It’s no secret I love journaling. However, it may be a surprise that I avoided journaling for years! Crazy right? I still don’t know exactly why I opted out of this incredibly helpful tool. I think it may be because I wasn’t quite sure how to journal. Was I supposed to start with “Dear me…” in which case I felt like I was telling myself things I already knew. Or was it supposed to be more of a prayer like “Dear God…” in which case I felt bad complaining and definitely over thought my grammar #sorry. Then I realized, that I was overthinking the whole process of journaling which is supposed to be an aid to STOP thinking too much. Ha! Clearly I’ve grown quite a bit and journaling has been a huge tool in my growth (personally, professionally and for everything in between).
Because I believe in journaling so much, I want to share some tools that helped me get started and continue to keep me inspired. Here are the 3 different ways I journal. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me!
Vision Journaling: This technique is MAJOR! It’s a game changer and I don’t say that lightly friends. I learned this from a guest speaker at a massive convention I went to 6 years ago and I’m still doing it! Here’s how it works. You journal in first person as if you’ve already reached your goals and are “living your best life”. For example, if you are a Mom struggling to find a balance, not t your ideal weight/health, feeling insecure, unhealthy, short tempered/impatient with your kids, and run down. You would journal like this: “I am a patient and loving Mom, I weigh (insert goal weight) ______, I take time daily to move my body, I eat well and make rest a priority. I’m confident and have authentic relationships. I find joy in the everyday moments and believe I am here for a purpose”. This works because as you actually write these words down your subconscious stores the information as if it’s already happened. Once you journal this (again and again) you start to authentically manifest your life this way. Suddenly you naturally say no to the things that don’t support your goals and you have room to say YES to everything that does support your goals!
Free Flow Journaling: This is exactly how it sounds. You start writing and just flow my friend. I usually start with “I feel…” and go from there. It’s great as a check in tool, if you’re in a funk, if you’re going through something substantial or just need to get your thoughts (and more importantly your feelings) sorted out. It’s also great if all is wonderful and you want to soak up all those good vibes. Or maybe during pivotal seasons like starting school (for yourself or if you have kids when they begin) or being engaged, starting or ending a job etc etc. I look back at journal entries of mine and realize how much I’ve grown through challenges and simultaneously love reminiscing about some special seasons I’ve gone through with my family.
Gratitude and Dream Chasing Journaling: The uber-organized side of me loves this list-like journaling. Truth be told, I do it DAILY. It’s how I start my morning almost every single day. I drink lemon water, make collagen coffee, journal, and then workout or move through some stretches. I really believe in the power of this routine and specific type of journaling. I’ve listed what I’m thankful for on the daily, each morning- for years but I can thank Rachel Hollis for teaching me to list my Dreams in this same specific way. Here’s how it works:
List 5 things you’re thankful for and 10 dreams you want to happen (but again write them as if they’ve already happened). Finish with writing down which dream you’re going to accomplish first.
Your entry would look something like this:
(I’ve filled in examples to give you ideas)
5 Things I’m Grateful For
2. A better night sleep
3. Laughing with my husband
4. My professor cancelling class 🙂
10 Dreams I’ve Made Happen
(this it the part I love…write it as if you’ve already accomplished the goal)
1. I lost 20 pounds
2. I make time for workouts daily
3.I learned how to cook and make 3 meals each week for my family
and so on…
4. The dream I’m accomplishing first: Learning how to cook and setting up weekly meal plans for my family
I especially love this because it’s simple but super effective! It sets you on a positive note of appreciating all the good in your life and keeping those dreams in clear site so you’re focusing on all the right things!
Lastly, here are a few helpful tips to get you started on the habit of journaling so you can really experience the benefits:
- Try to find a similar time to journal each day (or even each week to start). I find journaling in the morning to be more beneficial, for me, because it sets the tone for my day ahead as opposed to the weight of the day hitting my journaling at night. But if you’re someone who feels better processing the day with some journaling at night there are huge benefits to improving the quality of your sleep that way!
- Get a cute journal that inspires you and some cute pens or a great pencil and save them for journaling only.
- Turn off your tech…if you can’t give yourself 10-15 minutes of tech free time to tune into yourself than we have bigger issues to chat about 😉
- Let go of expectation. Journal and just see what happens…
Happy journaling friends! Go buy yourself a cute journal, some fun colored pens, and set your alarm 10 minutes earlier…you’ll be so glad you did!