A few years back I started keeping a daily journal after listening to a speech by the great Jim Rohn.
Before that time, I always had thought of journaling as something creative people did for fun.
It was not something that I saw any value in. I did not think that it could improve my life in any way.
It was certainly not something I ever imagined myself doing.
Once I began to keep a daily journal however, I quickly discovered the value of journaling.
I found that I was able to track my progress, thoughts, emotions and thinking patterns in a way that I hadn’t been able to before.
It gave me a lot of insight and helped me learn a great deal about myself.
A lot of times we think we will remember our day to day thoughts however, if we don’t write them down, we will almost certainly forget them.
Journaling has been something that’s come to have a big impact on my life.
In this post below, I’m going to give you the 5 reasons to make journaling a daily habit if you’re not already doing so. It’s a small action that can bring you big results!
# 1- A journal helps you keep track of what you learn
If you are a student of life like I am, you are constantly learning. If you’re not currently, you should be.
Whether it’s from books, podcasts, YouTube, whatever. In this golden age of the internet and social media, we are constantly being bombarded with new information.
Much of that information is useful and helpful. The only problem is that there is just too much to remember no matter how good your memory is.
The constant information overloads our brains and we simply will not remember most of what we hear, watch or read.
With a journal, you can immediately stop whatever you are doing and take notes on what you learn.
When you do this, you will have a record of what you learned to return to later and reflect on.
As long as you keep the journal forever, you will have that information forever.
You might forget where you heard it from, but you will remember the idea itself as long as you write it down.
Don’t trust your memory! It will often abandon you.
# 2- A journal helps you keep track of your progress
How often do you feel like you are on a treadmill going nowhere in life?
I know the feeling.
It feels like no matter what you do, you never get ahead. You never make any progress.
The truth is that you are likely making progress as long as you are putting the effort in.
It doesn’t feel like it because you aren’t an objective observer of your own life. You’re biased. Usually in a negative way.
You’re with yourself 24 hours a day and do not have the ability to see much of the progress you are making.
With a journal, you have the ability to go back weeks, months and years. You can see where you were then and compare that to where you are now.
When you do that, you will notice progress you’ve made.
If you have never done it before, I know that it probably sounds too good to be true.
I can tell you that it works and is extremely helpful in terms of staying motivated.
Without progress, motivation dwindles.
The trick in life is finding a way to stay motivated.
We are all motivated by different things however, lack of progress will demotivate each one of us.
# 3- A journal helps you track your thoughts
This is one of the biggest things that I noticed when I began to look back through my journal.
I began to observe thought patterns.
I found a lot of negative thinking mixed into my journal entries. Hiding in plain sight.
What was funny is that I did not realize how negative my thinking was until I went back and reviewed what I wrote.
Writing our thoughts down helps us understand them and keep track of them.
You do not understand a lot of what you are thinking until you do your best to put those thoughts into words.
Once you have something to look at and read, you begin to understand your mind much better than you did before.
Once I knew where a lot of the problems were, I was able to identify those issues and work on them.
To this day, journaling always surprises me. I usually find that what I’m really thinking and feeling is quite different than I thought when I put those thoughts down on paper.
# 4- A journal helps to clarify and improve your thinking
One thing I found about people who write a lot is that they are usually very articulate people.
They are able to clearly discuss and express ideas.
If you don’t believe me, go and look up any interview with a popular author.
You will quickly see what I’m talking about.
Writing in a journal helps you to think better. It helps you analyze and interpret your thoughts and ideas.
It forces you to translate a lot of thoughts into writing which is quite difficult to do in many cases.
A journal forces you to use your brain and think critically about a variety of things.
When you make journaling a daily habit, you make stretching your mind a daily habit.
You will find that you begin to think clearer and speak better.
The more you journal and write, the better you will think.
# 5- A journal improves your writing skills
One of the most underrated skills today is the ability to write well.
Before the internet came around, it was understood by most people that writing well was a valuable skill.
It seems like once the internet appeared and technology advanced, people were not as concerned with writing well.
With YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, people do not have to write well to get attention and make money.
I have seen people that couldn’t form a sentence get rich on the internet.
While it may work for some, the ability to write well is still an extremely valuable skill that you should develop.
One of the main reasons I stick solely to Twitter is because it rewards good writers.
The people with the most engaged followers are typically the best writers.
Writing well gets you attention. At work, online, in life.
When you keep a daily journal, you will be forcing yourself to write every single day.
Whatever you do often, you will improve at.
The more you write, the better you will get at it.
Compare the quality of your writing from when you start your journal to a year later and I guarantee that you will notice a big difference as long as you’ve been consistent.
The habit that keeps on giving
I am constantly finding value in journaling. The longer I do it, the more value I find with it.
It’s not something that gives you some value for a little while and then just dies off.
It continues to be something that gives back and improves your skills and life.
Most often it’s our simple daily habits that provide us with the most insight and value.
Journaling has been and continues to be one of the best habits that I’ve developed.
If you give yourself the gift of making journaling a habit, I know that you will see the value in it as well.
Once you start, you will not want to stop.
Do you journal? I’d love to hear some ways journaling has improved your life below!