No Time to Write a Daily Journal? You’re Missing Out!

Q:  Is there really value in writing a journal?
A:  Only if you want to change your life.

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I started writing a journal in 1979. Although I can’t say I’ve done it every day since then, it has become a big part of my life. It has made me look at things in an entirely different way— all because I let my pen guide my thinking.

First, a journal is not a diary, so it’s not about recording what you did for the day. A list such as that of what happened really doesn’t have value in recording thoughts. But to talk about a situation you faced, how you feel about a subject, or writing something out that you’re trying to resolve has real value.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you had a crucial conversation planned and you’re not sure what you want to say and what results you want from that conversation. A journal allows you to explore it.

Start by giving that day’s journal entry a title. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just list the topic so that you can refer back to it. Put the date at the top of the page, too, so that you know when you wrote it. 

Now start out by stating why you want to have this crucial conversation. After that, you can list all the different ways you might approach it. Just let thoughts pour out of your mind. Make a paragraph of each different way you might approach it.

Finally, look at all of the approaches and circle the one that makes the most sense. Now you can rehearse how to say what you want to say. After this preparation, it’s bound to be a better conversation.