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In my years in business, I kept seeing a common denominator in people I considered successful. I ran into it again and again. Yet for some reason I fought it and resisted doing it myself for a long time.

What is it?

Journaling.

Keeping a journal isn’t something that’s natural and easy for most people. I know it wasn’t for me when I finally started. But some of you will find that it’s unbelievably helpful.

There are many benefits to journaling. Some of those include:

  • Stress reduction through organizing your thoughts.
  • Healing by letting you be honest, trusting, and nonjudgemental.
  • Builds your self-confidence and self-knowledge.
  • Personal growth by integrating your feelings and life experiences.
  • Better problem solving by showing relationships and connectivity.
  • Enhances intuition and creativity.
  • Captures your life story.

Despite all those benefits, the first time you begin journaling, it’s probably not going to be easy. When you sit down to do it, you might not have anything to put down.

Just start! Even writing, “I don’t know what to write,” is a starting point.

Here are a a few optional steps for journaling:

  1. Don’t worry about following any rules.
  2. Honor yourself with a nice journal and a nice pen.
  3. Start today, and do it every day.
  4. Journal in private, so you can dig deep.
  5. Write fast, and don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar.
  6. Don’t over-think.
  7. Focus on positive thoughts.
  8. Don’t be a realist, be optimistic.

When journaling, there are a few different ways to write. Obviously, it can be completely free-form if you think you’ll like that.

If you like a little more guidance, here are a few things you can ask yourself.

  • What are my goals?
  • What are three things I want to accomplish tomorrow? (Or today, if you journal in the morning)
  • What’s the last thing that made you laugh really hard?
  • What’s the last thing that made you cry really hard?
  • What drives you and inspires you?
  • Who do you need to forgive?
  • Who are you grateful for?
  • What are the attributes and skills of the person you want to become?

Finally, if it makes sense for you, you can organize your daily experiences into the following categories. Using the acronym B.A.G.E.L.S., write about your day in each of these areas.

B – Behaviors
A – Attitude
G – Grateful
E – Evaluate (the day’s rating on a scale of 1 – 10)
L – Lessons Learned
S – Successes

I would encourage you to at least attempt journaling, to see if it’s beneficial for you. And just one day or even one week of journaling doesn’t count. Do it for about a month or so to see if it can help you.

Remember, many successful people find it incredibly beneficial.

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