Some people really find it relaxing and positive when they sit down to write something down in a journal. They might talk about the things they did that day, what kind of food they ate, or if that attractive neighbor said hello, but journaling can be used as a much more powerful tool than a collection of unconnected events. These are a few things that I've found that help me get into the right headspace to write productively.
Get a Notebook
There are some amazing journals out there, both in the way they are set up and the look of them. But these types of journals are only good some of the time. If you will be doing a lot of writing in order to journal with intention and keep track of your goals, you might want to look beyond hardbound journals, and go for more of a flexible notebook.
This gives you more space to write, and you don’t feel restricted by what a small and fancy journal can provide you. You just need to have something that you can have with you so you can get to writing as soon as something comes to mind. Depending on how you want to structure your journal, you might want to leave the first few pages blank. That way you’ll have a spot to list some of your long-term goals.
Long Term Goals
After you’ve written out all of your long-term goals, you can look through them to see if there are any of them that can actually be handled in shorter periods of time. Be sure to list out all of the steps to completing each of them so you know the details about each and how feasible it’ll be to get them done sooner.
Include with them any sort of positive affirmations that you can use to support your stance on why you believe that you can execute these intentions. Include some positive self-talk that will keep you feeling inspired about the path you've chosen, because it never hurts to give yourself a little extra backup. You’ll probably notice that some of them can be compelled sooner, so these should be set aside for another list that you write out.
Short Term Goals
These are the goals that you’ve discovered might not take very much time to complete. To make them easier to follow you can even categorize them by where they apply to, such as work, school or home. It’s really important to take a look at the ones that have to do with your emotional wellbeing.
Take some time each day to make sure that you’re really taking care of yourself in those ways, and if you find that some of those areas are weak, you can make them a part of your short-term intentions. Use positive affirmations with your short-term goals as well.
During the time you’re focused on these goals, it’s always a good idea to write them out every day so that you are able to stay connected with what you have planned to do. Record varied reasons that you have for wanting to pursue these intentions. This means that you need to have something different until you can’t think of any other reasons.
Starting with Gratitude
When you’re planning to do a journal, starting with the things you’re thankful for is a powerful way to align yourself with a positive spirit of change and success. It gets easy to lose sight of these things because we get so wrapped up in the daily grind, and the negativity that comes from the exposure that social media brings to the table. Talk about anything that brings you feelings of peace, love and kindness.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
The best way to have success with this kind of process is to have fun and consistent with your routine. You should be relaxed with yourself in some respect though because life is busy and you probably won’t have time every day every month to do this, so if you end up having to miss a day of writing then it’s not the end of the world. Just write it tomorrow.
You just don’t want to get in the habit of putting off writing for days at a time so that you can barely remember what happened entirely. The worst thing you can do is connect negative feeling to your journaling process. That would completely defeat the purpose that you have been aiming for.
The most important thing is that you are always moving forward and taking note of your progress. Learn to laugh at the things that you can’t change today, and forgive yourself for the time you need to take tomorrow.