Have you ever tried to keep a journal, had trouble staying consistent and gave up after a couple of weeks? Or maybe you just skipped the journaling part and started a blog instead… Because blogging is kind of like writing a diary, except everyone can read it and, holy mother of cats, you can even make money with your blog, right?
Well, not really. Blogging and journaling are two very different things. If blogging can be a side hustle or even a thriving biz, journaling provides you with the tools to get there.
A journal is like the GPS lady in your car giving you turn-by-turn directions. You never quite know if you’ll turn left or right next, and the same goes for your journal – you only fill one page at a time. But you’re getting closer to your destination in 5 minutes or so a day.
So many successful people around the world keep a journal, from Oprah to Tim Ferriss and J.K. Rowling. And it’s working.
A daily journal practice could help you become a better person, boost your success in business and ultimately change your life.
Journaling gives you clarity on your very next steps
Imagine the following scenario. You figure that you have spare time to give your blog some love later in the day. You impatiently watch the hours pass by and loathe the hour-long commute… When you are finally home, you get to your laptop, open WordPress… and stare. Then stare some more.
Where should you start? It’s not that you don’t have a million pending tasks, but they all seem SO important, it’s overwhelming. Soon it’s dinner time and you drown your frustration and lack of progress in an episode of Westworld and a bucket of ice cream.
Except… you didn’t have to imagine much at all, right? Somehow, this was oddly familiar.
You know where you want to be. Even have your goals pinned to a shiny vision board hanging on the wall in your office. You have a long-term plan and it’s fabulous.
But you NEED day-to-day clarity as well. It’s not enough to make a mental note in the morning. You need to write down in your journal the very next achievable steps. The ones you choose to take TODAY.
As Gabrielle Bernstein says in The Universe Has Your Back, ‘Whenever you put pen to paper, you sign a sacred contract.‘
This contract will hold you accountable later on in the day. It will make you look at your life with honest eyes and you will need to do one of two things:
- Take action and move your life forward
- Do nothing and stay where you are, knowing full well that you could be more
Often it’s easier to continue where you are, doing only what you can when you can. But it’s worth remembering that the millionaire and the beggar both have 24 hours in the day.
Journaling empowers you to consciously set your intentions for the day
How many times have you said that you’d start sending out weekly newsletters? How often have you pinky promised yourself that you’d create a YouTube channel tomorrow? And how many times have the stars failed to align just right and you failed to keep your promises to yourself? Probably dozens of times, right?
The thing is that we don’t wake up with the same energy we go to bed with.
Sleep has the power to put distance between us and our troubles. The same holds true for New Year resolutions and promises we make to our future ourselves.
You sleep on it and by the time you wake up, your motivation has shifted. You don’t feel like doing what you set up your mind to do the day before. Obstacles have arisen and excuses were born.
But not all is lost. Setting daily intentions can turn your world around.
Mornings are the foundation on which our days are built. Start on the right foot, with the right mindset and you’ll bear witness to your own transformation.
Journaling paves the path for a happier, more resilient you
You cannot be grumpy, infuse your work with negativity and wait for amazing things to come your way. I mean, you can. But you know the saying ‘your vibe attracts your tribe‘, right? Your mindset is ridiculously important.
Before starting journaling, I used to bring all my problems in bed with me in the evening. I’d toss and turn and try to meditate but my mind always needed well over an hour to quiet down and allow me to fall asleep.
Our minds need closure. And it’s not only that we need closure after a breakup or when a loved one passes away.
We need closure from daily problems and endless to-do lists as well. There’s so much good and there’s so much beauty in your life, it’s a pity to go through it without pouring yourself a glass of champagne (or kombucha or even pure spring water!) and celebrating it all.
I’ve been writing, blogging and carving my own way in this online world for a longer period of time than most. It’s easy to give in to despair, second-guess the sanity of your decisions and give up entirely for months at a time.
But you know what’s scarier than taking the leap? Not being. Never becoming that amazing person you know deep down in your heart that you can be.
That’s why you must take time to notice all your achievements. Write them down in your journal. Celebrate even the smallest of wins.
Did somebody pay you a compliment for your writing? Have your pageviews went up 3% from last week? Did you write that post in record time? Or maybe you managed to schedule all your social media posts for the week when you thought family commitments won’t permit you to do it?
Write everything down. Even do a happy dance if you are so inclined. Because it works. Not only will you sleep better. But it will also shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance. And you will brave tomorrow as a more positive you.
It’s easier when you’re 100% in
When I set to lose weight a couple of years ago, I jumped on a no sugar, no starches, no refined carbs diet. From previous experience, I knew that if I managed to avoid all sugary stuff for a week, I’ll be out of the woods and things will get easier. And they did.
My body completely stopped craving sweets after a few days. Had I allowed myself to grab just a tiny little bite from my husband’s blueberry muffin or gave in to temptation and ordered a Coke when going out with friends, I would have been thrown back to square one.
That’s because it’s way easier to be 100% in. A 97% commitment isn’t a commitment at all – at best, it’s a wish.
We often make this mistake and think exceptions from the rules will make things easier. They rarely do!
Now if you can relate on your willpower then, by all means, go ahead and treat yourself to some brown butter Bourbon truffle ice cream or skip your journal practice once in a while. But for the rest of us mortals, willpower isn’t something we can trust with our success.
In Willpower Doesn’t Work, Benjamin Hardy says ‘Success isn’t that difficult; it merely involves taking twenty steps in a singular direction. Most people take one step in twenty directions.‘
When you are in the process of forming a habit and open the door for an easier, more fun alternative (just this once!), you set a precedent. And if you’ve done it once, there’s nothing to stop you from doing it again.
That’s why writing in your journal – DAILY – will help you stick to it and journaling will become part of your routine. You cannot do a half-assed job, cut corners and expect to see the same results as if you were 100% committed to your success. So commit wholeheartedly.
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About the author:
Hey there, dream chaser! I’m a writer and designer on a mission to inspire and empower you to create a highly profitable minimalist online business and show up for your dreams in a sustainable way.