So, with this blog article, will begin our first “3 Part Series” and launch our Autumn Challenge (insert: Loud applause)!
On this first day of Autumn – lets commit to 30 days of Journaling (I will tell you why at the end of this article). This week we will explore 4 Things We Need For Journaling. And then we will tackle the Myths of Journaling, and the week after that we will launch into some Prompts to Get You Journaling (even when your mind is blank). So – let’s get going and #Makeitso!
4 Things We Need For Journaling
Keeping a journal. Marcus Aurelius had one. So did Mark Twain. Theodore Roosevelt wrote faithfully in his. Da Vinci, Ernest Hemingway (to name a few), great men have taken time to writing and reviewing their actions, thoughts, and (yikes yes) even our feelings.
But Journaling has become a lost art. As a society we seem less focussed on self-reflection, and more so on self-promotion. A “selfie” and even "tiktoking" our every move (not to mention every meal) has become the core of what we do. “To Tweet” is seen as a status update with more value, then to take a moment interiorily to ‘self update’ how we are really doing. And while there’s nothing wrong with “updating our followers”, we also need to take time to “update ourselves” on how we really are. Simply put, we need journals now more than ever.
Many of our most excelling clients here at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada, track the start of their success, to our process of encouraging them toward journaling as a valuable tool for personal reflection and growth. However, without the right tools, and a little guidance, it can be one of the most difficult habits to establish. Even with this resistance, there is a tremendous value that comes with daily reflection, and contrary to the usual perceived large hurdle, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Journaling can be daunting for any number of reasons. But you can change that. Here are four tips to get you started.
Pick a Style. You don’t need a ‘book.’ You may prefer a legal pad, notebook, or journal you already have on hand. Some people even use their laptop and keep it all in a word document. It can be whatever provides the space you need to write and whatever you are comfortable with. So first tip - pick a style you like - and stick to it.
Pick a Format. The blank page (or screen) is scary. It can be intimidating to know what to write and leads to wasted time. So find something that guides your daily reflection. Our Clients at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada start off with three questions: “What was your ‘win’ today? What was your “woe” today? and “What is your "want" today?” In other words, something that went well, something that tanked, and something you wish. Just determine what prompts will encourage you to reflect, but give our three a try - and stick to it.
Pick a Time. Whether you decide to journal in the morning or evening, pick a time. You may have to rearrange part of your daily routine to fit journaling in, but you want it to become a natural rhythm in your day. If you are a 'morning person' well you will find it easier in the morning. If you are a 'night owl' same goes. If you are not sure, try either - and stick to it.
Pick a Trigger. Like any habit, to start you will need a daily cue to prompt the intended action. This could be a calendar alert or alarm. You will also need to set a trigger when to stop. Some give up after 5 minutes, but we recommend a minimum of 15 minutes a day to write down your wins, woes and wants. Select your trigger - and stick to it.
So the Autumn Challenge
For many, journaling can be painful. But it doesn’t have to be. Our Autumn Challenge invites you to commit to journaling for 30 days (yep you probably caught on) - and stick to it. If you quit a week into your journaling attempt, you won’t see results. But practice reflection for a month, and you will feel the positive effects. Push through the resistance and every day after will feel easier the key is - stick to it.
So why do the Autumn Challenge? You’ll gain perspective and live with gratitude. You’ll also supercharge your clarity and make better decisions. If you don’t think so - then prove me wrong.
So how do you take the Autumn Challenge? Go over the 4 tips and select a Style, Format, Time and Trigger. Then try reflecting on, and writing down (even in point form), your wins, woes and wants for 30 days. Commit to 15 minutes, write them down, consider them and just simply track your sense of your awareness of your circumstances, clarity of thought, and gratitude for life.
Drop me an email if you need some more insights or “how to’s ” or you want some accompanyment and accountability in the challenge. If you get stuck along the way, or are having a hard time "sticking to it"; let me know. I would love to make you part of the Phoenix Men who are journaling daily, and living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow !
So – let’s #Makeitso!