Journaling and the Best Next Step Part 2
Journaling for a few minutes each day can expand your experiences without the expense of travel. And it only requires a small investment of your time.
In part 1 of our Journaling and Best Next Steps blog, we talked about maintaining and building strong mental muscles as part of our overall well-being’s big picture. Unlike physical health, we can’t see our mental health, so we posed the question: How can I maintain something that I can’t see?
Let’s build on this, and ask a bigger question that focuses on creating, in addition to maintaining. How can I create new experiences that will help me learn and grow? Our answer: By reframing our perspective, being curious, and experimenting.
In other words, “confusion,” if reframed, can lead to “curiosity,” that can lead to “learning,” that can lead to “clarity,” that can lead to profoundly positive changes in personal and professional outcomes.
Journaling can help us reframe our perspective on important situations by: making time to reflect; taking time to be curious; using different lenses (“close up, portrait, and wide-angle”) as we review our experiences. Journaling, over time, creates daily logbooks of our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions at decisive moments in time. By recalling moments in which we chose to express self-compassion and understanding, and reliving the benefits of those choices, we increase our access to positive options in the present.
Perhaps our “best self” is already “on board,” and we simply have to journal to put it in “the driver’s seat.”
You took the first step by completing the CoreSelf Mapping Experience where you learned how to activate your Internal Observer/Navigator by consciously slowing down to align your energy levels and values. Potentially, you considered a daily practice of CoreSelf Journaling to continue harvesting the best next steps and real questions in other areas of life.
Taking a few minutes each day to journal, using the CoreSelf 4S Framework, can help you meet your goals and improve the quality of your life—and the relationships most important to you.
Too often ‘journaling’ is associated with therapy or suggested when someone is going through an incredibly difficult time. However, you will find that consistently completing CoreSelf Journal entries provide heightened insights and opportunities for better outcomes in all areas of life by:
- Getting on the same page with one’s self and others effectively and efficiently.
- Helping to counterbalance intense negative emotions with one’s closely held values, and well-considered thoughts and plans.
- Keeping you focused on people and projects that matter most.
- Engaging the subconscious to keep working on a situation—a eureka moment—long after it has consciously moved out of your day-to-day focus.
- Strengthening your mental health using a simple framework of exercises with a regular cadence.
- Providing a written history of daily thoughts that can be reviewed at any time to give one’s self credit for learning and growing over time.
A daily journaling practice doesn’t have to take many minutes out of your day. Committing to just 5-15 minutes a day will help you shift your awareness and help you identify your best next steps—the ones that may have been there all along, but you just weren’t in a place to see them yet.
In closing, we’d strongly encourage you to take one day a week in your journaling practice and dedicate it to gratitude (make it the same day every week). Start with one day a week and the practice will begin creeping into other days and moments. Robert Emmonds, Founder of Positive Psychology Journal, explained the reason best:
“Research on emotion shows that positive emotions wear off quickly. Our emotional systems like newness, they like novelty, they like change. We adapt to positive life circumstances, so that before too long … they just don’t feel so new and exciting anymore. But Gratitude makes us appreciate the value of something and when we appreciate the value of something we extract more benefits from it. We’re less likely to take it for granted. In effect, I think Gratitude allows us to participate more in life. We notice the positives more and that magnifies the pleasures you get from life. Instead of adapting to goodness we celebrate goodness. We spend so much time watching things … but with gratitude we become greater participants in our lives as opposed to spectators.”
Keep coming back to figure out what works best for you. When is the best time of day for you to journal? Morning or end of the day? Remind yourself that this is a new practice, so don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day; just make it up the next day and continue to give yourself credit for experiencing and spending time with you on a regular basis. We can absolutely guarantee that a CoreSelf Journaling practice will, over time, provide new layers of insight into each different stage and aspect of your journey through life. Start journaling today and embrace this Best Next Step for you.