Have you ever set a goal you didn’t achieve? Or said no when you really meant yes? Or turned down an opportunity because you knew it would push you out of your comfort zone – and you didn’t know if you were ready?
These feelings are all normal reactions to a life that stretches you, challenges you, and is calling you to step into ALL that you are. That’s why your ability to be your best self, achieve your goals, and create a life you love goes far beyond the actions you take.
It’s one thing to define targets, set intentions, and hustle after deadlines.
It’s quite another to work through the discomfort and overcome the resistance and hesitations that always show up when you’re committed to doing more.
That’s why ‘success’ is as much about the way you think, the beliefs you hold, and the mindsets that drive you as it is your ability to implement.
And that, in a nutshell, is why journaling is such a potent tool for top-performance and high-achievement.
When you can journal to understand who you really are, you free up more clarity, decisiveness, and confidence to act. You cultivate self-confidence, unravel limiting beliefs, and nurture the self-awareness you need to hit your potential.
So if you’re ready to think bigger and achieve more, here’s how journaling is the tool that can make it all happen.
What is journaling?
Journaling is the practice of writing out your inner self. It’s the process of articulating your thoughts and feelings into the written word. It’s a ritual of exploring how events [past, present, and future] shape your thinking, influence your behaviors, and drive your actions.
There’s no right or wrong way to dive into this practice. You don’t even have to be a ‘good writer’ to get huge results from this ritual. That’s because the point of journaling isn’t to write incredible insights that others can read [although it could be]. Instead, it’s about giving you the clarity you need to understand yourself better.
Journaling can be a stream of consciousness.
It can be bullets and lists.
It can even be splodges of words interjected with doodles and scribbles and highlights!
As long as you reflect YOU back at you, you’re going to benefit.
That’s because when you read your thoughts on paper, you can take a more objective view of your situation. You can become that third person looking in at yourself. And that can give you the clarity you need to find closure, take a risk, or even just get a better understanding as to why you do things the way that you do.
Why journaling works
Did you know the average person has between 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day? That sounds like a lot – until you realize that most of those thoughts are repetitive.
And that’s the problem with our brains. We’re great at creating and problem solving – and we’re also really good at getting trapped into repetitive thought loops that never find any real resolution!
This internal dialogue is also the realm of your inner critic and habits. In short, your subconscious is busy causing you to respond in predictable, but not necessarily beneficial ways.
But start journaling, and you can tap into a whole inner world of new information about yourself that you didn’t even know was there. What’s more, when you use journaling to dive into this treasure trove to explore questions such as:
- Why you do things the way you do
- Why certain things trigger you
- Why you get stuck with the same challenge over and over again
- The limiting beliefs that trip you up
- The life experiences you’ve had in the past that are shaping your future etc.
You’ll find that you can change the way you see the world, act in the world, and achieve in the world.
That’s how journaling allows you to shine the light on all those unseen and unspoken things and see where they have the potential to go.
How to journal effectively
1. Create a habit.
As with everything, the more you journal the more you’ll get out of it. A daily practice is preferable because then this ritual becomes part of who you are and what you do.
[N.B. Remember, you can use your Habit Roadmap to track your journaling habit until it becomes automatic.]
2. Allocate a timeslot.
To help you get into the groove, allocate a timeslot. For example, you may want to integrate journaling into your morning routine or even do it before you go to bed.
3. Plan your journaling time
You know how it is. You have good intentions for what you want to achieve in a day, then life throws a curveball and balls get dropped. Don’t leave your journaling practice to chance. Instead, plan it into your day using the timeline in your SELF Journal. What gets planned gets done.
4. Dedicate a notebook.
Allocate a notebook that you’ll use for journaling alone. [Scribe is a great choice for this.] That way, you can keep all your thoughts in one place making it super simple to reflect back on earlier entries – if you want to.
5. Don’t shoot for perfection.
You don’t need to spend hours writing. As little as 10 – 15 minutes a day can be effective. And remember, you’re not looking to create perfect prose. Instead, your goal is to get YOU onto the page in whatever way that shows up in the moment.
6. Reach for journaling prompts.
Feeling stuck for what to write? Notice you’re writing about the same things day after day? Frustrated that you’re not unlocking any new insights?
If so, journaling prompts are perfect for you.
Journaling prompts [such as the WordSmith Deck] present you with a question to focus and redirect your thinking. In this way, journaling prompts invite you to explore memories, moments, and insights you’ve not considered before. What’s more, journaling prompts help you push through writer’s block by giving you something to write about. Instead of waiting around for inspiration to strike, you can make the words flow by giving your brain a prompt to play with.
7. Enjoy the process.
Most importantly, have fun with your practice.
Play with it. Have fun with it. Get curious to see where your thoughts will take when you allow them to dance on the page.
Allow your practice to stretch and challenge you as it opens up parts of you that you didn’t know where there. Then use the heightened level of clarity, confidence, and insight to go get your goals.
Journaling is a practice used by many high-achievers. It works for them and it can work for you too.
So grab your Scribe and some WordSmith journaling prompts and turn the blank page into insider intel that will empower you to be your best self.
You’ve got this.