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5 Tips For Journalling | How Journalling Changed My Life

Jan 17, 2022

 

Journaling and reflecting can be a powerful tools to use to help you manage and process your emotions, track and implement good habits while destroying bad ones. In this post and in the video today we are going to be talking a lot about five journalling tips that could really help you process your emotions and help implement better habits and routines into your day-to-day life. There are so many different forms of journaling and it can be used in so many different ways. But for me, the key element of it is how it allows me to improve my self-awareness as the first step in making a change, is being aware there is an issue in the first place.

 

Journalling has really helped me in some challenging times in my life. One time comes to mind in particular, in early 2020 before the dreaded “C” word started my Grandma passed away. And this was a start of a chain of events that included a family member dying of the virus, my childhood dog passing away and my Dad having a stroke.

 

All these things happened to my family and not just me. I was trying to be the support and the rock before inevitably having an emotional breakdown. After a few days of having of experiencing unprocessed emotion, I thought I'd try and empty my mind. This was really powerful for me and allowed me to see my feelings on paper and process them a lot better. So I thought I would share some of these tips with you reading this today.

 

I'm not an expert in journaling but I'm here to share some tips and tricks that I have picked up that have helped me through challenging times in the past. So take the ones that you like and leave the ones you don’t.

 

Here are my top five journalling tips -

 

1. The Mind Dump - There is a saying if you're in your head, you're dead. And this was definitely the case for me overthinking, experiencing anxiety and bottling up emotions. The main dump just lets you empty your mind of all thoughts and emotions which when it is out of your head is much easier to process.

 

This can be done on the good old pen and paper, the notes section on your laptop or phone, or my personal favourite way is to start a conversation with yourself on WhatsApp in a group chat and unload my thoughts on there whether it is voice notes, text or even images. (Video below shows how to set this up)

 

 

2. Journaling For Goal Setting - I personally love writing down my goals and having something to work towards. Here at A-Game, we have come up with a document to help you turn your goals into daily habits called the 4 Goal Buckets (Which we have made into free download after so many requests). This takes your regular SMART Goal and breaks it down into different sections. Vision, Where to Play, How to Win and habits and standards. This then allows you to turn these goals into habits that you can implement into your day-to-day routines.

 

Here is an example of the 4 Goal buckets being used around eating more fruit in your day-to-day life.

 

3. Daily Reflection Journalling - This is where you set small goals or tasks to do for the next day and then the next evening you reflect on how well you did to achieve them. Here at A-Game we learnt about the 3 R’s Reflect, Refine, Repeat. Reflect on what you did that day, refine the areas that could be improved, then repeat it all the next day.

 

  • Some questions that I like to ask myself when I am reflecting are - 
  • How many of these tasks did I actually get done?
  • How well do I rate my productivity?
  • What killed my productivity?

 

The last question for me is key and is very important this is where you can identify things that are happening within your day which is taking your attention away from the tasks that you want to complete. Reviewing these daily will often open your eyes to some habits that are no longer serving you. We can go into this more in tip 5 which is about journalling for tracking habits.

 

4. Gratitude Journalling - Everybody in life has something to be grateful for. Even if it's your body, your health and the fact you can exercise or somebody in your life like a partner or parent. 

 

We often spend a lot of time focusing on the negative and this is often destructive to our mood and our mental health overall. So when we bring in positive things on a daily basis this can really brighten our mood switch our mindset and really have a positive impact on our mental health.

 

Each day think about 5 times you are grateful for write them down on voice note them into your WhatsApp chat with yourself, bring your focus to the positive.

 

5. Journaling For Habit Tracking - This is key and really important when it comes to catching yourself doing bad habits and trying to implement good positive habits. The steps to doing this are easy. We will use the example of spending less time on social media.

 

First of all, you need to create a barrier. A block to stop you from doing the habit. In the case of social media, this will be logging out of your different accounts.

Then every time you go to do that habit you journal it and see if the pattern starts to show itself. When doing this it's common to find habits like you go on your phone when you use the toilet or even when you are cooking food or most likely when you are meant to be checking emails.

 

Just putting that barrier in place can really help you keep track of when you are doing the habit that you want to break and you can start to implement things in changing the cues around that habit. If you want to learn more about habits click here to see a full blog post on this.

 

I hope these tips and tricks around journalling were helpful. If you are on your self-development journey and you are really wanting to thrive, the best thing you can do is surround yourself with positive people that are doing the same and we would love to invite everyone reading this to come to our Facebook group where we have loads of people all trying to better themselves in their self-development.

 

 

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