How to Write Journals Effectively
It is observed that people who journal regularly are more successful and happy than the people who don’t. The actual value of journals is not in writing them but in reading them afterwards. You can observe the difference between your state of mind and perception over time.
In your life, the only thing you can count on is the inner happiness, everything else is just temporary and will fade away. We human beings have to evolve and improve in every phase of our life to become successful and writing, a journal is just one step forward in that direction. Whenever you feel depressed, you start thinking that there is no one in this world to care for you. When you feel there is nothing left in this world left for you, then your journal is going to be your therapist and best friend. Writing a journal in an appropriately structured manner will allow you to analyse your emotions and your feelings in a way that you never understood before. It will enable you to remember the times when you faced any problem. It will make you remember how you overcame your problem and will motivate you in future. But there is something that I would like you to know before we go deeper into this concept. You should remember that writing a journal is not same as writing a diary entry. Of course, there are similarities between the two, but they are not same. Writing a diary is a hobby but writing a journal has a purpose, and that is to help you overcome your problems and improve you in every aspect of life. It is not a hobby but is a way of making strategies for life by analysing your emotions and feelings. It is a vent that will allow you to find weak spots in your life and overcome them. It will craft a plan for your life.
There are several guides and methods mentioned on the web, but I have boiled down the most convenient and helpful course that will help you to achieve what you aim.
Because you are my special reader, I have a special tip for you at the bottom of this article.
Writing a journal should be a part of your daily routine like I write my journal at night as it is a part of my night ritual, you can write it anytime that you find suitable, be it morning or evening or night.
Steps To Write an Effective Journal
It should be the format of your journal that you need to follow every day. These are the sections that you need to make and write in your journal. So, the first thing that I write in my journal is
5 Things that are Frustrating me:
I know it sounds a little negative but it’s more like taking a shower for your brain, it will clean all the distractions of your mind Moreover it will allow you to have more room to breath. Now, these five things need not be very profound or deep, but it could be as simple as the loud sound of your fan. You can write anything that is frustrating or disturbing you at that moment, for example, five things that you may write can include
- I feel lonely sometimes. I think I don’t have someone who loves me.
- Neighbours play music at a high volume that disturbs me while I do my work.
- I have not cut my nails.
- I don’t really like my friends.
- I hate the food of my mess.
But keep in mind that you never judge yourself with any of these thoughts. You don’t even have to think much about these thoughts. Just let them out. The reason that it works so effectively for me is that the moment I write this down, I feel burden free, It’s almost like telling someone how I feel.
Now, let’s move to the next step which is key to this whole method. Write down
5 Things I am Grateful for:
Express your gratitude for your life by writing them down, once you show that, your mindset will ultimately shift towards being thankful and that will make you realise how important your life is. Again it doesn’t have to be profound or life changing, and it could be simple. For example, five things for which I am thankful are:
- Fresh air
- My Family
- My Friends
- Mother Earth
Once your junk is out, and you have expressed out your gratitude you are in a better state than most people could, you are now in a state of understanding your emotion. Once you do that, there is no power in this world which can stop you from achieving what you want.
After doing that next thing that you need to do is Write down
Whatever you feel:
It is the section where you can make your journal unique. Here, you can write down anything that comes to your mind, write down how you felt about the day, write down any thought that comes to your mind. It is your section, use your creativity and write down whatever you feel. But while writing down this there is one thing that I recommend you writing down, and that is one thing that you can do today to improve yourself in a particular area. It can be like “I can run for ten mins to have better health,” or “I can study Physics to improve my marks.” It will help you to get a general direction and path for your day.
Tasks For the Day:
After this, write down all the tasks for the day. Everything that you need to do today that will make you closer to your ultimate goal. But remember this should not be a to-do list, do not put in daily-routined things like cleaning the house or doing the laundry, Only put in the tasks that will bring you closer to your goal. It should be a road map for the rest of your day.
You almost are done with your journal. You can always refer to the task list during your day to check your tasks, or you can write them separately in another notebook, or you can also use android or ios apps to do that. It doesn’t matter where you write it, what does matter is that you write it down. You have to be consistent and make it a habit so that it becomes useful. Even if you are not in a mood of writing. Push Yourself and write it. Once you make it a habit, it will do wonders in your life and boost your self-steam. You can also make your task list in the night so that you are ready next day.
Final Note – Review and Summary:
Now here is what makes it interesting, every weekend you should do a weekly review and write an account of the week. Just go through all the journals of the week and write down how your week went also include what you are planning for the next week. It will give structure and direction to your weeks. Then at the end of every month, read through all the weekly reviews and write a monthly review. It does not have to be a long review but write down important things. Then you can do a quarterly review every three months and similarly an annual report at the end of each year. The reason that it is so important is you get to see how much you have improved every month. You will know what you have achieved, what are your strengths and weaknesses. It is the fundamental step of being self-aware. You might figure out the things about yourself that you never knew before, and that is the power of journaling. Once you put words to your thoughts, they become concrete objects that you can put your hands on and manipulate. It allows you to control your mind and emotions. It will make you a better version of yourself.
Now here is the bonus tip that I promised.
To make your journaling as enjoyable as possible, you can use different notebooks like an old styled notebook and fountain pen to write. You can also use google docs or MS word if you are good with typing.
Here are the notebooks and pens that I recommend.
Links for India:-
Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen – http://amzn.to/2rCHUq7
Moleskine Classic Notebook – http://amzn.to/2rC6gRD
PARKER Jotter Fountain Pen – http://amzn.to/2q3ikKC
Moleskine Classic Notebook – http://amzn.to/2r2H6hR