“I really enjoyed your post 10 Proven Ways to Spring Clean Your Mind, but after sitting with it I’m overwhelmed.”
That’s what I heard from a reader last week. She really loved the ideas and tactics, but didn’t know where to begin.
She thought journaling would probably a good place to start for her and I totally agree.
I can’t stress enough the importance of journaling. And if you are already journaling, are you doing it like this?
Spring cleaning your mind starts with journaling
Think about it… If you want to:
- Change any habit
- Ditch a fear
- Dump a belief
- Capture ideas on how to be more creative
- Track progress on becoming healthier
Journaling is the obvious starting point, because this is where you capture your current reality, create the desired result and decide what actions you need to take to move forward.
The habit of daily journaling is crucial to growth, development, innovation and entrepreneurial success.
Capturing ideas, thoughts and feelings, then processing them and taking more beneficial actions has been a habit of the top thinkers, philosophers, writers and entrepreneurs for centuries.
Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Anne Frank, Benjamin Franklin, John D. Rockefeller all kept journals. They wrote in them daily and repeatedly.
7 reasons why journaling is for you
I did some research and there are literally hundreds of benefits professionally and personally credited to journaling by entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders, but for sake of space and succinctness, here are the top 7 reasons that should immediately compel you to grab a pen and some paper.
- Promotes creativity
- Provides clarity
- Captures ideas and innovations
- Processes emotions and important situations
- Clarifies dreams, visions and goals
- Improves learning
- Boosts thinking and problem solving
Sorry – analog only
The simple act of physically writing, using pen and paper, not a computer or keyboard is key. There is tactile transference of ideas, thoughts and emotions that can only be felt writing on paper. Writing is a visceral experience that captures the entire range of your thoughts, moods and energy more powerfully than any electronic document. There is tremendous insight gained by seeing your own writing and feeling your energy flow through your pen onto the paper.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to do this…
I’m going to lay out the simplest and easiest way to start a journaling habit so you get results.
Trust me, it’s pain free, takes only a few minutes and will not cramp up your hand.
Here we go… how to journal…
Morning Boot Up – 5 minutes
Before you start work, before you check email, before you pretty much do anything besides brush your teeth, take 5 minutes, reflect and journal on the following:
- What are you grateful for? This can be anything, heat in your house, your ability to see, your partner or your children. Start your day journaling what you are thankful for. It sets the table for an optimistic problem solving mindset.
- What is your mood? Write out how you’re feeling, what thoughts and emotions are you experiencing right now? Are you feeling excited, flat or down?
- What are the “Top 5” things you want to get done today? This is a key productivity measure that I borrowed from Robin Sharma. It’s not your top 10 or 20 and it’s not a lengthy to do list. It’s simply the “Top 5” laser focused items you must accomplish today so you can hit your goals.
Midday Systems Check – 5 minutes
- Check in – How is your day going? What has come up for you? Are you on track? Simple as that. Just get down a few sentences that reflect your mood, emotions and what is going on with your day.
Evening Shutdown – 5 minutes
Do this right after you finish working or right before you go to bed.
- What went well? What worked today? What did you accomplish? What were your victories? Did you get your “Top 5” knocked out?
- What didn’t go so well? What didn’t work? What went wrong? What happened that threw your day off?
- What will you do differently tomorrow? This is the most important piece of daily journaling. This is where you decide to take different actions to achieve different results. This is how you start to change.
Do this daily and you will see dramatic improvements in your business performance and life.
This is a practice I have all of my personal coaching clients develop. In the beginning I hear a lot of excuses why they don’t have time or how hard it is and then tremendous gratitude for the results they get after making it a part of their day and life.
And all it takes is 15 minutes a day.
Make daily journaling a habit
Now let’s be clear, I’m not asking you to write a novel. And if you don’t have much to say that’s ok too, as long as you get in the habit of writing in your journal 3 times a day.
There is so much you can do with journaling. The possibilities are limitless, but to get your spring cleaning underway, buy a journal or a notebook , grab a pen and commit to journaling for 30 days.
You wont regret it and you’ll see results.
If you already have journaling nailed down, then my suggestion for attacking the other ideas in my 1st Spring Clean Your Mind post is to take on the item that called out to you the loudest or left you with a sour stomach as something that you need to do.
Just keep journaling and slowly move through the list. Give yourself a few months and by mid summer you’ll be feeling stonger and lighter.
And please… Don’t let overwhelm set in, just move through these ideas one at a time in order of the greatest impact on your life and business.
And by all means, if you need help, ask for it.
Grab a friend, your partner, a mentor, an accountability partner or request a free coaching strategy call with myself.