5 great reasons to keep a journal

Do you keep a journal?

Perhaps you have your favourite lush notebook and pen, or an app on your mobile to write draw or record your inner thoughts, discoveries and feelings? But for some, this discipline is new and has eluded them. However, keeping a journal is a great idea for everyone, regardless of age. There are so many benefits gained from taking a few minutes each day to record your thoughts in a journal. The costs are minimal and the payback is huge.

A journal is a great idea for you and your children. Many coaches suggest that clients maintain a journal as part of their program.

Perhaps you have told yourself that you don’t have time (see here for some tips on how you can), but there are no doubts that journaling can assist in your personal, social and emotional growth.

  1. Keep a record of your life for yourself. How many times have you tried to remember when some particular incident in your past actually happened? Was it 1994 or 1995? Do you remember the facts differently from others that were involved? Who’s actually right?
    – If you keep a journal, you’ll have all the dates and facts right there. More importantly, you’ll be given the opportunity to see how your life has progressed.
    – As we get older, every day seems to blend into the next. We get up, go to work, go home, eat dinner, watch TV, and repeat for 40 years.
    – By writing down the day-to-day aspects of your life, your life will become more interesting. Just the act of recording will encourage you to live a life you deem worthy of recording. You might add more fun and adventure to your life, just so you can write about it.
    – It’s possible you might want to pass your journals on to your children at some point. Wouldn’t you like to read about your parents or grandparents?
  2. You can record the lives of your children. Imagine how great it would be to keep a record of your child growing up and then give it to her later in life?
    – You’ll record everything that happened during the years when they are too young to keep a journal themselves. It will also be a great reminder for you.
  3. Journals are great for processing feelings. Things are always a little clearer when we get them out of our heads and down on paper.
    – Your journal can be both your therapist and friend. As you write, it forms no judgment and pays attention to you 24 hours a day.
    – Everything is a little more objective and realistic.
    – You may decide to revisit the journal at a later stage where you can spot patterns and habits. There will be useful ones, but also ones that could be limiting your progress in business, and personal life. You might be surprised at what you figure out about yourself if you take the time to keep a journal.
  4. Work towards your goals with a journal. A significant part of reaching goals is recording progress and prioritization. By writing about your goals each day, you can continually reaffirm your goals are worth achieving.
    – How often have you set a goal and then forgotten all about it after a few days or a couple of weeks? If you write it down in a journal, there’s less chance that will happen.
    – Record the progress you are making towards your goals. Make notes about new ideas to move closer to your goals.
    – When you achieve a goal, you’ll be able to look back and remember how great it felt to accomplish it. The next goal will be even easier.
  5. A journal will reduce the amount of stress in your life. Journaling forces you to unplug and focus your mind. Sometimes the best thing for a stressed mind is to turn off the computer and sit quietly with your thoughts.
    – When you record your challenges, your brain starts looking for solutions. Having a solution to a challenge relieves stress!

A bonus thought – journaling can unleash inner creativity in you. Because you have a close and unfiltered one-to-one relationship with your journal, it can help you solve problems, and explore new ideas/openings.

Consider keeping a journal for yourself and your children. The benefits are considerable, and it doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes per day. When your children are old enough, encourage them to keep journals as well. Journaling is a great tool that doesn’t cost much at all. A pen and notebook are the only items required.

If you want to learn more about journaling – why not take our 5-day free Introduction to Journaling course.