I remember as a teenager keeping what I then called a diary, I would talk about my feelings and what I thought of myself but if I am honest it revolved around boys, friends and going out.
Later, when I went travelling I started to keep a journal as a keepsake and memento. I remember being on my own in a beautiful lake sitting and writing down how I was feeling and my dreams for the future.
When I was living in New York at 25 I would write and write in it every night as I struggled with loneliness and what I wanted to do with my life.
And then, it stopped. Life happened and I lost the art of journalling. When I was training as a teacher I was encouraged to reflect on my lessons and I always did, I even had a book that I would write thoughts and feelings in which stayed with me throughout my 12 year career in education.
But the personal reflections had stopped.
It was only about a year ago that the concept of journalling started coming up again. My initial thoughts were “this is not for me” and ” I don't have time for that”. I naively thought I was pretty in tune with how I felt and I didn't need to do this extra thing. My whole belief about it was that it was going to create more work.
But, one day I started. I started small focusing on the things that I was grateful for that day. It felt great and I realised how often I forgot those things.
This week I had a 24 hour period which saw my laptop break and my youngest have chicken pox, neither of them the end of the world but both had the power to take over how I felt. So I took a step back and wrote down the things I was grateful for, the list covered two pages. There were loads of things I had forgotten that had happened – I had been asked to run some sessions for a business, I had signed up 3 new clients, I had invested in a copywriter, I had some great feedback from existing clients, I had got my wedding photos back!
My point is, you can easily forget all the things that you have achieved. By having them written down in one place you can give yourself a boost if something happens. It is another way I strengthen my mindset and have developed my resilience.
Another reason I love journalling is it helps make sense of what is going on in my head. It gives me a creative outlet and it is where I have come up with lots of brilliant ideas.
As a coach I invest in coaches and trust me they don't come cheap, by journalling daily I am really clear about what I want to focus on in my sessions and find that my progress is accelerated because of this.
Finally I find it therapeutic, my husband doesn't need to hear all about what is going on in my head and if I do have an issue I find journalling through it really helps gain clarity and understand where I am emotionally. This reflection time means I can make sense of what is going on for me before discussing it further.
The therapeutic element is one thing that benefits me both personally and professionally, if I am able to make sense of what is happening before taking action it means that I can be much more measured in the action that I take. This means that I approach things in a more measured way where I am clear on my intentions and it means I get better results.
So, my message is journalling is brilliant – it is free and it helps you gain clarity, confidence and gives you a lovely boost of happiness. I highly recommend it!