Tips for Writing an Effective Journal Entry
Journaling will benefit you whether you are struggling to experience a lasting sense of happiness or wanting to propel yourself into new levels of achievement.
First step is to go buy a journal! This is perhaps one of the easiest tasks in this program but its very important you get one bought! No need to get anything fancy. Something ringed would be ideal so you can hold it in one hand.
I use a 300 page, 3 subject, 15.2cm x 24.1cm [ 5.98’’ x 9.48’’] but whatever you choose will be a great choice.
On the inside of the cover write the following:
- 3 Things I am grateful for
- What would make today great
- Daily Affirmations
- 3 Amazing things that happened today
- How could I have made today even better
And that will be your starting point for journaling! As you can see, you do not need to write a novel every morning.
I will go through why each section is important:
- Gratitude exercises are incredibly powerful. I promise this will have lasting effects on your life. In addition to improving your overall happiness, here are a few more reasons to convice you: (These reasons are for gratitude exercises in general but definely apply here!)
- Improve your physical bodies health. Those who show gratitude report fewer body aches and a better general feeling of health
- Reduce feelings of depression but reminding yourself how much you have to be grateful for
- Increase apathy and decrease aggress. By not seeking to find revenge with others, your stress levels will decrease
- Elevate mental strength. One you are practicing gratitude regularly, you will have an advantage of overcoming trauma AND more resilience to change.
If your having trouble thinking of many, stop thinking about the little details in your life. Just consider how great it is to be alive in a free country full of opportunity.
- This is setting yourself up for the day. Give yourself 3 achievable goals. Subconsciously you will feel happier each time you accomplish one of these goals during the day. Goal setting is critically important for you because you have big expectations for yourself.
Set yourself up for success by describing what you need to accomplish in order to feel fulfilled.
- Pick 5 areas of your life and write down an affirmation of you making it there.
An example might be: “I am going to be a millionaire” or “I am going to get a promotion” I will go into more detail in another post on my affirmations are so powerful and EFFECTIVE… But for now just trust in the process.
- The reflection is a section purely for your feelings in the morning. It will be a place to record your progress, actions and dreams. Anything you want to let out that does not seem right in any of the other sections
Morning is a perfect time to let out how you feel while you are energetic from a great nights sleep. This is your success and progress journal, just for you. Write whatever you need to.
- Now you are recording these final thoughts at the end of the day. Think back in all that happened today. Record anything you enjoyed. It does not need to be a unique event that happened but it needs to have been a time during the day where you felt a unique feeling! A sense of Joy above your average setpoint for the day. People, myself included experience great pleasure from certain meals. Quite frequently I include a meal in this section.
- Once you have recorded what went great today, think about what could have gone better. This journal is no place to feel down on yourself. Think critically. Don’t just say “ate better” or “had better ideas during the meeting.” Give yourself actionable ideas for the next day. Maybe it could be “eat more salad” or “prepare more before my next meeting”
This might be one of “those habits” you have a hard time making stick. It does take more time than saying an affirmation. You do need to be alert for it. In the morning, people, myself included sometimes find themselves in a rush. The best cure for not being in a rush in the morning is to wake up earlier.
What is a reasonable time you usually wake up at to not feel rushed? Now set your alarm for 15 minutes before that.
A lot of people sleep in anyways. No matter how excited you are the evening before for “the morning,” the inner sleeping sloth takes hold.
Theres no “perfect cure” for stopping snoozing in the morning. The best I have found is to set your alarm on its LOUDEST setting, out of reach of your bed.