For many of us the end of the year is a time for reflection, crafting a vision for the future and planning for the New Year. What a better way to do it than give your observations, goals and hopes a home in the form of a journal? I’ve been a sporadic journal keeper over the years, but even with my not-so-regular habits I’ve experienced amazing benefits. Here are some reasons why you’d want to keep a journal, too.
1. Declutter your mind
Often we get the same repetitive thoughts over and over again, until we put them down on paper. Then something happens and our mind feels free to move on. After all, we’ve got it written down, we won’t forget anything important.
2. Process your feelings
When we’re feeling angry or overwhelmed, we often react by resisting those feelings and bottling them up just to find them explode later. By writing about what we’re feeling instead, we allow our feelings to move freely through us and onto the paper.
3. Capture our brilliant ideas
We get tons of creative ideas every day, far more than what we can execute and if we don’t keep track of them, there’s a big chance we lose them forever. What’s more, we don’t always realise the brilliance of our ideas immediately. When we put them aside for a while, then come back to them later, we see them from a different perspective.
4. Gaining clarity
This is probably the main reason why I keep a journal. When I’m unclear about a goal or a challenge in my life, it helps to write down everything that’s floating in my head around that subject. The act of writing often will bring clarity and then I have all the points in front of me, so that I can play with them and rearrange them until everything makes sense. I’ve found a lot of truth in Stephen King’s quote, “I write to find out what I think”.
5. Move forward with your goals
Writing down our goals makes us more committed to achieving them. Journaling also helps you track your progress. We often tend to feel dissatisfied and forget our achievements. Having a record reminds us that we’re moving forward and motivates us to keep the momentum going.
6. Keep a record of your life
It’s happened to me so many times. I feel that I’ll never forget a special moment and just a few months later my memory gets fuzzy. Did my son get his first tooth at 7 moths or 9 months? Which one of my children said that cute thing we all laughed about? And what exactly was it again that they said? A journal helps keep precious memories alive longer.
7. Finding a state of gratefulness
When we keep record of all the things you’re grateful for in your life, we’re reaping a lot of benefits: increased satisfaction with life, better health and a sense of being connected with others.
Journaling can take as little time as you want and it doesn’t cost much – all you need is a notebook and something to write with, yet, you can get so much out of it. Give it a go!
Image by Maresa Smith via deathtothestockphoto.com