Growth 3 min read

3 Ways to Make Journaling the Most Powerful Tool in Your Life

Get started today.

What if I told you that journaling could help you earn more money, strengthen relationships, lose weight, overcome addictions, become more insightful, and ultimately, live a happier life? It’s all possible, and then some.

A journal is not to be confused with a diary. It’s more than just writing down what you did that day, although that’s a part of it. The kind of journaling I’m talking about is way more powerful than just a log of your daily activities.

Journaling is a way for you to organize your thoughts on paper, close the open loops in your mind and have a deeper conversation with yourself and hold yourself accountable for personal and professional growth. A structured journal provides a framework for making your goals tangible by creating action steps and consistent assessment of your habits, achievements and shortcomings.

Here’s how to create this structure: 

1. Write every single day.

Morning is ideal so you can get it out of the way and think about what you will accomplish for the day. Here are suggestions:

- What’s your most important goal for the day? Choose 1-3 but no more than 3.
- What happened the day before that you could improve upon?
- If you’re using the journal to complain or vent about something, is there a way you can turn that complaint into a request? 
- Write down 3 things you’re grateful for.
- Write down something new you learned.

You don’t have to spend a ton of time on this, just pick and choose the ones that resonate with you, and write for 5-10 minutes.

2. Assess your behaviors and actions.

Use the end of each week (Sunday) to think about what you accomplished during the week and what you could’ve done better. Or maybe you’re proud of a project you completed at work -- write it down. If you want to have some fun with it, you can even give yourself a grade.

Use regular time frames for assessments -- one week, two weeks, and monthly to hold yourself accountable and continuously make improvements.

3. Become accountable in all you do.

Excuses, excuses. We’ve all said them and believed them. The biggest excuse is time. “I’m too busy!” “I have too much on my plate right now!” By writing down and reflecting on your actions, you become more mindful and notice every single time this happens. When you make the commitment to write in a journal, you’re training yourself to take more initiative in your life and take responsibility in all you do.

If you’re ready to start a journal, I highly recommend good old paper and pen over a computer. There are also many high-quality journals  that have thoughtful prompts for you to answer for every entry, but you can write in a $2 notebook too. The point is to just get started!

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