How Journaling Can Benefit Your Self-Development

Journaling is a fantastic way to supercharge your self-development efforts. When your thoughts are still in your mind, they can be challenging to analyze objectively.

Getting things out of your head and down on paper provides a different perspective.

Thinking tends to be very sequential; one thought leads to the next, which leads to the next. We get caught in a linear track and miss out on the bird’s-eye view of the whole thought process. With journaling, you gain the ability to see things from a third-person view versus a first-person perspective.

Three Great Benefits of Journaling

  1. Solve complex challenges. When you write the issue at hand down on paper, the solution for a complex challenge often suddenly becomes apparent. The ability to re-examine the problem from a third-person perspective can make all the difference.
  2. Increase clarity. One of the best times to lean on your journal is when you are filled with uncertainty about what action to take. Many things become more evident when you can get them down in writing.
  3. Validate your progress. Sometimes we feel like we are spinning our wheels and not making genuine progress. When you are feeling this way, go back and review your old journal entries. You will be amazed at how much progress you have made since then. And you will also probably realize that you are taking huge strides right now, too!

How to Start a Journal

You might envision creating a journal in one of those blank books you can pick up in the bookstore. While this option certainly has a romantic feel to it, you might want to consider keeping an electronic journal.

  • Electronic journals can be virtually free; you could start a blog on a free website or use your word processing program.
  • The significant advantage of electronic journals is the ability to search for things. Imagine going back through 10 years of written records, trying to find a specific entry.
  • Additionally, if you type faster than you write, an electronic journal can be beneficial when trying to get complex thoughts out in a short period.
  • Also, there are several software programs available developed explicitly for journaling. If you can spare the $20-$30, they are worth checking out and provide a lot more flexibility than the traditional pen and paper approach.

Habit-forming: Make Journaling a Daily Activity

Even if you think that there are not enough exciting things happening in your life daily to bother recording them, do not let that deter you. New habits are much easier to implement if the activity is daily. Even getting down a couple of sentences every night is a great idea. You will be surprised how often you will write much more.

This practice can even help make your life more exciting and fulfilling. Just knowing that you have to journal each night may compel you to make your life a little more adventurous so that you have something interesting to write. Try it! During the day, you will notice that little thought in the back of your mind wondering what you can write about tonight.

Get started with your journal today. It is an activity that has little to no cost but provides numerous benefits. You will see your clarity increase and have a much better sense of just how much progress you are making in your life. Start journaling today and watch your self-development take on a new perspective.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith. 

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