American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist Susan Sontag once said, “In the journal, I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself. The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather — in many cases — offers an alternative to it.”
I couldn’t agree with her more. For me, life makes much more sense when I sit down and write out my experiences, thoughts, and lessons learned. In fact, I believe more people would be happier and more fulfilled if they journaled each day. Why? Let’s discuss …
There is a lot going in our lives. We wake up and begin our day with our typical morning regiment. For me, I take Oprah’s lead and I say Thank You. Beginning the day from a place of gratitude is a clear sign to the Universe that you are inviting more things to be grateful for. What is next for me? My days are jampacked with working on my business, my podcast, writing, creating videos, running errands, and everything else that life requires.
What do I always make time for? Journaling. It is a moment for me to have Me Time where I can critically think about my decisions and the direction of my life. If you never take time to think and reflect about your life, you will be too busy and miss opportunities or universal signs indicating it is time for you to act to improve your life. Here are some examples of journals that I love:
- Prayer Journal – If you are a faith-based person, this journal helps you maintain your daily faith and support your spiritual growth.
- Poetry Journal – Calling all poets (or poetry fans) this journal will help you write a poem a day. How cool is that?
- Memoir Journal – Would you like to reflect on the last five years of your life? This type of journal is the perfect pick.
- Journal for Self-Exploration – If you want to answer questions and work on YOU, then this is the journal to get.
- Classic Journal – If you prefer to just write your thoughts without writing prompts this beautiful journal will absolutely work for you.
Have you ever had a nasty exchange with someone, and you couldn’t stop thinking about the incident in your head long after it took place? Instead of torturing yourself with words exchanged or thoughts about what you should have said. Why not write out your experience in a journal? You can identify what the problem was and how you can act differently in similar events that might take place in the future.
Personally, I have found tremendous peace and resolve addressing toxic people and situations in my journal. It is a safe space to work through your anger, hurt or frustration.
What makes your life amazing? What do you love to do? Who are the people that truly support you? These are some of the questions that I ask my clients and so many of them are unable to answer. Why? Too many people refuse to actively focus on goodness in their life. We are so caught up tweeting and ranting about what is wrong in the world, politics, or our lives.
Yet, we can’t forget about the incredible careers, dedicated support systems, loving partners, and loyal friends that make our lives truly amazing. These are the reasons that should be motivating us to wake up and show up for our lives. Writing about these assets you have will solidify the joy and appreciation in your life.
4. Effective Goal Setting
Goal setting is key to achieving your goals. Most people need to write (or type) their goals down. If you are like me, your calendar is filled with multiple goals you want to achieve each day. In addition to writing your goals in your calendar, it can be extremely helpful to journal about your goals for the following reasons:
- Work through fears and insecurities
- Develop new ideas and projects
- Identify help or support you need
- Create mantras and affirmations to help you stay motivated
- Document memorable moments or quotes
- Correct or Address changes needed to move forward
- Solidify your excitement and happiness about the project or venture
There is so much growth that comes from doing new things or feeling uncomfortable. Journaling can fall into either of those categories for you. Is it easy being honest and open to write down your fears or dreams? No. Does that mean you shouldn’t do it? Definitely Not! If you aren’t already doing it, this is exactly why you should start journaling today. Growth is how we become better versions of ourselves.
As we develop as people, we can become better parents, role models, business owners, employees, managers, content creators, writers, and leaders in this world. If you think about it, growth isn’t optional. It is an integral part of living the lives we want. Isn’t it great that you can accomplish this with pen and paper (or your phone and stylus pen)?
I would be remiss if I didn’t share last minute journaling tips. Don’t forget the following:
- There is no right or wrong way to journal – just write
- Whether you write your words or type them, just journal in a way that works best for you
- Stay committed to writing every day (even if it is just 5 minutes)
- It is up to you to make time for yourself in your own life
Natasha Nurse started Dressing Room 8 to provide a web-based resource where women can gain personal and professional empowerment through her fashion and lifestyle focused blog. Dressing Room 8 helps women learn how to think with clarity, dress with confidence, and live with purpose.