Why You Should Start Keeping A Journal

Writing in a journal can be beneficial for many different reasons. It can help you set, keep track of, and ultimately reach your goals; it can be a great motivational tool, a record of your life to look back on; and it can even be an enhancement to a yoga practice.

I've been obsessed with notebooks for as long as I can remember. There's something magical about them — the yet-to-be-filled pages that can eventually become full of memories, goals, inspirational quotes, notes, and more. I've used journaling to ground myself, to express gratitude, learn life lessons, and practice mindfulness, so I’m going to share a few different ways you can start using a journal today!

The first way I’ve used a journal is for meditative reflection. For this you can sit in a comfortable seated position, and guide yourself through a meditation. Instead of trying to step back from your thoughts, notice them in a new light, think about why you're having them and what they mean. Maybe your thoughts are focused on a single event or a person, or perhaps something broader. Whatever it is, just stick with it.

When you're ready, bring your pen to paper and continue that meditation, this time letting your thoughts spill out onto the pages. It's incredible to look back on journal entries and reflect on where you and your mindset were at that time.

Another beautiful use of a notebook is as an inspiration journal. You've probably heard of an inspiration board, and this uses the same concept. Having an inspiration notebook is in some ways better than a board, because you can bring it with you and look at it whenever you need a little boost!

A few ways you can start your journal: cut out magazine photos that you like and glue them onto the pages, write down quotes that speak to your soul, paste photos of loved ones, your child, spouse, dog — whoever or whatever brings a smile to your face. Fill this journal up with the things that make you get up in the morning, so it becomes a reflection of everything you love and the things that make you happy. It’s a place where you can write down your dreams, ambitions, and the things you are grateful for.

Finally, I've found it extremely beneficial to keep a journal in which I write down my daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly goals. There's something about having them laid out in writing that helps to maintain focus and drive, and it's pretty fun to look back and check off the goals that you've accomplished and reflect on why you didn’t reach the ones that you didn’t.

You can start by writing down your long-term goals; no need to wait until January 1 to start goal-setting! What do you want to accomplish by the end of this year? What do you want to accomplish this week? How about today? Write it all down and look at it multiple times a day to keep you on track. Think both large and small — something big can be on your list, like quitting smoking by the end of the year, and something as small as doing laundry can be on your goal list for the day. Writing down your goals helps whenever you are making a decision to ask yourself if your choice, no matter how small, is leading you closer to or further from your vision. Happy writing!

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