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Personal Growth – The Benefits of Keeping a Journal

My husband – an organization freak – always tells me, if I want to remember something, write it down. Good advice. In our business pursuits – we know that nothing is confirmed until we “put it in writing.”

This is also true in the areas of success and personal growth. The experts agree that a good way to set goals, be accountable, and track your progress, is by keeping a daily journal.

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Pathologists and motivational trainers alike agree that journal keeping is a great road to self-discovery. Writing in a journal provides ways for you to express your thoughts and emotions, describe problems and “brainstorm” on possible solutions.

A journal also provides a place to express negative thoughts and get them “out of your system” in a positive way before they well up inside of you – potentially damaging yourself and those around you.  In his book The Healing Journey: Your Journal of Self-Discovery, Phil Rich, Ed.D., MSW, says, “[A journal] can be a place for people to talk and be honest with themselves in a way that may be difficult under other circumstances.”

Other benefits of keeping a personal growth journal include:

  • Recording your thoughts, ideas, and inspirations – Our mind’s process information constantly. A journal is a wonderful way to record great ideas or that fleeting thought you want to get back to – before it’s gone. In fact, many experts suggest keeping your journal on your nightstand – because our best ideas or solutions to problems occur when our mind is in the relaxed alpha state just prior to falling asleep.
  • Planning for your life – It is no coincidence that life coaches and motivational speakers use metaphors such as “Charting Your Course” or “Road Map” to success – when speaking of personal growth. Maps and nautical charts are a concrete plan, or directions – on paper.
  • Improves your writing skills – Today everybody has a story tell, and there are many forums to do so from Blogs to social networking sites, to local newspapers. Keeping a daily journal will improve your writing and communication skills.
  • Time management – Writing things you want to accomplish down in a journal helps you get a better handle on how many things you need to do – and realistically just how long it may take to do them.
  • Journals are empowering – Journal writing is empowering on many levels. It affirms your reality and your place in the world. Your journal will get you to know yourself better, which will improve your relationships, and journals are can be an outlet for temptations or things you would never say or do in actuality.  

Journal keeping in and of itself is a positive use of idle time. It is a stress reliever, and journal writing can actually train your mind to think clearer, better, and more consciously as you get in the habit of recalling experiences, penning observations, and drawing conclusions about them.

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