Your development and growth truly relies on the amount of effort you put in every single day. The most significant aspect to your daily development routine is to carve out 15 minutes at the end of your day to journal and reflect. This helps you process what you put into action, and it holds you accountable to working on your goal every day. We all know it is far too easy to lose sight of our development goals in the day-to-day grind.
Why write it down?
Scientific studies have proved that journaling provides physical and mental benefits to your wellbeing. Your our sleep will improve. You will build a stronger immune system. You will work through emotional barriers, allowing your brain to free up some space. Once you get it out, you don’t have to think about it as much any more. A friend of mine calls this “the brain drain.” And it is pretty effective.
Writing down your thoughts and experiences also allows you to remember things more easily, and even go back and look for patterns. If someone asked you sit down today – in September -and share what you did and learned in July, could you do it? Probably not very well. And you definitely wouldn’t be able to go back and look for patterns. Journaling every day allows you to go back and look for patterns about your own behavior. What works? What doesn’t work? How did certain situations make you feel?
Pen and Paper becomes your outlet to organize all you have tried and learned.
How to journal?
There is no set way on how to journal. Personally, I’m a pen snob and love to write full sentences with beautifully colored ink pens that reflect my mood. I describe a lot of detail. Forcing myself to write full sentences makes me slow down and be more thoughtful. I had a manager once who told me she journaled just by writing significant words down, scribbled across the page as she worked through her thoughts. Seriously – she did not stay on the lines! It’s what worked for her. I also have a friend who only journals her “insights” or significant thoughts on the matter. The point is that you have to write it down in a way that works for YOU.
The hard part about journaling is the discipline and also now taking yourself down a dark path of negativity. You might find you hammer on yourself in the journal, especially when times are hard or things are not going well. I have two tips for you to avoid this:
- When you name your negative emotions (and you should), also write that it is okay to feel this way. I literally write, “It’s okay to be angry Lacey.” This action will actually trigger some magical neuroscience where your brain and body will start to counteract that emotion! Humans are amazing beings!
- Somewhere in your journal, share some gratitude with yourself. Name what is going well, or who helped you out that day. This simple act of gratitude will keep your learning experience more positive.
Your Journaling Practice
A daily journaling practice will keep your goal prioritized at the top. It is especially critical in processing your growth and development. In the 30 Day Development Challenge, you journal about your experiences every day. It takes 15 minutes and is all about how YOU did that day.
- What did you try out?
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- What will you keep doing?
- What will you stop doing?
- What is your focus for tomorrow?
Remember that this is personal and private. It is your place to be real with yourself on how it is going. And since you write down your focus for tomorrow, you are actually more likely to do it! By Day 30, you will see just how far you have come. Literally you can go back and look at it in your journal. You will be ready to build on that goal for the next 30 days!
The 30 Day Development Guide includes a journal page template that you can print off and use to get started on your journaling practice. Download it here:
You can own your development! You deserve to grow and reach for YOUR goals. This three part series was written to help you break it down, make it actionable, and achieve real results. Here is a recap for what to:
- Understand how we learn. Check out Part 1 of this series.
- Follow the easy-to-use 3 Step Approach to owning your development. Learn more about the 30 Day Development Challenge and download your guide here.
- Practice journaling every day. Reflect and be real with yourself. .
If you would like to talk more about your development, feel free to reach out and schedule some time to talk with me.
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