You don’t have to be a writer to benefit from journaling daily. Journaling is a way to set aside time for yourself. You can reflect on where you are and where you’d like to be. You can organize your thoughts and let go of pent up emotions. Journaling can pave the way for self-discovery and even help you accomplish your goals.
A journal is a place to gather all of your ideas. It’s a place to brainstorm and experiment. The act of writing out your plans and ideas can help you sift through what’s useful and what isn’t. When you have an idea that doesn’t work out, you can journal about why it didn’t work so that you can reflect on and learn from the failure. When your ideas do pan out, you can look at all the factors that made the ideas successful and incorporate those factors into future plans.
Keeping a journal also gives you a place to record ideas or thoughts on the go so that you can revisit them later when you have more time.
A journal can be a place to unleash emotions and vent. Rather than bottling up feelings, which we know is unhealthy, you can use your journal as a safe means of release. It often happens that once you write about how your feeling, the emotion becomes less intense. You’re able to step back and look at situations with greater perspective. The act of writing can be cathartic and allow you to relieve stress.
Sometimes you may not even truly know how you feel about situations until you begin to write about them. Author Joan Didion once famously quipped, “I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” Similarly, we often don’t understand or acknowledge our thoughts until we’ve written them and can read them back to ourselves. Seeing it in writing helps you to acknowledge the feeling and move past feeling to action when necessary. Writing your emotions also may provide a sense of validation and clarity.
When it comes to goals and success, having clarity about what exactly it is you wish to achieve, writing out a plan to achieve that goal, and documenting what success will look like for you can give you a place to review and assess your progress. Coming back to this written record periodically helps to reinforce the goal and the steps you must continue to take to achieve that success.
Writing down your hopes and dreams, goals, and plans can help you stay motivated when the going gets tough. It can be a way of reminding yourself why you’ve chosen the road you’re on. We all need those reminders from time to time. Writing down your goals holds you accountable and can also mean you’ll be more likely to realize those goals in the end. Studies have shown that individuals who document their goals in writing are three times more likely to follow through on what they must do to accomplish those goals. There’s just something about writing things down that makes them more real.
Your means of journaling doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be a simple notebook you write in, or it can be as complex and nuanced as you’d like it to be. There’s really no wrong way to journal.