How A Journal Could Motivate You

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

I have been journaling on and off my entire life. My younger years I carried a diary that heald all of my deepest secrets (basically all of my crushes), and it evolved from there. I always have more than one for different projects and ideas. This method might seem a bit extra but, like my mind, if I don't stay organized my life becomes chaotic pretty quick. Something is fantastic about having this notebook that you dedicate to a topic you love, and you can freely write in whenever you like. It's magical!

In my opinion, everyone should have a journal they write regularly. You don't have to carry around ten notebooks as I do, but you should have some form of a journal to jot down thoughts and ideas. Since I started back up in my journaling I have found my productivity increase, stress levels decrease, and I wake up with a motivation to conquer the world. Don't believe me? Seriously, try it out for just one week and see where it takes you. Write down your thoughts, ideas that pop up, memories, tasks, and anything else in your head. Once you take all that information rolling around in your head to paper, it starts clearing up some of the fog.

Sets Your Intentions
I have one journal that is specifically for intentions and goals. Before I start any new journey, I like to write down why I want to start and what my goals are going into it. Doing this helps create a base for a project that I can branch out from later down the road. For instance, when I started Patreon, I wrote down why I wanted to begin this journey. Then, from there, I created a small list of short-term and long-term goals that I wanted to accomplish to get to that 'why' answer.

Not only did this help me plan my writing, promoting, and everything that went into creating Patreon but it also kept me motivated throughout the process. Every time I wanted to give up, I would turn back to this page and read why I started in the first place. Do you ever come up with an idea in your head that excites you to start right away? If you write that down you save that moment for as long as you need it. When you become distraught, or self-doubt starts to kick in (like it always does), you go back to this journal and remember that excited feeling. As I said, it's magic!

You don't have to keep a separate journal for this, but I would suggest it. Some people work with chaos and, in all honesty, I envy that. I wish I could work without having my crazy organized structure. Since I can't (and most have difficulties with this), I keep each area separated. Doing this means I keep my goals and intentions in one journal, my everyday thoughts in another, and my ideas and random scribbles in a third book. When you follow all these in one place, it starts to look like your mind. Might not seem like a bad thing but, if you are like me, many things get lost in your head over time. What did you need from the grocery store again?

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

Keeps You Goal-Oriented
This kind of goes with the first reason but deserves a bit more detail. Too many times I have not written something down (like a project or goal) and find myself lost within a month. I have a couple of articles on my website that proves I wasn't correctly writing down my goals and tasks for my blog. They are entirely off topic from my niche and turned into rants (polite rants, but still not great). This writing was not why I started my website and had absolutely nothing to do with the topics I wanted to discuss. It was like I completely forget why I had started in the first place.

Here is where a journal can come in handy. When you see the term journal, you probably think of a small leather-bound book that keeps secrets. That is not what I am talking about right now. If you look at my notebooks, you will see they are cheap little spiral books that I got from the convenient store. To me, journaling means a place to write down everything, not just what happened in your day. I specifically write down my goals for each day and have my long-term tasks on the top of each page as a reminder. This way I can continuously look up to see if my daily assignments match the big picture. We can look at something with a magnifying glass for so long only to realize we completely swayed from the reason we were looking in the first place. Writing down every little detail as well as the overall picture keeps us focused and on point.

Eliminates Stress That Blocks Our Minds
I get anxiety over things that should cause me stress. Almost all of us do this at some point throughout the day or week. This stress can block us creatively and kill any motivation we might have had at the beginning of the day. Writing down your anxieties and frustrations at the end of each night can help ease that tension we create. I'm not saying writing down a lousy day eliminates all the emotions that surfaced by any means. However, it does help in the same way similarly to talking to someone.

Have you ever ranted to a friend about your day and felt a little bit better? It's because you released what you were feeling. You might not physically see the stress leave, but you can feel a difference. Your troubles and thoughts lose power when spoken out loud. It is the same idea behind writing it down in a journal. When you see it written out on paper, it becomes a lot less scary. Our minds can amplify an emotion where paper only speaks the truth. Look over that stress. Does it look all that bad now? Are there ways you can improve the situation?

There indeed is something to a journal. Even therapists usually advise writing down your thoughts and feelings. Just try this out for one week, and you will see a difference. Often the only roadblock we come across is our mind getting in the way. Put pen to paper, and you might be able to see that the barrier was a silly little bump that you can easily walk through.

Keeps Your Ideas Saved
This tip is easily the most significant reason we should all have a journal on us at all times. For me, I can have all the motivation in the world, but it means nothing without writing ideas. Being able to write is a lot easier than coming up with a new prompt. I also can't just sit down and come up with ideas. While I schedule days that help me research new topics I still face troubles. This is where a journal becomes hugely beneficial.

You know that idea that pops into your head right before bed? It is absolutely genius, and you cannot wait to talk about it the next day. Once that morning comes around we forget whatever it was that was going to change our lives. Keep a journal next to your bed for random ideas that pop in. This keeps them saved until you are ready for them. The 'great' thoughts I have before bed are usually hysterical. That being said, this is an excellent method I use daily.

Sometimes we can schedule a chunk of time to work, but our minds don't want to show up. I like to keep prepared for whenever my brain does decide to turn on and pour out inspiration. A journal can even help start the idea process by randomly scribbling. Have you talked to a friend and forgot mid-sentence what it was you were going to say? The harder you try to grasp, the faster the thought slips from your head. Once you both start talking about a different subject that is when it comes back to you, random scribbles can do the same thing for our brains.

Don't know what to do? Write down whatever comes to your head. It doesn't have to make sense, and it doesn't even have to be words. Before you know it, you'll have what you were looking for. If you look at my idea journal, you will see several pages filled with nonsense. I promise, this method really will do wonders if you give it a try.

Journals, to me, are a form of self-care that I try to use every day. They help me stay organized, on task and destress after a long day. We all have the ability in our heads to do something great; we might need a little help getting it started. Tell me, what are some things you use your journal for? How does it help you stay motivated?  

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