Effective Journaling

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Tips on Effective Journaling

I am a big believer in Journaling.  It allows you to tell your story, keep in it in a safe place and review it later if needed.  When you put your thoughts down on paper, you no longer have to carry that around with you.  You can keep it tucked away safely in a drawer; it’s still yours, it’s just no longer heavy baggage that you carry with you everywhere you go.  Reviewing your journal at a later date is also beneficial.  Re-reading some of your earlier entries allows you to evaluate your state of mind then and now, take a moment to assess your point of growth.

At some point someone suggested to you that you journal your thoughts and feelings, but has anyone told you how to do this so it actually yields positive results as opposed to just retelling a story?


The Basics:

  1. Go to the Dollar Store and purchase a cheap note book or here is a link to purchase one on Amazon.  Your journal doesn’t have to be pretty, leather-bound and have a lock & key.  Keep it simple!
  2. Set up your journal: see below to tips to set up Effective Journaling
  3. Make time everyday to write in your journal.
    • Morning Journal entries are usually for goals; things you want to achieve that day.
    • Evening Journal allows you to reflect on the day and assess any points of growth.
  4. Weekly review of your journal – at the end of each week, set aside some time to review your journal entries; look for patterns in thoughts and behaviours.
  5. Give Credit where credit is due – reward yourself for a successful week (even if you had a bad one, find the good parts and celebrate those!!)

Effective Journaling – Setting up your Journal

It’s important to tell your story, but it’s equally important to fully assess that story as well.  Your journal entry should include the emotions you felt, the lessons you learned and the successes that pulled you through.  Here’s what I mean by that:

Use the faces to assist you with choosing the appropriate feelings.
  1. Tell your story.  write it out, all of it.  Every last detail.  Don’t breeze through it, get it all out.
  2. How I felt.  Once your story is all there, review it.  Add in feeling words (I have included a list here for you).  Include all emotions that you expressed both during the event and while writing it.
  3. Lessons Learned.  I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, there are constant lessons in life.  Take a moment and think about what you learned both in living the event and telling it.
  4. I survived.  So far, you have a 100% success rate at surviving life’s ordeals.  Acknowledge that this event did not kill you.  You lived to tell the tale.   “I survived because I am….” or “I survived because….”  or “I survived and I will….”

Use these 4 heading in your journal entries.  Make it clear which part is the story, the feelings, the lessons and the reasons you survived.  This will make your weekly reviews much simpler.

Ok, now that you have the tools to Journal Effectively, why are you still sitting here….off to the dollar store with you….grab a journal, set it up and CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!

Keep me posted on how this works for you.  I’d love your feedback!!

Happy Journaling!!!



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