The process of journaling is not a new concept; in fact scholars have found evidence of people writing down their thoughts in 10th century Japan. You may define a journal as a listing of activities or maybe jotting down your secret dreams and desires in a diary.
Or you may find sketches and free form phrases work better than writing your “life story” each day. There is no right or wrong way to journal. By experimenting, you can discover the best avenue for expressing your inner thoughts.
I like to define daily entries in a journal as a mental mapping exercise.
By knowing where I am, I can easily target where I want to go. Visualizing is a major component in moving forward. Each day, I like to create a mental space to formulate my schedule for the next day and then spend some quiet time to listen to my thoughts. Thirty minutes would be ideal, but if you are just beginning, find 5 minutes just for you – in your busy, hectic life. It will make a difference.
Don’t overthink this process. You may just write down one thought or vent about one bad experience in your life. Some people keep a notepad handy to write in as during a coffee break. Or you may prefer to recap the day right before going to bed. If you love your mobile device, there are apps for journaling!
When you first begin to carve out small moments of quiet time, echoes of what others say about you may distract you. Or you may dwell on preconceived notions handed down by parents, friends or colleagues. Push those jaded voices aside and pay attention to your thoughts, your dreams, your values and your goals. This focused contemplation will allow you to visualize a new dialogue with yourself, new possibilities and a fresh approach to old patterns.
Journaling or “mental mapping” gives you the power to visualize change and become the image you see in your mind. Flipping dreams into reality comes from a deep and secure awareness of who you are and, how you feel about life. That knowledge allows you to make choices based on clear and conscious intentions.
When you write down your feelings, you take them out of your heart and place them on paper. Once the words are in black and white, you can process and understand your feelings from a less biased perspective. Many people find balance in their lives by writing or sketching daily.
Hopefully, you will find (as many others have discovered) that spending a few minutes a day with yourself and documenting your thoughts can have a profound impact for good!
Have an intentional week!