Do you journal? Perhaps you did in years gone by. You spent time selecting the right book of blank pages to fill or you used a simple spiral bound notebook. Journaling isn’t just a habit to work out the hopes, dreams, and concerns of our younger years; it’s an effective tool for your professional and personal development today. If journaling is a practice you’ve long since abandoned (or one you have never quite taken up), I strongly encourage you to consider pulling out a pad and getting started with it now.
Clarity and focus.
Writing down your thoughts, goals, and first impressions creates a new vantage point, enabling you to see a pattern of what’s important to you. Habits, strengths, and weaknesses will become more apparent. It’s an opportunity to step back and allow your thoughts to coalesce more completely on paper.
Collecting and remembering
If you’ve ever been struck by an idea in the middle of a meeting and then promptly lost the thread of brilliance as the conversation went in another direction, you know the value of writing down bits of inspiration. Your journal can be the space to record ideas, favorite quotes, and things that inspire, so they are saved and tangible when you need them later. It’s also a wonderful tool to track your accomplishments and progress. When you’re updating a resume or drafting a bio about yourself, your journal can serve as a time capsule of achievements.
Debrief and release
Your journal is a wonderful space to break down what’s worked and what has not. It’s a private place to analyze personal projects or to process personal reactions to a professional undertaking. It’s also an opportunity to flesh out thoughts more fully before publicly articulating them.
Tighten your communication skills
Like most skills, the more you use your writing muscle, the stronger it gets. Journaling is like a fitness routine for the written wordsmith in you. Give it a try.
First things first: Pick out a journal you want to write in. Like those journals you might have filled in your youth, it might be as simple as a spiral-bound notebook or a leather-bound book of blank pages. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes each day to sit down with your journal in a quiet space. Don’t worry about writing legibly, making spelling errors or using correct punctuation. This is place for you to simply be with your thoughts. Take a time-out to write your feelings down each day. This will allow you to deepen your self-connection, which will support your personal evolution throughout the rest of your life.