So the first important question before diving deep into journaling is simple: why journal?
And there are a lot of reasons.
And it is essential to know them.
Because if you know in great detail what is possible with journaling, only then you will pay attention to acquiring a journaling habit.
Before answering why to journal, let me quickly share my story.
I first discovered the power of journaling more than 7 years ago.
And I remembered somewhere 3 or 4 years ago,
I stopped doing any journaling …
…for a few months because, as I said to myself:
I had no time for it.
Life became even more complicated during that time.
So I felt lost and stressed…
Back then, I had a difficult time in my life, a lot of anxiety, and was running in circles.
I had no one around me who could listen to me or give me some outside advice.
I was feeling stuck, angry at myself and life.
I was feeling a need to change.
It was to such a degree that I even visited a local doctor to ask what to do.
Not even looking at any symptoms, he said:
“You have 2 options:
start controlling your thoughts and mental state,
or I can prescribe you some tranquilizers.”
No way!, I told myself I would put those chemicals 💊into my body.
And immediately, I remembered my forgotten journaling habit…
All this made me instinctively take a notebook I had near my hand and express all my thoughts, emotions, and anxiety I had on paper.
I didn’t know what I was doing.
I just felt it was the right thing to do.
I wrote a few pages for one hour and went to sleep.
When I woke up, I had a new perspective on my situation, my mind was clear, and I felt calmer.
I looked at my writings and realized that part of my emotions and hardships are now on paper.
They are no longer in my head.
This made me realize a few essential things about writing my thoughts down:
I am not my emotions and thoughts. I can quickly put them on paper to abstract from them.
I can observe these emotions and thoughts cool-headed when I write them down. I could understand them better after reviewing them on paper.
If I repeat this process, use new writing techniques, and journal regularly, I can better understand myself. I would be able to come up with ideas on how to solve life challenges in the best ways.
After my first experience, I got a lot of intrinsic motivation and realized I could change my life.
Thanks, G-d I took journaling really seriously from that point in time.
I can tell you that returning to journaling helped me take my life back under control and get rid of worries and stress…
I started writing more regularly and trying different writing formats.
I found other exercises and tools.
Kept doing what worked and dropped what did not.
I figured out that keeping a journal makes my life more prosperous and profound.
More importantly, I started seeing different results in my daily life…
When I reflect on my past journals, I feel very proud of myself for how far I have gone relative to where I was when starting each of these journals.
As I discovered later, many successful people like Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, Bill Gates, Nicola Tesla, and many others kept journals.
Success leaves clues.
People who succeed at the highest level do something different than everyone else.
And, of course, there are many reasons why all these great people were journaling.
And here are 6 of them.
The first reason for journaling is that if done right: you will find better support in yourself.
It is like you become your own coach and mentor.
You will not rely only on external sources of information but also tap into your inner wisdom and depth.
And this will make you a stronger person.
Much like talking to a trusted friend, mentor, or therapist, your journal can be a way for you to understand yourself better.
It can help you to track progress and move faster toward goals.
The second reason is it just works, brings results, and helps to solve problems and challenges.
Journaling helps you to organize your thinking.
When you put thoughts and ideas on paper, you make it easier for your mind to work on them because your mind gets more clarity.
Writing affords objectivity. It makes it easier to understand yourself, others, and situations more accessible. It helps to see creative solutions to challenges.
That happens because we see things more realistically when we put them on paper.
We are here and now, not in our minds coping with problems.
When you do this, you act like a scientist who tries to objectively see situations and solutions to problems.
This gives you a new perspective.
David attacked Goliaf with just a tiny stone and got his victory.
Maybe a slight change in your attitude or action plan can help you to solve your big problem. And perhaps your problem is not so big when you accurately analyze it in your journal.
So let's take a small break from theory here.
Set the timer for 10 minutes.
Here is a small exercise: take a journal and write your problem or challenge in detail.
It can be about your relationship, business, money, health, study, or anything else.
Then reread it and analyze it carefully.
Think about some ideas on how you can solve this challenge.
Write down 3 such ideas.
Don’t think about format or grammar.
Just get it on paper.
Here is my example of a problem:
“I procrastinate writing every day for at least 500 words”.
Here are some of the ideas I wrote down to solve my challenge:
Start writing at least 100 words regularly every day, then switch to 500
Find an accountable person to whom I will give a report of my daily writing at the end of the month
Pay 100$ to my brother for every missed day of writing
Great, now let's move to the next journaling benefits.
The third reason is that journaling helped improve my mental well-being.
We live in times when life and society can stress us out.
Family and work responsibilities, increased information flow, and global adverse events like wars, epidemics, and recessions can make people worry and get stressed and depressed. Using self-reflection and emotional expression in our journals, we can let go of negative emotions, limiting beliefs and worries.
All this helps to stay grounded and have good mental health.
When your mind is healthy, it positively impacts your body.
Which is the fourth reason why journaling is beneficial.
It helps strengthen the immune system and recovery time.
It can also help to normalize blood pressure and speed up wound healing in older adults.
Studies show that people who journaled daily for 15 minutes reported fewer doctor visits and sick days.
The fifth reason is it helps you set and accomplish goals.
Dr. Gail Matthews found that people who write down their goals have a higher chance of achieving them when compared to those that don’t.
When you put your goals and plans on paper, you help your mind visualize them better.
It has such an effective influence on success because the mind works using imagination and visuals.
And lastly, journaling helps you to be an active learner.
As Confucius said: I hear, and I forget.
I see, and I remember.
I do, and I understand.
2 weeks after you read, you remember only 10-20% of the information.
If you hear it, you remember only 30% in 2 weeks, 40% if you saw it, 50% of what you write, 60-70% if you say it out loud, and 90% of things if you do them.
And journaling is reading, writing, thinking, and doing - all these things together.
Which makes it a powerful tool for learning and remembering.
There are lots more benefits and reasons why to journal.
Among them, journaling improves mental focus, helps capture good ideas, and records observations and reactions.
But you will discover more about these things in the following practical lessons and when you practice journaling on your own.
So the journaling tools I will share with you later will help you to create a continuous change in your life.
It is not just a quick fix.
Sure, you will see immediate changes after taking a journaling challenge and starting journaling (or continuing journaling on more advanced levels).
But I aim to help you arm yourself with techniques and a mindset that will serve you in the long term for years to come.
Using journaling, you can tap into a reservoir of your own wisdom, self-discovery, and self-reliance.
After you journal regularly, you can trust your inner voice more.
Become your own authority and not only rely only on external sources of information like books, media, or other people.
Many people heard about the benefits of journaling.
They started journaling and stopped doing it.
That's why we're never able to discover its true power.
If you make a journaling habit a part of your life, you will reap the most rewards.
Many things in your life are essential for you to do and take time.
And I don’t want journaling to be your next must-to-do thing.
Or do it because it seems like a good idea.
I want it to be your pleasure time and investment in yourself.
Later, I will show you the main philosophy behind the My Thinking Journal Method.
If you have been journaling for some time, some of the things you will discover in can already be familiar.
But even if you are a veteran in journaling, you will still find many valuable ideas and new perspectives here.
These ideas will refresh your journaling practice and give you more journaling ideas.
Every new and beneficial thing we want to incorporate into our daily life can trigger internal resistance.
It is natural for every human being.
Forming a journaling habit requires time and repetition.
That's why I designed this method in a way that hopefully will trigger the least resistance if you are just starting journaling.
I will ask you to do small exercises.
Usually, they are not complex and can take just a few minutes of your time.
When you do them one by one, you increase your chances of successfully establishing a journaling habit.
Just don’t overthink.
Don't try to do it perfectly.
Your actions are essential.
And because I want you to get results from the information I am giving you and not just consume theory, let's get practical.
I want you to start from something tiny.
Take a pen and paper or a journal if you have it already.
Now, ask yourself this simple question:
“What do I want to achieve using journaling, and how would my life change if I start journaling regularly?”
You can close your eyes and dream about your future and then write down as many ideas as they come into your mind.
For now, I think it is enough inspiration for your journaling.
Let’s get the ball rolling together!