At the start or the end of the day record the days events in a journal.
According to mental health professionals, journaling is one of the most recommended tools to have a clearer mind and a happier life. Recording moments acknowledging what happened and not letting a day just drift by.
Identifying values we have in life is a great compass as to whether you are on course. By recording whether you lived by your values in your journal gives us identity and a moral compass. Brene Brown advocates us identifying two core values to live by. As an example my values are:-
- Making a difference
By journalling I can track my values, have I made a difference today and what are my list of achievements.
Journals can help you recognise how you have been thinking or feeling that day. One of the top tips is to name your emotions, giving them labels helps you to own them. Once you own an emotion you can then begin to process it, eg. if you were scared and you own it, you can then identify where the fear was coming from. A more positive example if you were happy, what triggered that emotion and how can you repeat it.
Logging your rituals or your habits, one source of tracking can be vital for your journalling. I have at the top of the page walk and nuggets. My ritual of walking everyday needs to be ticked and my nugget is the one thing that has the greatest impact that day (it can be a high or a low).
Why do they work?
Adam Grant talks about mindful, mattering and mastery in his TED Talk the follow up to his New York Times Article. Journalling hits all three areas there is the mindful activity of writing and the mattering of whether you have leaned into your values. The mastery of what you have achieved that day and whether you are learning some new skills or new behaviours.
By journalling we can clear some mental blocks, everything seems so much clearer on paper. A project you have been deliberating on for too long, once you journal what you have started on the project you appreciate that you are moving forward. Progress in any shape or form is motivation.
Being kind to yourself by documenting what is actually going on. There is a peace in the moment of writing and a closing ceremony of what has taken place.
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