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Nov 22

Benefits of Daily Journaling

journalBefore you’re finished reading this, I’ll provide you:

  1. With a great gift idea that really works
  2. A story of a spiritual exercise that I’ve failed at until recently
  3. With 7 benefits to daily journaling

I’m always in the  process of growing in my faith. One of the newest experiments that I’ve decided to try is one that I’ve failed at in the past.  Not just failed but failed miserably.  So much so that  I had written it off as just not something I was going to master.  So what was it?  It was daily journaling! The problem for me was twofold.. First I had  to get past the idea that this was the male equivalent of a diary which honestly was hard to overcome.  Secondly is that I would get traction then lose interest. That cycle would eventually cause me to write it off for years until…

Until a podcast I was listening to mentioned The Five Minute Journal. This is exactly what it says but more… The  more? It’s not a journal with just lines in it’s pages.  It’s a gratitude journal. It provides a structured set of questions that you answer each day. The questions are the same each day.  The questions?

  1. I am grateful for ______________________
  2. What would make today great __________________________
  3. Daily affirmations. I am _________________________

You make a commitment to answer these questions each day when you wake up, then at the end of the day before bed there are other questions you answer.  All centered around gratitude.

When you begin to focus on gratitude when you wake up and before you go to bed, it’s a game changer!  I have stuck with it now for about a month and it takes just 5 minutes.

I like it so much that I’m recommending it as a great gift for anyone on your  gift list.

The benefits of journaling have been known for a long time.  Just search Google and you get over 41 million articles. So that you don’t have to read them all I thought you’d like to read just 7 benefits of journaling from Michael Hyatt:

If I had to sum it up, I would say journaling has afforded me seven benefits. It has enabled me to:

  1. Process previous events. What happens to me is not as important as the meaning I assign to what happens to me. Journaling helps me sort through my experience and be intentional about my interpretation.
  2. Clarify my thinking. Writing in general helps me disentangle my thoughts. Journaling takes it to a new level. Because I am not performing in front of a “live audience,” so to speak, I can really wrestle through the issues.
  3. Understand the context. Life is often happening so quickly I usually have little time to stop and reflect on where I am in the Bigger Story. Journaling helps me to discern the difference between the forest and the trees.
  4. Notice my feelings. I understand feelings aren’t everything, but they also aren’t nothing. The older I get, the more I try to pay attention to them. They are often an early indicator of something brewing.
  5. Connect with my heart. I’m not sure I can really explain this one, but journaling has helped me monitor the condition of my heart. Solomon said “above all else” we are to guard it (see Proverbs 4:23). It’s hard to do that when you lose touch with it.
  6. Record significant lessons. I’m a better student when I am taking notes. Writing things down leads to even deeper understanding and, I hope, wisdom. I want to write down what I learn, so I don’t have to re-learn it later.
  7. Ask important questions. A journal is not merely a repository for the lessons I am learning but also the questions I’m asking. If there’s one thing I have discovered, it’s the quality of my questions determine the quality of my answers.

If you’d like to read the entire article, you can do that here.