Keeping a journal always seemed like a nifty idea to me, but I never took the time to actually start one. I learnt about the many benefits of journaling and that some of the most influential people in history kept detailed journal of their lives. I finally started one and absolutely enjoins it, here’s why:
- Autobiography – I don’t write everyday… I consider my journal as an autobiography or ‘my life story’ and only write on it when something meaningful and life-changing happens. The main purpose of it is to leave something behind for my children and grandchildren that describe the kind of person I was and the life I have lived, hoping that perhaps someday it’ll have a positive impact in at least one of their lives.
- Therapeutic Release – When sometime is bothering me, or I need to clear my mind, it serves as a great therapeutic release. It’s the only place where I can be totally open and honest about my opinions and feelings. I’m not a confrontational person so my journal helps to process my emotions rather than leaving it bottled up inside and this keeps me balanced.
- Getting to Know Myself – Writing honestly and openly has helped me to get in touch with my inner self and figure out who I was. I discovered my real personality and understood why I am the way that I am, and why I do things the way I do.
- Clarify Life and Goals – In many instances, journaling has helped to clarify my thoughts and make better decisions about my life. I realized dreams and goals that I never knew I had. I write these down and as crazy as it may sound, I feel like writing my goals helps me to achieve them more. Actually, I’ll get a bit nerdy for a sec… studies have proven that written goals provide a psychological blueprint and increase the likelihood of achieving them.
- Re-live Moments – I also write about memorable, positive experiences that I would love to read over and re-live one day. Reading back through my journal has helped me reflect on where I used to be and how far I’ve come in my life. This has given me a true sense of fulfilment and accomplishment.
I definitely recommend writing a journal. If you’ve decided to give it a try, here are some useful tips:
- Remember it takes patience and consistency to form new habits, so don’t force yourself into it. You can start by writing just once a week whenever you feel like it and eventually, like me, it will become something you look forward to doing.
Enjoy writing. Write with a glass of wine in hand (or tipsy), or even outdoors in a peaceful ambience with an awesome view.
- If you’re not in the mood to write you can just add photos, cards, cut-outs, sketches or anything to make it more you.
- Date your entries and write very naturally and honestly.
- Once you start writing, keep going until you get it all out.
- Protect the privacy of your journal and re-read what you wrote later on.
- Remember, your journal is your safe place, so write whatever you feel like or think of.
- You can journal on a notebook, on your phone, tablet or computer. I personally prefer a journal book because I believe there really is nothing like setting pen to paper.
- If you wish to get started immediately, even a simple notebook will do the trick. Just start writing and reap the benefits of journaling in your life.
Photo: Me writing on my journal while relaxing on a mini vacation.
…Keep Smiling – Love, Candace