Do you know what Marcus Aurelius, Ben Franklin and Mark Twain have in common? These historical figures have one thing in common. The same that 80% of people appearing on the Tim Ferriss podcast and representing the elite in their industries have.
This feature is the habit of keeping a daily diary. Why is it so important and you can elevate your leadership through journaling? Let’s dive in!
🤔 Why Journling?
Keeping a habit of daily journaling can offer a wide range of benefits that positively impact your mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. Here are some of the key benefits that will help you to elevate your leadership through journaling:
- Self-Reflection: Journaling provides a dedicated space for self-reflection. Writing about your thoughts, experiences, and emotions helps you gain insights into your own life, behaviors, and patterns of thinking.
- Emotional Outlet: Journaling serves as a safe and private outlet to express your feelings and emotions. It can help you process and manage difficult emotions, reducing stress and anxiety.
- Clarity of Mind: Writing down your thoughts can help you organize and clarify your ideas. It allows you to better understand your goals, aspirations, and challenges.
- Problem Solving: Journaling encourages you to explore solutions to problems. As you write about your challenges, you may discover new perspectives and creative solutions.
- Enhanced Creativity: Regular writing exercises your creative muscles. It can help you think more innovatively, come up with new ideas, and find connections between seemingly unrelated concepts.
- Goal Tracking: Keeping a journal can help you track your progress toward your goals. By noting your achievements and setbacks, you can stay motivated and adjust your strategies as needed.
- Mindfulness and Gratitude: Journaling encourages mindfulness by prompting you to focus on the present moment. Additionally, writing about things you’re grateful for can foster a positive outlook on life.
- Memory Enhancement: Journaling helps preserve memories and experiences. Reading through old journal entries can evoke emotions and help you remember important moments in your life.
- Self-Awareness: Regular journaling allows you to observe your personal growth over time. By revisiting older entries, you can see how you’ve evolved and identify areas for further development.
- Stress Reduction: Writing about your worries and stressors can be therapeutic. It can help you release pent-up tension and reduce the overall impact of stress on your well-being.
- Communication Skills: Journaling hones your writing skills, which can extend to improved verbal communication. You become more adept at expressing your thoughts and feelings.
- Time for Yourself: Journaling is an opportunity to spend quality time with yourself, away from the distractions of daily life. It encourages self-care and introspection.
- Problem Identification: Writing about challenges and setbacks can help you identify recurring patterns that may be holding you back, leading to personal growth and positive change.
- Catharsis: Pouring your thoughts onto paper can be cathartic. It provides a release valve for intense emotions and helps prevent emotional bottling.
- Record of Learning: Jotting down insights from books, articles, or personal experiences can create a record of your intellectual and emotional growth.
Remember that journaling is a personal practice, and the benefits you experience may vary based on your preferences and style of writing. The key is to be consistent and honest in your journaling efforts to fully enjoy these benefits.
🚀 How to start journaling?
I hope the following few tips will give you a better idea of how to start journaling and help you get into the habit.
🔔 Set reminder in app or on device where you have diary app installed.
When your reminder calls, write down what you are doing at the moment. The activity may seem uninteresting, but I guarantee you that when you come back to this record after years, you will appreciate that you can come back to this moment in your memory.
📍 Check out the so-called “Activity feed” (in the Day One app).
Allow your location to be checked (I know, I know, privacy!).
At the end of the day, review your activities and places recorded by apps captured during the day and briefly describe them.
🏞 Describe the photo
I suppose you take a lot of pictures every day.
Choose at least one of them and describe what happened there. what did you feel. what were you thinking.
If the photo was taken in the past, the Day One app will ask you to date the entire entry with that date.
⌚️ Make a so-called “check-in” from the level of the watch.
The Day One app is also available on the Apple Watch.
From here you can create a new entry. It may be empty to be completed later. It can be a quick entry, just with Emoji. And you can also dictate a few sentences.
Be grateful with 5-minute journal 📔
I struggled in the beginning to find the time and to get to the habit of capturing my thoughts. Where do I start? What do I want to write about? It was like this until I listened to one of the episodes of Tim Ferriss Show where he was talking about the 5-minute journal.
It doesn’t matter what situation we are in, there is always something to be grateful for. Even the simple fact we can breathe it is already a good reason to be thankful.
For some of us, being thankful is not natural. Fortunately, it is something that we can train. The 5-minute journal method is simple and easy to practice every day. It doesn’t require a lot of time, just, well, 5 minutes. We can modify questions. The suggestion is to start simple and do it every day to create a habit. It will help to re-program our minds to be more appreciative, to see what is around us and to stay more positive.
I am grateful for: 1 … 2 … 3 … What would make today a great day? 1 … 2 … 3 … Daily affirmations - I am…
Three amazing things that happened today: 1 … 2 … 3 … Thank one person for something that they did for you. How could have I made today better: 1 … 2 … 3 …
You will probably notice after a few first days that you quickly run out of ideas. Here are some tips to help you. Use categories:
- relationships (spouse, parents, kids, friends, co-workers, etc.)
- opportunity you have today
- something great that happened
- something simple – something near you, coffee, cloud, tree etc.
It is amazing what happens after a while of practising 5-minute journaling. I started seeing the whole new parallel reality around me. I am being amazed by things that I would typically walk by unnoticed. Little bird in my garden, funny shape of clouds, or simple fact I was able to play with my kids on Sunday afternoon. What is interesting, gratefulness is contagious. I see my kids already picking it up. They can spot some little treasure moments during the day, stop and say it out loud. This is amazing.
- Day One App for journaling
- 5 minute journal App
- 8 journaling techniques for better mental health
- Full digital journaling automation with hands-free dictation
- Michael Sliwinski: Journaling Shortcuts
- Tim Ferriss: Magic of mindfulness
- 3 practices that will help to stay sane in crisis
Thanks for reading!
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