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I have kept a journal on and off since I was a teenager – I always loved to pour out my thoughts and ideas onto paper (it’s a shame I lost those teenage journals, I would have loved to read them today!). Journalling is now a firmly engrained habit in my life and I never go more than a couple of days without journalling.

Do you keep a journal? If not, here’s five good reasons you should!

1 |  It’s therapeutic

Whether you can barely get the words onto paper fast enough in excitement, or tears flow onto the page as you write down how you feel about a painful experience, journalling can be really therapeutic and it certainly is for me. There’s something about being able to get those thoughts and feelings inside of you onto paper that immediately lightens the load within and can also help to create more clarity. Some people don’t feel comfortable talking to someone else about their deepest, darkest thoughts or else don’t have anyone to talk to and so journalling is a great way to be able to have an outlet to express what’s on your heart. Even if it’s just a log about how your day went and what you hope to achieve over the rest of the week, it’s still therapeutic to get it out there onto paper. Research has indicated that keeping a journal can help to relieve stress and anxiety as you’re getting your feelings out onto paper which is another great reason to get your pen out. I have had some occasions where I’ve been really annoyed, ok, even angry! – and writing my annoyed, angry thoughts down helps to dissipate those angry feelings and stops me from saying things to people in haste that I might later regret. It often makes me see things in a totally different way, like ‘this is actually silly and not even worth getting angry over!’

2 |  Improve your productivity

Journalling has always been one of the foundation stones of starting my day – by journalling, I am setting my intentions for the day ahead and deciding what to focus my attention on rather than letting the day throw whatever it wants at me. As Jim Rohn once said ‘Either you run the day, or the day runs you!’ Throughout the day I know what intentions I set earlier and I make a conscious effort to ensure all my actions align with those intentions. Sure, sometimes other things come up unexpectedly but generally, it’s good to be in control of your day! Even if it’s just a short paragraph, journalling can help you organise those thoughts and ideas swirling around in your head and start taking action on them. If you’re journalling regularly too, you can see how you’re following through on the intentions you set from day to day, which leads me onto the next good reason to keep a journal …

3 |  Document your journey

Keeping a journal is a wonderful way to document your journey whether its personal or professional or both. I keep both a personal journal and a business journal and document my respective journeys in there. By getting the words out onto paper, it really does feel like a journey because each day I am taking another step and experiencing new things. The great thing is going back and reading your journals – this is something I only recently started doing when I realised that I really did need to properly review my past journey to learn lessons and reflect before continuing the next leg of my journey. By documenting your experiences and then looking back, say six months, or a year later, you realise how far you have come and how much you have grown as a person. And … you are literally writing the story of your life, how amazing is that?

4 |  Become more self-aware

Socrates famously told us to ‘Know thyself’. Journalling is probably one of the best ways to get to know yourself. It’s a great opportunity to do some deep self-reflection and self-discovery. So many people simply rush through each day without giving a moments’ thought to why they are doing what they are doing, or where they are actually going in the long term – they just go through the motions each day. By taking time to pause momentarily and write down your thoughts and feelings, you become much more aware of your real self, your ‘higher’ self, and the things that really matter to you. When I journal, I often feel as though I am observing myself as an outsider, this gives me a fresh perspective on things and allows me to almost coach myself, if that makes sense! Seeing what I’ve written down on paper makes those thoughts real and makes me far more aware of who I really am and what I need in that season of my life.

5 |  Improve your creativity

Finally, journalling allows you to unleash your creativity onto the page. There are no hard and fast rules for journalling, some people are short and to the point and others waffle on forever (yep, that’s me, although I do restrict myself nowadays!). By exploring your thoughts, feelings and emotions, you’re allowing your creativity to unfold and work its magic. We all have creativity within us, we just have to give it space to emerge and journalling is a great way to do that. I sometimes get random ideas pop into my head and I capture those ideas in my journal with a little lightbulb image next to it!  At some point, when I need some inspiration, I’ll look back for all my little lightbulb images and notes and viola – creativity starts to flow again!

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of journals out there and I’m sure there is at least one that suits your needs – from bullet journals to write as much as you want journals, and everything in between.

Because I love using planners to stay organised and love to journal too, I created my own bespoke ‘planner-journal’ called the Born to Flourish ® planner-journal. It combines all the practicalities of a planner (with planning and organising aspects) together with the all-important ‘mindset’ elements of a journal. It has a strong focus on personal growth with plenty of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly prompts and reflections to keep you focused on what truly matters to you. I use my planner-journal every day and now share it with anyone who wants to use it in their own journey to flourishing and being all they were destined to be!

You can check out my Born to Flourish ® planner-journal which is available in printable PDF and Digital formats (to use on your iPad / tablet) << RIGHT HERE! >>

Do you keep a journal? What do you love most about it?