Journaling is a common trait among successful people in many areas including business, sport, teaching, stock trading, parenting and so on. It gives you the opportunity to get an objective view of yourself, your actions and your results.
Every action leads to a result
Journaling and goal setting is a concrete way to analyse what you want and if your actions are getting your desired results. Creating consistent and increasing success depends on your ability to take an objective view of your actions and adjust those actions until they are producing the results you desire.
Through journaling you can identify your habits; good and bad. This gives you a chance to reinforce what works and rethink what doesn’t work. You start to consciously realise when you’re about to fall into a bad habit or make a poor decision and you will be able to consciously decide to make a better choice.
Actively engage your brain
Journaling gives you more control over your mindset and allows you to decide which thoughts you are going to keep at the forefront of your mind. Journaling engages your reticular activating system. This is the section of the brain that deletes most of what you see, hear and feel and helps you focus on what is really important to you.
The way that you tell the reticular activating system that something is important to you is to think about it intensely.
Be careful though because if you focus on how difficult it is to find solutions to your problems then you reticular activating system will delete all the evidence that finding solutions is easy. If your journaling is focused on finding solutions and getting better, then you will find that you notice ways to move ahead and improve much more regularly.
Accountability to yourself, and even better to a coach or supporter, is another good reason to keep a journal. In his book “It’s not about the money”, Bob Proctor highlights an interesting statistic. He found that when students said that they were going to do something but did not write it down or tell anybody else they were only 20% likely to follow through on their intended actions.
Journaling improves learning
In addition to providing a vehicle for positive focus and accountability journaling is a great learning tool. Keeping track of your activities means you can learn from each experience. Not just move mindlessly from one experience to the next. Every experience is potentially embedded with a lesson. If we don’t record our actions and their outcomes we can allow valuable learning opportunities to go begging.
A main point of difference between people who create success and those who struggle is their commitment to learning from each experience. Recording your thoughts and actions means you can measure and improve.