Hello, my friend, and welcome back!
For those of us with driven minds, we are cursed and blessed with a mind that’s always going.
It’s tough to rein it in, and if we’re not careful, the driven mind which powers us and our business will drive us into the ground.
One of the best ways to harness the mind I’ve discovered in my many years as a leader and leadership coach is to journal.
Today I want to talk to you about 4 effective journaling tips.
Journaling is known to reduce stress and guide the mind. It’s a great way to reflect and get better control over what’s happening in your life and business. I recommend:
- Pick The Right Medium
- Commit Consistent Time
- Decide On A Method
- Allow For Evolution
Let’s dive in, my friends.
Are You For Real, Kenny?
Why would I not want to talk to you about this?
As little as a year ago, I have started and stopped more journals than I can even put my hand around.
You might be a little bit like me when you know; we’re cracking the code of the driven mind together.
This is a code that was very challenging for me to crack.
It was very difficult for me to find my rhythm, find my groove, and find a routine that truly worked.
Here’s the thing:
Everybody take a deep breath right now and let it out and relax.
The past doesn’t matter.
I am living proof that you can find a journaling strategy that will work for you, but here’s the challenge:
They are not one size fits all.
What works for some people will not work for other people.
We live in this technology world now where there’s an app for everything.
You know, at some point, there will probably be one that’s going to read my mind and transcribe it automatically for me.
Let’s take a step back and remember why I want a journal in the first place.
Before we dig into that, I wanted to share an awesome resource we’re developing in real-time every second of every day.
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Why Do Leaders Need To Journal?
Journaling can be very challenging.
However, it is one of the most simple things that completely changed my mindset, my perspective, my awareness, how I process challenges, and how I embrace opportunities.
It’s the easiest change that helped me become the leader that I am today.
I can’t imagine being who I am now without getting up and going to this tool or using the tips that I’ve now learned.
My friend, this mind that you have is incredible, the subconscious is unbelievably powerful, and it is doing the very best job that it knows how to do.
And when it’s doing a very effective job, if it is not consistently retrained and reprogrammed, it will make you crazy.
I know I’m not alone. I can’t shut it off or sleep well at night.
My mind gives me a hard time.
Oh, I’ve got this going on. I’ve got that going.
Your mind is running.
Part of my whole goal with our time together is to simply slow things down.
We do this by protecting our minds. Click the link to check out our detailed blog on the topic.
One of the ways we do this is through journaling.
Today it’s really about:
How do I get better at journaling?
In my journey, friends, this is what I’ve learned.
4 Effective Journaling Tips
#1 Pick The Right Medium
First and foremost is the medium.
There are all different types of mediums that you can use.
There’s probably an app that you could find that may work for you.
In Google Docs or Word, you can type or dictate.
I’ve got some friends and clients who like to voice dictate journals.
I’ve got some who don’t like to voice a journal and write.
You need to find what works for you, but here’s my two cents:
It’s important to use your hands and to slow your mind down by writing rather than just talking.
However, anything that gets you started is good.
This is your journal; practice it like yoga.
They call it practice for a reason.
You’re never going to master journaling.
You might get in a routine and do it effectively, but it’s going to be a work in progress for you.
That’s where I want to set you free today.
What’s going to be the medium that you want.
Some sort of a program?
If it is a notebook, is it going to be a small or bigger notebook?
Will it have lined paper?
Will it have blank paper?
Does it have cut-out stickers or whatever?
Again, it doesn’t matter, but you need to pick a medium that you’re comfortable with.
For me, I write in a blank notebook as super basic as you can get.
But I write in the same notebook every single day.
#2 Commit Consistent Time
Second thing, you have got to commit the time.
Don’t make excuses.
It’s Wednesday, and I have a lot of meetings today, so I think I need to skip it.
It’s your practice; do what you want.
But I’m telling you:
you will get the most benefit, by far, if you commit to it every single day.
I’m only talking about 10 minutes or less.
We’re not sitting down and writing a book.
I’m an author. I write blog posts, emails, books, program content, etc.
Each of those takes longer periods of time.
For journaling, all I’m talking about is downloading my brain onto paper to get it out of my subconscious.
As soon as it’s out of my subconscious, it becomes real.
We have a thing in business:
If it’s not written, it’s not real.
The same is true when it comes to you and your own subconscious.
As soon as I write down how I felt yesterday, where I was served really well, where I could have done much better, it’s now real.
I felt that, and I wrote it down.
Now I stopped my subconscious from playing a game over and over and trying to justify and trying to reframe and trying to retweak different types of things.
Commit that time.
10 minutes every day. You owe it to yourself.
#3 Decide On A Method
What is the methodology you will use?
I’ve gotten my medium picked out personally: a simple journal.
I’ve got my time picked out and blocked out.
First thing in the morning, I do a meditation workout; then, I’ll journal.
It’s always in the first hour and a half of my day.
I’ve gone through a different process to figure it out, and any of these methods may work for you.
I want you to pick what works for you.
I’ll share what I do in a moment.
Freestyle – Take 10 minutes to just write about whatever pops into your head.
Gratitude Journaling – Write down a certain number of things you’re grateful for. I recommend at least 5.
Goals – Write down your long-term and then short-term goals. Think and write about where you are on the path.
Line Journals – Reflect and write a single sentence to describe your day or what you want to do that day.
The key to this one is spending time reflecting to find the right line.
4 x 4s – Name 4 things that went great or you’re proud of and 4 things you want to go better.
Take some time to research different structure to give you a launching point or decide which of these sounds good to you.
#4 Allow For Evolution
Now probably the most important thing is to allow evolution.
You’ve got to allow this process to grow and change as you grow and change as a person.
My personal coach had me start out doing what he calls 4x4s.
I write about 4 things I’m proud of or grateful for and 4 things I wanted to go better.
Since my time is early morning, I’m journaling about the day before.
In this case, it was 4 things that went amazing.
It was 4 things that I’m super proud of, where I showed up amazing in that capacity.
I would just rock that part.
But then what are four things where I failed?
Damn, that sucks, man.
I can’t believe so-and-so said that to me. I can’t believe this happened.
Somebody wronged me.
I can’t believe that a client did me that way.
I can’t believe that somebody turned on their word.
Why did I show up that way?
I can’t believe I lost my temper.
Where could I have shown up a little bit better?
Don’t Just Take The Easy Road!
It’s easy for you to start with 4 things that went really well and didn’t go well.
But then, you may find it evolves if you allow it.
When it does, this is when journaling really gets working.
For me, journaling has evolved into now I write a paragraph.
Now it ends up as about a third of a page, handwritten.
Some days I’ll write a full page.
Some days I write a half page, but every day I write about a third of a page, and now I just reflect.
There are always things as you evolve as a human being, as you continue to morph into your greatest self.
You are here for a reason as you continue to understand.
Commit to apply this reason more and more.
You will grow and change.
And part of growth is the challenge.
Part of growth is resistance.
Part of growth is being aware of where you’re not growing.
Where do you need to continue to grow?
Capture those thoughts and write down.
Then, it becomes real.
Now we have something that is incredibly powerful.
My friend, you can do this.
Let me repeat.
Yes, you can become better by following these 4 effective journaling tips, just like I did.
Pick the right medium, commit some consistent time, decide on a method, and allow for evolution.
Over time, you’ll be shocked at how it improves your driven mind.
Until next time, make it a better-than-fantastic week!
You may also want to check out managing the driven mind techniques.
About Kenny Chapman
Kenny Chapman’s mission is to help driven leaders build their ideal lives and careers (even if they don’t know what that looks like yet). He is an award-winning authority on helping people discover their true potential and make the simple, though not always easy, necessary changes.
Kenny is a professionally trained speaker, consultant, columnist, author of The Six Dimensions of Change 2.0 and In-Home Sales Acceleration, and host of the Leadership in a Nutshell podcast. He is an entrepreneur at heart, building multiple successful companies, most recently the Blue Collar Success Group. His teachings have inspired individuals worldwide to reshape their lives and organizations, creating sustainable change, happiness, and personal fulfillment.