Exploring Your World Through Journaling
Step 1. Buy a journal
Step 2. Find a pen
Step 3. Start writing
Sometimes in life we come across new practices, new habits that we want to adopt, but we build them up to be this really complicated process, that eventually means we just don’t do it, because it seems too hard. But when you break it down to it’s most simplest form, it can be so easy and effortless to incorporate in your life, you’ll feel like you’ve always done it!
And when it comes to journaling, it really is as simple as the three steps above. In essence, that is all you need to be able to journal. And it’s a great place to start. It’s where I started.
I went out and bought a journal specifically for the purpose, my girls picked a shiny rainbow pen for me, and I created the intention of just using it. Six months in, several pens later and one completed journal and my practice has become a daily ritual.
I use journaling for a number of purposes:
Releasing limiting beliefs;
Setting my intentions;
Setting goals both short and long-term;
Fleshing out my overall vision.
I also find it a great way to truly express my thoughts and feelings in a completely safe, non-judgmental space. It’s where I allow my fears to show up for what they are, and I can explore around them, what they are made up of, why they’re there, and what they’re trying to protect me from. Because remember, our fears are a form of protection, ultimately they want us to stay nice and safe, cozy in the known.
I know that when I stick to my morning and evening journaling, I feel more in tune with my emotions, I feel very intentional with my actions, and conscious of what is going around for me. Some days it actually feels like I am watching my life play out in front of me, getting to choose my reactions, my responses and my decisions with ease and grace.
One of the things I get asked by clients when we talk about journals, is where do I start? What do I write about?
The number one thing to understand, is there is no right or wrong way to do journaling. It’s absolutely whatever feels right for you. But if you’re looking for some prompts, thought-starters, and ideas, I’ve pulled together a few for you below.
I could write a whole seperate blog post on practicing gratitude (idea - maybe I just will!), it’s a hugely valuable practice that I incorporate daily in my life, and consciously it comes up more than just during journaling, because I do believe that acknowledging your gratitude is a key element in a positive, healthy and happy mindset.
Some gratitude questions you might like to journal on are:
What are three things you are grateful for today?
What are you most grateful for today?
Who in your life can you express gratitude to today?
What is it like to be grateful for these things/people?
Practicing gratitude was the turning point for me, when I started to realise that no matter what else is going on in life, there are always moments, people, actions, experiences that happen, both big and small, that I can appreciate and find happiness in.
Affirmations, Beliefs + Self-Love
I find affirmations, beliefs and self-love flow together with my journaling. Often the affirmations I choose are a reflection of the beliefs that I am either releasing, or leaning into, and always the beliefs I am leaning into, have a relationship with my own self-love.
Years ago I picked up this amazing book “Heart Thoughts” by Louise Hay and it has been a great source of affirmations for both my journaling and any mindset work I do. I use it like I would my angel cards, in that I hold a thought in my mind, and open the book to a page and take the affirmation and the information as a source for my thoughts for that moment of journaling.
Some prompts you might like to journal on are:
What are three beliefs that you are ready to release?
What beliefs do you currently have that are holding you back and stopping you from stepping in to your whole, true self?
How does your mind provide you with an amazing life? (you can interchange the word mind with other parts of your body)
What do you choose to believe about yourself right now?
Affirmations are statements that you make about yourself, that you choose to believe and want to embed in your mind. Sometimes I write these around these on post-it notes and stick them around the house as well as little reminders. Some affirmations I use are:
”I deserve good in my life”
”I learn something new every day”
”I freely express who I am”
”I choose to release my limiting beliefs”
”I love and accept myself exactly the way I am”
I’ve always been a big believer in reflections, to better understand our actions, our successes and ourselves. I use reflections often, as a way of providing self feedback in a positive way. This is a space where I will recognise:
What went well in this day or moment?
What could be improved next time?
What can I create more of next time?
What feelings come up for me as I reflect?
So often in life we are just jumping from milestone to milestone, constantly focused on what’s ahead, without looking back at all that we’ve accomplished, and taking stock on how that went.
I use this often when I am journaling about business, and I use this with my coaching clients, giving them space to reflect on their coaching sessions, or at the end of a coaching programme, to acknowledge and put a spotlight on the change that has been created.
Intentions, Goal-Setting + Visions
I use my journal for a lot of my long-term and short-term goals, visions and intentions, mainly because it keeps everything all in the one place for when I want to look back (which I do every now again). It’s also a really great way to flesh out the details of these, what success will look like, feel like, be like. Here are some questions you can to get you started thinking about your vision, goals, and intentions:
What would you like to be doing, seeing, being and exploring in 12 months time?
How do you see your life in 12 months time?
What are three steps you could do today, this week, or this month, to start to take action towards your goals?
What would success look like for you at the end of today, end of this week, end of this month?
It’s really important to fill in as much detail as possible when you’re journaling about intentions, goals and visions. The more you visualise it, the more you aligned and committed you will be to achieving it. Also really identifying what success will look like, in terms of measurables, feelings, timeframe and more.
A really powerful method for writing these out, is to write them future focused. As if you are already in the moment. For example:
“It is 31 December 2019, and I am doing ….. I am seeing ….. My life is now ….”
Again, this practice really supports your visualising the end result that truly want.
For more guidance in this space, check out: The Goals Mindset Series
What about Business Life?
Journaling doesn’t have to be just about your personal life, in fact I totally journal about my business life regularly! A lot of what goes on for me happens in business life, so I wholeheartedly recommend using this practice for business too.
The obvious ones are your goal-setting, intentions and visions, and of course reflections. But any of these topics can be adapted for business. When I practice my daily gratitudes, there is always at least one gratitude that is business related, and I regularly acknowledge my appreciation for the clients that I have, both current and future. In life we receive what we ask for. So I regularly ask for more of what I appreciate and am grateful for.
I also use journaling for manifesting new clients, increased income, soul-aligned work and opportunities, and fulfillment in all that I do each day. It might seem a little woo woo for traditional business, but hey - I’ve found I’m not a particularly traditional business owner ;)
Journaling has really opened a door in my life to welcoming in my spiritual practices confidently, and I find so much value in being able to express my thoughts and feelings daily, release that which does not serve me, and leaning in to more of what does.
I’d love to know where you’re at in your journaling journey - pop a comment below or connect with me on social media and let me know! x