The exercise of writing down reflections about events experienced
each day is an invaluable way to evaluate your performance...set higher
standards of excellence...and find new ways to solve difficult problems.
WHAT A JOURNAL CAN DO
Many people resist keeping a journal because they think they aren't
good enough writers... that someone will read their innermost
thoughts...or that they have much more important things to do.
Instead of thinking of a journal as a diary - a book in which you
merely relate the day's events - think of it as a container for self
reflection, self-expression and self exploration. Retelling the day's
events is less relevant than the act of expressing your thoughts.
POWERFUL BENEFITS OF KEEPING A JOURNAL
- Stress reduction. Many people say they feel calmer and spiritually at ease after a journal-writing session.
- Stronger relationships. Writing about people you know will help
you understand them better and put you in touch with your own feelings
- Better organizational skills. By structuring yourself to write
regularly, you automatically develop stronger organization skills, such
as list making and time management.
RULES OF JOURNALING
You can schedule 30 minutes with your journal at the same time each
evening...or just pick up a pen when the mood strikes you. Easy ways
ways to get started...
- Put yourself in the mood.
- Jot down a few lines to summarize the high or low points of your day.
WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR JOURNAL
- Explore the roads not taken in your life. What would your life be
like right now? This technique is an extremely powerful tool for
developing decision-making skills about your future.
- Imagine yourself one month from now - and one year from now. Where
are you now? Where do you want to be? What are some of the things you
can do to get there? Write it all down, as a confession to yourself.
The words will awaken your intuitive and creative wisdom, which, in
turn, will help you make better decisions.
- Create a list of topics of the day. On a sheet of paper, list the
numbers one to 31. Next to each number, place a topic of personal
- Use a springboard to focus your attention. Examples: "Why am I
feeling so angry?" "What I want most in life is..." "What's the
most important thing I need to do tomorrow?" The springboard approach
is just one way to break your writer's block.
- Write an unsent letter.
- Create dialogues. Another way to express deep feelings is to
write about your feelings - and then write in the imagined voice of the
- Freeze frame happy moments. Immerse yourself in recollection,
filling the page with physical and emotional detail. Most people
report they feel refreshed and energized after writing out their
Each day of the month, use the corresponding topic as a springboard for
your writing down your thoughts. This process will remind you to
monitor regularly the important areas of your life. Your journal will
make you aware of how life and dreams change, how some remain the same,
and, best of all, it teaches you how to think clearly about everything
Kathleen Adams, The Center for Journal