Journaling is one of the steps on our Healthy Habits Challenge. Why is journaling beneficial to your overall health?
Personal Development consultant, Steve Pavlina, wrote:
Journaling is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to accelerate your personal development. By getting your thoughts out of your head and putting them down in writing, you gain insights you’d otherwise never see.
I wholeheartedly agree with Pavlina's statement. I started writing in a journal when I was in 8th grade. I literally filled up volumes through high school and college. I slowed down quite a bit in my adulthood, but have found journaling to be a great source for not only recording what happens in my life, but for evaluating how my life is going and where I want to go.
I think my biggest success story with journaling came when I was 29 years old, had just had my 4th baby and was trying to get myself to exercise. I had exercised in various forms through my adult years -- running, swimming, step classes, bike rides with kids, but I never really enjoyed it. I knew I needed to change, but I wasn't sure how to. I'd heard that with exercise you have to make yourself do it until you love it and eventually you will indeed love it.
So I came up with a plan. I would exercise each morning and if I came up with an excuse, I had to write that excuse in my journal so I could evaluate the validity. Every single time, I'd write why I couldn't exercise, would look at it and would just think, "That's not a good excuse!" and would get myself to go exercise after all. It took a few weeks of pushing myself until I really started to look forward to my workouts. My cardio capacity increased to where it wasn't a huff and puff struggle to exercise. I learned to love strength training. This opened the doors for me to explore various facets of fitness that I never would have tried otherwise.
If any of you are having a hard time fitting in the journaling, I just wanted to give you a few ideas that may help.
- Keep a notebook by your bed that you can write in each night before you go to sleep. Take it with you when you travel so you can continue the habit.
- Take a smaller notebook with you to work or wherever to write in spare moments (standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to pick kids up from school, stuck in traffic, etc.)
- If you blog, you don't have to write a full post like your normal blog posts each day for the world to see every single day. You can add on another blog address that isn't accessed by the public and just click on that each day when you're online to either track your progress with this challenge or just to write whatever thoughts are on your mind.
- If you don't blog, but get on the computer each day, just start a journal on a Word Document (or whichever word processing software your computer has) and add to it each day. You can save your documents daily, weekly, or monthly and keep them in a special file folder for your journal entries.
Hope you are able to enjoy the benefits of writing down your thoughts. TTFN!