I’ve been journaling since I was a kid. It’s always been therapeutic for me to take all that’s in my head and get it down on paper. Sometimes the words are beautiful, profound, intricate. Sometimes they’re hard, short, abrasive. I have journals dating back to when I was 10 or 11 years old, mind you it has the Spice Girls on the cover and is protected by a cheap lock that I don’t have the heart to break and have long since lost the key.
Unintentionally, journaling became the start of my self development journey. It became a way for me to reflect and realize through my own words all that was really happening inside of me. I love looking back at my journals over the years because they’ve taught me one of my most important lessons I wouldn’t have otherwise recognized if it weren’t for my own words of the past. We all have patterns in our life, whether it’s the relationship we keep finding ourselves in, the job or business mistake we keep experiencing, the time of year we feel most excited or in love. Some of these patterns serve us, some don’t. Yet if we don’t recognize and acknowledge them, we won’t have the opportunity to change them if they no longer serve us or magnify them if they’re contributing to our success. I find we often keep experiencing the same pattern until we evolve past it which takes recognition and intention.
For many people I work with, journaling is often the first step in their start on the Wake Up journey. Journaling gives us the ability to reflect in a way we’re not able to without a place to go back to reflect on our thoughts in any particular moment. Often times without the proof of our own words we’ll forget the pattern we’re experiencing is one we’ve found ourselves in many times before.
I don’t believe in pressuring yourself to write 5 pages a day, just start by jotting down your thoughts daily. Sometimes my journal entries are a quick few sentences and, yes, sometimes they are a few pages but I’ll never pressure myself to write more than what intuitively comes out of me that day. If you’re having trouble journaling, below are a few prompts to start you on your journey:
- What did I learn, how did I grow today?
- What do I feel today? What happened to make me feel that way?
- If I had to paint a picture of what I’m feeling right now, what would I paint?
- What am I grateful for today?
- What did I do today that made me proud of the person I am?
- If today was hard, why was it hard? Can I think of another time in my life that I’ve experienced similar emotions or reactions? What can I learn from this pattern? How could I change my response or actions in the future to no longer experience this pattern?
- What about today made me happy?