“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you’ve accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.”
– Hal Elrod
This gloomy, fall weather has me feeling some type of way; I want nothing more than to curl up in a ball with a large cable-knit blanket, a coffee, and a good book. (Cue the fall scented candles and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s.)
All these fall feels inspire me to reflect. Fall, after all, is a season of change and transition. I never fully grasped the power and importance of reflection until I started journaling.
Journaling is a great exercise to help relieve stress, anxiety and depression. It promotes creativity and evokes memories, feelings and emotions. It is also a super helpful tool in practicing mindfulness or being present.
For me personally, it’s an escape. It helps me to track my growth and keep on top of my goals. I love how accomplished journaling makes me feel. In a lot of ways, it is very healing emotionally, physically and spiritually.
The hard part is definitely starting and sticking to journaling. But like anything else, it has to become a habit in your daily routine. You don’t have to spend an hour each day journaling, unless of course you want to. Start out with a small, achievable goal like jotting down one to two lines per day.
“We are what we do repeatedly.”
You can really journal about anything. Gratitude journals are really great for helping you to keep a grateful heart. You could easily write down one or two things that you’re thankful for each day.
You could keep a journal about your diet or fitness journey and record how certain things make you feel, what you like and don’t like, goals you’ve accomplished, etc.
I even started a prayer journal about two years ago and it has been really cool to look back to see where I was at during different points and to see how God has moved in my life over the course of time. Looking back on my journal forces me to remember things that I otherwise would have forgot.
Sometimes I go through seasons where I use my journal for everything; grocery lists, ideas, things to remember, deep thoughts, prayers. It often times looks like my brain threw up all over the pages. But I think that’s okay! It’s better than keeping it all messily filed in your head, right?
At the beginning of the year I like to treat myself to a new journal. I use the first page to write down all of my goals (both big and small) for the year. I even put little check boxes next to them so that I can check them off as I accomplish them. There really is nothing more satisfying than checking off a goal! I love having my goals front and center every time I go to journal… It keeps me focused and reminds me of what I want to accomplish in life. I think we like the idea of setting goals but then totally forget about them as the year gets going and we get busy.
There is not a right or wrong way to journal, as long as you just get started and keep it consistent. Do what works for you! I promise you that journaling will change your perspective on yourself and the things happening in your world. It will inspire you and create in you a grateful heart.