Journaling is an important life and career success tool. The other day, I read an article by my friend Dan Robey, author of The Power of Positive Habits on journaling. Dan is a good guy. He always lets me post his articles on this career advice blog. Check out what Dan has to say about journaling…
The Positive Habit of Keeping a Journal Can Change Your Life.
“Keeping a journal will absolutely change your life in ways you’ve never imagined.” – Oprah Winfrey
Why is it so important to keep a journal?
Here are just a few of the benefits a personal journal will provide you:
A journal will remind you of your goals and the actions you are taking towards them every day. You are writing down your goals for 2012, right?
It allows you to factually track your progress as you head closer towards your goals. Here is an example. Suppose you had set a new goal to lose 20 lbs in the next 3 months. Record your weight in your journal each day, you will now be able to see trends in your weight loss that you would not have seen without the journal.
It provides detailed information such as dietary changes, calorie reductions, fat reduction, and so on.
It helps build your self-esteem because you are reaffirming the positive benefits you are achieving as you get closer to your goals.
It helps to paint the picture every day of who you are becoming.
When you see positive results as they happen, you will become energized with optimism.
Here are a couple of simple journal tips:
Keep a simple short log, it’s easy, and it usually only takes 1 minute of your time. Each day, make short entries into your journal, list such things as your attitude, emotions, diet, weight, responses to situations and conditions in your life.
For example, if having a healthy heart is one of your goals, you will want to keep track of your cholesterol levels, your blood pressure, your weight. (Obviously, all of this data would not be recorded daily, but some entry would be recorded each day)
Try this simple little exercise.
Get out a note pad or a sheet of paper and a pencil. Look at your watch. When the second hand hits 12, start timing yourself as you write down the following information:
5/27/12 Sun.-Felt great all day. Weight 135 pounds. Walked briskly for 20 minutes. Had healthy almonds and nuts for snacks.
More than likely, you completed writing down the information in approximately 1 minute. Yet, in that 1 minute, you created an important snapshot of important data in your life. You now have historical data you can refer to as time goes by, to help you track your progress as you move towards your life goals.
I know how well this works. For many, I have kept a simple, yet informative log of every day of my life. I can tell you exactly how I felt on Wed., July 25,1999, or any day since. I can look back and see how I reacted to issues in my life and what helped me overcome an illness, injury or stressful period in my life.
It generally takes me less than two minutes to record the log for any day. It is a habit that has become a part of my life; it is now second nature for me. If you have a computer, I recommend typing just three to four lines of descriptive text into a word processing program or notepad each day.
As you can see, Dan’s writing focuses on living a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve. Tweet 91 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “The better you feel, the better you’ll perform. Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat well. Exercise regularly. Get regular checkups. I hope you can see how using Dan’s journaling model can help you live a healthy lifestyle.
I urge members of my membership site to keep a journal. Here are the Journaling instructions I give them.
Journaling is a great way to keep your corporate climb moving along steadily. It doesn’t have to be hard work. I suggest you write in your journal at least once a week. At a minimum answer each of the following questions every time you write in your journal.
1) What did I do since the last time I’ve written in this journal that really moved me toward my corporate career success? Be specific. Describe not only what you did, but why you think it moved you closer to your corporate career success. You’ll want to continue doing this type of activity.
2) What did I do since the last time I’ve written in this journal that hindered my progression toward my corporate career success. Be specific. Describe not only what you did, but why you think it hindered your corporate career success progression. You’ll want to stop doing this type of activity.
3) What could I have done since the last time I’ve written in this journal that would have moved me close to my corporate career success if I had done it? Describe not only what you failed to do, but why failing to do this hindered your corporate career success progression. You’ll want to start doing this type of activity.
It’s that simple. If you answer these three questions every time you write in your journal, you’ll be on your way to creating the corporate career success you want and deserve. You can label these sections simply – CONTINUE, STOP, START. Good luck with your journaling.
The career success coach point here is simple common sense. Journaling – whether daily, weekly or any interval in between – is a great way to manage your life and career success. The important thing about journaling is to stick with it. If you do, you’ll have a long term record of your successes, failures and the reasons for them. I agree with Oprah on this one. “Keeping a journal will absolutely change your life in ways you’ve never imagined.”
That’s my career advice on journaling. What do you think? Please share your thoughts with us in a comment. Better yet, share your journaling experience. As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.
PS: If you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you check out my career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained. The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less. The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy. You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.
PPS: Have you seen my membership site, My Corporate Climb? It’s devoted to helping people just like you create career success inside large corporations. You can find out about it by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.