The Benefits of Keeping A Journal

journaling(Photo: Paul Watson)

Benefits of Journaling

If you want to remember something, write it down.

This is 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.

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, 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 direction – 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  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.

  • Joshua Noerr

    I believe strongly in journaling. Everywhere I go, a little black journal goes with me.

    I believe one of the reasons I am able to produce so much content is because of this journaling. It also helps me get in touch with what my subconscious mind is saying.

    Great post, and I hope more and more people do the same.

  • Jason Harvey

    Joshua, great to hear you have also found the benefits of journing. It is definitely a great tool.

  • Kathy

    Hi Jason,
    The other day, I was cleaning out my study and pulled out a huge box of journals – I had been keeping then since I was 17 and now 25 years later, and still going strong (although I have now migrated to blogging). Writing down my life has literally, kept me sane! Thanks for this post, and I look forward to reading your book!

  • Kari

    I’ve always loved keeping a journal. First a personal journal and now a work and dream journal. I think that sometimes new ideas are inspired from writing down already known ideas. (Does that make sense? lol) There’s some beneficial about taking the thought out of your brain and allowing other thoughts to come in.

  • Jen

    Journals are great, especially for people like me with a terrible memory. They really help you prioritize and plan, like you mentioned. I completely agree with the other commenters!