We all have goals that we want to achieve. You may want to lose a few extra pounds and get in shape. Maybe you want to start a business or you would like to find a new job. Whatever your specific goal is, journalling is a powerful tool to help you achieve success. It is easy to get off track; you're busy and you're doing so much. Journaling is a great roadmap to help guide you to where you want to be.
Journaling increases your sense of awareness and this can even make you more productive. When you take the time to write your thoughts down, you will be more aware about the work that needs to be done. I find that when I journal in the evening, I know what has been done, know what I want to do, and know what I haven't done and don't want to do. Journaling has essentially helped me go beyond my to do list, which is exactly where you want to go.
Why does journaling work? Daniel Gilbert puts it aptly in his book, Stumbling on Happiness. He says, "We can't trust our memories because we remember the strange and unique over the mundane and normal."
Journaling is like a brain dump at the end of the day. Whether you have a physical journal or use your phone or tablet is completely up to you. You may prefer a digital version because it will give you the ability to search journal archives in a matter of seconds. You may also prefer to journal twice a day; once in the morning when you wake up and in the evening before you go to sleep.
Here are some of the specific benefits you'll find from journaling twice daily:
· It will help you shape your day. While task managers and day planners will inform you on what you want (and need) to do, when you get ideas out of your head it will not only jumpstart your day, but help to shape it.
· It will help keep you accountable. A morning journal entry will help you shape your day, and your evening entry chronicles how the day went. The later entry illustrates what you did – and didn't – accomplish that day, which serves to create more accountability on your part. There have been times when you'll know leading up to the later entry that you still had things to get done that day, so you will wind up doing them at that point before making the entry. The increased awareness leads to greater accountability.
· It bookends your day in a great way. Your day will begin and end in your journal. It's become a routine, which will actually help you stick to other routines and deal with the uncertainty that the rest of the day will bring.
When you journal you can celebrate the day gone by…and also plan for the day to come. Without writing out your successes and failures of the day, you'll have less direction to go forward. But the real power of journaling is that it will chronicle the path towards a better version of yourself.
Mike Vardy is a productivity strategist and the founder of Productivityist, a company that offers services and products to help people be more efficient.