to tell you about a few main principles of the ThinkGym Journaling Method regarding journal keeping.
It is essential to know these principles because they can offer you a simple mindset for journaling required for long-term success.
So here they are:
The first principle is that you want to create your way of journaling.
This means you will figure out the best way to write your entries: how many sentences, how many times a day, how you split up your journal, how much to write, and what tools to use in the current moment.
You will understand what and how you want to write and organize your entries when you go through the training and implement different tools and exercises.
Journaling is the book you are writing, and you will feel the most pleasure when doing it your way.
So experiment and figure out what works best for you.
My main suggestion here is to habitually put the date, time, and location of your entries.
You can rush and skip doing that.
But after journaling for some time, you would like to return to your older record to see how far you have gone in your life and your progress.
Those dates and times will give you a more detailed description of the moment in life when you were writing.
This will help you better understand mental changes within yourself and your environment over time.
Putting time will also help to see how consistent you are with your progress in a journal and stay accountable.
The second principle is to be free and not restrict yourself in how you write.
Don't let anything create borders for your self-expression in a journal.
You are writing it for yourself, not for others to inspect.
Don't think about your handwriting style or grammar.
Your punctuation or length of sentences is not so important either.
Only the act of writing and thinking in your journal is.
Say all freely and as you wish.
Draw pictures, diagrams, and whatever you want to connect deeply with yourself.
Voluntarily include other people's quotes, print out a paragraph of a book or article, and glue it on your page if needed.
All material of the book and the method assumes that you cultivate growth instead of a fixed mindset in your life or at least aim to do so.
The first one says: I have not yet just solved it.
And the second one proclaims: I am not smart enough to solve it.
The difference is enormous.
Without a growth mindset responsible for any progress, it won't be easy to coach yourself in a journal.
A growth mindset can be summarized like this:
"Whatever happens in my life, I can handle it. I can change. This can not always can be easy, but it is possible. I am not a tree; I can move and do something to improve my situation. Others can do it; then I can do it."
While a fixed mindset will continue saying someone something entirely different:
"That success is about being more gifted than others, that failure does measure you, and that effort is for those who can't make it on talent."
If you recognize signs of a fixed mindset, here is what is essential for you to know:
"Most people you think are more successful than you in anything are not more intelligent or better than you.
They are further on the timeline."
The hallmark of the growth mindset is the passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it's not going well,
This mindset allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times.
Focus on Main Problem
When you journal about your inner world, thinking, and emotions, try to concentrate on the leading or root cause of problems.
Try to focus on things individually and challenge yourself to face the most significant problems.
If they are fixed, understood, or eliminated, you will see a dramatic change in your life.
The reason is simple: not to fight consequences only, but to work on root causes where possible.
Or else it will be like Don Quixote fighting with windmills.
He sees some windmills and thinks they are giants.
He is knocked off his horse when he rides to fight with them.
Sancho tells him they are only windmills, but Don Quixote does not believe him.
He is sure a magician changed windmills into giants to hurt him.
So try to find those root causes of suffering where you can and work on them.
The problem that I see many people have (including me) is that they try to eliminate symptoms, not reasons.
Select your bottle wisely.
Anxiety, procrastination, low-self esteem, doubts, self-sabotage, negative emotions, and other things are most of the symptoms.
There is some cause sitting behind them.
Finding those root causes, journaling on them, and understanding them is critical to success using the ThinkGym method.
Understanding Is The Key
Many free recipes are online, but few know how to cook correctly.
So many workout exercises, but most can't even lift their body weight.
Journaling seems easy and beneficial, but most people are not doing it.
If people were helped by information, everyone would be a chef and an athlete.
Even though today you can find anything on the Internet for free, the question is still in the air:
"If this is so logical, why haven't you done it yet? If it's so logical, why don't you already have it?".
Information alone will not help if your thinking/mindset does not allow you to move forward.
But the number 1 misunderstanding about mindset and thinking is when people want to change it.
When people want to change something, they default to view it as negative or incorrect.
And this, by default, is a hostile place to be in…
It is like one arm will hate the other.
Such an outlook on oneself creates internal conflicts that cause more problems: imposter syndrome, self-doubts, self neglection, low self-esteem and confidence, absence of love for oneself, etc.............…
That's why instead of seeking change, the better idea is to seek understanding, which leads to wisdom, and once you attain knowledge, the thinking will change itself automatically.
Seeking an understanding of yourself and the world around is critical here.
And seeking change in itself PREVENTS the fundamental shift from happening.
That's why using the ThinkGym Journaling method, you are trying to understand something you don't or understand is not good enough.
And remember: challenges are inevitable.
It only depends on how you will be challenged.
When you challenge yourself and select your challenge, you take responsibility for your growth and choose your road.
In other cases, the outside world starts challenging you as it wants.
With that being said, let's wrap up this chapter, and in the next part, we will dive deep into the pillars of ThinkGym journaling.