Back in the day, writing in a daily journal was cool. As a kid, I called it a diary. As an adult, I call it a journal. It doesn’t matter what you call it, the benefits of keeping track of your daily life are many. You can modify what you put in your journal and keep track of moods, thoughts, experiences, concerns, successes, and more. And you can look back in your journal twenty years from now and remember all the days of your life with more clarity. If you are not keeping a daily journal yet, this challenge is for you. But first, let’s look at why you would want to keep a daily journal in the first place.
5 Reasons To Take The Daily Journal Challenge
1. Make Progress In Life
As you journal, you will notice themes. By noticing those themes, you can make adjustments to your life for more happiness, better health, better relationships, etc.
For instance, when you look back on your week or month you may see a theme of being unproductive in your days. Once you have spotted a theme like that, you can do something about it. You can clearly see that it’s an area you need to work on and then take action to become more productive in your days.
Or, you may notice a theme of complaining about your relationship. If that’s the case, you can drill down to what is causing the problem and find a way to fix that.
2. Learn To Seek Counsel Inward
I strongly believe that we have many of the answers we seek inside. We know ourselves best. We know our values, what we are willing to do, what we have done, and what we think on a day to day basis. We know ourselves better than anyone else! Therefore, when you journal, you can turn to yourself as you spill your guts, ask questions, and try to find a solution that is best for you.
3. Become More Mindful
The more you reflect on your days and yourself, the more mindful you will become. You will start to pay attention to your day and what you want to note about it. You will take note of things that happen so that you can write it down later (or instantly if you carry your journal with you). And, when you start to notice themes in your life through your journal, you start to notice them during the moment too.
For instance, a friend of mine noted in her journal that people were always mad at her at work. The more she wrote about it in her journal, the more she started paying attention to her behavior at work and realized that she was abusing her power at work and making people do more than their share of work.
Many people are not mindful in their life and they can’t see how their actions, words, and habits are affecting themselves or people around them. Journaling can help.
4. Remember Moments That You Might Otherwise Forget
Can’t remember what happened last week? You are not alone.
Most people see their days as a blur and don’t take note of or remember the little things in their day that were unique and worth remembering.
When you journal, you will be writing down those little things and, just by doing that alone, you will remember your days better. But, if you sit back and read your journal, you will find those little moments come back to life in a big way.
In other words, when you journal, your life will full of more memories and experiences to draw from, talk about, and reflect on.
5. Improve Mental Health
Most of us experience anxiety, stress, or depression occasionally. Some of us more than others. According to this article from the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help you manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with depression. It can give you an outlet to spot negative thoughts and behaviors and practice more positive self-talk.
Your mood can improve – and when that happens, you have more of a positive effect on yourself and the people around you, which in turn improves your mental health further.
30-Daily Journal Challenge: Let’s Get Writing!
This is a daily journal challenge. I highly recommend you slot in some time for journaling daily because, even though it’s rewarding, other things can take precedence and you may not journal for a day if you are not dedicating some time to it.
Some people won’t have that problem, though. Some people will put their journal time first as they realize the power of it. But, I still recommend that you dedicate certain times to write in your journal.
1. Buy Your Journal
First, you need a journal. You may be tempted to just throw some paper in a binder, but, trust me, that will not motivate most people to write daily.
A good journal is one that inspires you to write. The color and texture must be pleasant to you. Even the way the pages are lined can make a difference in how you feel about the journal and writing in it.
And, depending on whether you want to write only at home or on the go, you need to get a size that matches you perfectly.
There are so many different journals out there that it can get overwhelming. Just get one that resonates with you most.
2. Decide How You Want To Journal
Because a journal is so useful for so many different areas of life, you may want to journal in sections rather than just writing down everything that comes to mind. Or, you can include a section for brain dumping and then use other sections for things like gratitude, health, work, lessons learned, and moods.
If you are going to include sections, use the same order every time so it becomes a habit and easy to do.
August 25th, Friday
Today was an annoying day. My boss was a jerk, Todd was annoyed about nothing, and my mom phoned me to tell me how little I was doing with my life. Why can’t I just win the lottery and go to a remote island?
- I had a good sleep last night
- My breakfast this morning was amazing
- I’m happy I have a job
- Jim helped me out at work
- My mom cares about me
I’m feeling a bit under the weather. I haven’t been exercising as much as I want to and I have definitely been eating too much unhealthy food. I should probably work on that. But what should I do? Here’s my plan…
And on and on you go with whatever you want to keep track of, note, think about, or just vent about.
3. Ask Questions
Asking questions helps you reflect on things that you may not otherwise reflect on. It also helps you discover more about yourself and what you want/don’t want or like/dislike.
You can buy journals that include a daily question, but you can also just write your question in at the beginning or end of your daily journal entry.