How journaling changed my life | 30 days of journaling

What led me to develop this habit?

This 2020, I embarked on a self-development journey.  I commit to developing 12 habits for 30 days each. 

I’ve always wanted to be successful. So, I try to emulate what successful people do. I checked their habits out and adapt as many as I can.

These habits include reading, exercising, napping, walking in nature, surrounding yourself with the right people, and you’ve guessed it, journaling.

What is a journal?

Journal and diary can be used interchangeably, however, there’s a difference between the two.

A diary is a log of what happened to you over the course of the day. It is a record of your personal experiences normally arranged chronologically. 

Journal on the other hand is usually used for the purpose of exploring ideas, feelings, thoughts, goals, and alike. It can include pictures, drawings, lists, song lyrics, anything at all that comes to mind.

Simply put: All diaries are journals, but not all journals are diaries.

How journaling changed my life

1. Boost my productivity and efficiency.

I have been more productive after taking journaling seriously. To-Do lists and evening assessments helped me progress greatly towards achieving my goals. 

2. Helped me develop self-awareness.

Reviewing my logs helped me understand my inner traits. It gave me insights into my behaviour and thought process.

This allowed me to be more conscious of my perspective and responses.

3. It enhanced my well-being.

This habit promotes mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. It helps me deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. It also provided me opportunities to examine my negative thoughts, gain clarity and regulate my emotions.

4. It serves as my record.

My journal is a record of my memories, thoughts, ideas, and emotions. It’s a witness to my successes and progress, joys and celebrations, pains and misfortunes, fears and apprehensions, creativity and innovation. 

Techniques and journal format

I like keeping three (3) notebooks: 

(1) My main journal where I write my goals, lessons and ideas, trackers and my daily entries. ; 

(2) I also have a portable notebook where I list down my daily tasks, “pop up” inspirations and ideas, and doodles

(3) Lastly, my diary where I write things that happened during the course of the day.

I also have a journal app on my phone called Journey App. I use this whenever I need to jot something down and I do not have any access to my physical journals.

I journal at least twice a day, in the morning where I set my day up and in the evening for self-reflection.

My journal can be described as minimal. I do not use multiple colored pens and highlighters, nor do I have beautifully decorated journal pages. I used a spiral dotted notebook for my main journal and spiral lined notebook for my diary and my portable notebook. 

Here’s how my main journal looks like:

  • Calendar with important eventsCalendar with important events
    Monthly budget tracker
  • Devotion section – This is where I write Bible verses that speak to me.
  • Year of blog section – This is where I record my weekly content. 
  • Monthly Overview – This page has my personal check-in, goals,  budget tracker, and  habit tracker for the month. Media Overview
    • Weekly / Daily log – This gives me an overview of my weekly activities and tasks. I also do personal check in every Monday. My gratitude log, feelings log, and stress trigger log are found on this page.

Monthly / Weekly log

 Tips on starting your own journal

1. Make it a habit to journal regularly. 

Journaling regularly helps you achieve the benefits stated above and more.

2. Make your journal work for you. 

Journals are something personal. Find your own style. Identify your personal needs and tailor your techniques to address them. 

3. Do not be afraid. 

Let it flow. Forget structure, rules, and systems. Express things the way you want to express things. Journals are a safe place to be yourself.

4. Find a medium that you’re comfortable using.

Journals are your personal accounts. 

You might feel vulnerable wring your feelings and thoughts down on a notebook. If you do, find another medium like an app with a password. I recommend Journey App. It’s an app available on Android, iOS, Mac App Store, Windows Store, and online web. What I like about this app is you could set it up with a password. Your entries are also 100% safe as they are saved in Google drive’s hidden data.

Summary 

A journal is usually used for the purpose of exploring ideas, feelings, thoughts, goals, and a like.

Developing a habit for journaling helps you:

1. Increase your productivity and efficiency

2. Develop self-awareness

3. Enhance your well-being

4. Keep record of your memories, thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

Tips on starting your own journal

1. Make it a habit to journal regularly.

2. Make your journal work for you. Journals are personal to you.

3. Do not be afraid. Let your ideas flow. 

4. Find a medium that you’re comfortable using. Try Journal app!

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