Our thanks to Dynamic Catholic for their advice on keeping a good journal and tracking our progress:
4 Reasons to Try Keeping a Journal
When it comes to keeping a journal, you may think it takes too much time, too much effort, or only makes sense if you’re actually a writer. But there are actually four great benefits to journaling that may make you want to pick up a pen and a notebook.
1. It’s healing.
Studies show that the emotional release that comes from journaling lowers stress and anxiety and promotes better sleep. Journaling also helps you express yourself and increases your awareness of self and others. Since expressive writing helps you process your thoughts and emotions, it’s no surprise that it also helps to boost your immune system and attain greater peace and calm.
2. It preserves memories.
Whether you possess a mind like a steel trap or a mind like a sieve, journaling helps to preserve moments, reflections, and life events that might otherwise be forgotten. The act of writing something down sears it in the mind, and re-reading it later not only helps you recall it, but often triggers other memories associated with it. Retaining and recalling the special moments of our lives becomes more and more important as we age, and a journal can make sure nothing is lost.
3. It sparks creativity.
Writing down your thoughts and experiences not only helps you remember them, but it also helps you come up with new ideas. Writing regularly allows you to process and communicate ideas, which can help you see things in a new way. Julia Cameron, author of the bestselling book The Artist’s Way, encourages something called “Morning Pages,” which is three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing first thing in the morning. Many who write morning pages claim it unlocks thoughts and ideas they never knew they had. No matter what time of day you journal, it can help spark your creativity.
4. It builds self-discipline.
The very act of setting aside time to journal is an act of discipline. And becoming more disciplined is like working a muscle—the more you do something, the more disciplined you become. Habits like daily journaling have a way of helping you to improve other areas of your life—from keeping your desk tidy to making time for prayer.
If you’ve never considered keeping a journal, these are just a few reasons to give it a try. After all, who doesn’t need more creativity, healing, and discipline in their life?