A journal can be defined as a diary or daily record of a person or other entity e.g. an organization. A journal takes on many forms since it can be used in several contexts. For example, a journal can be a business diary in which all financial data about daily business operations is recorded. In another example, the most common one can be a record of one’s daily navigation of their thought and feeling patterns. So there are many applications or contexts to what a journal is.

Importance Of Journaling

Goal Setting, Tracking And Accountability

Studies have been done regarding the relationship between writing goals down and accomplishing them. It has been found that someone who writes their goals down is more likely to achieve them. In a way, that helps you to track what you have set out to do and are currently doing about it. It serves as a way to reference important details about your life, in this case, your goals. This will hold you to account thus making you more accountable. When you write something down, it is cemented or established in your mind. In general, writing things down is a memory retention technique. I once mentioned in one of my articles that I used this technique a lot in high school. So part of this process is that it helps make your memory better. This ends up helping you keep your thoughts organized.

Emotional And Thought Management

This is usually about journaling your thoughts and feelings. Writing them down helps you process them rather than just bottling them in. Just that can be a sure way to keep your mind light and free. In a way, it empties your subconscious mind of negative material. This negative material could otherwise cause night terrors if kept in, for example. Journaling can be an effective unfiltered way to express what you go through internally every day. The more you do, you get to be able to analyse if there are any patterns to your thoughts and feelings. This can help in trying to establish why you have certain thoughts or feelings. This works both ways i.e. in the positive and negative. You become better placed to know what makes you think and feel good, and then you promote that. You also figure out what ignites your negative thoughts or feelings and nip them in the bud. Overall, journaling has been demonstrated to work in managing one’s mental health.

Capturing Moments Of Inspiration Or Significance

Ideas or inspirations can come to us at any point. As much as you can think you can memorize or remember it, at times you forget over time. The best way to capture such moments is by journaling. One of the most recommended practices in this regard is to keep a journal by your bedside. Your subconscious mind never shuts off, even when you go to sleep. When you sleep your conscious mind shut downs making your subconscious even sharper. This means whilst you are sleeping your subconscious can be processing or working out some things. The phrase, ‘sleep on it”, is not just a statement, it is based on substance. You can wake up during the night or in the morning with remarkable inspirations or ideas. If you do not immediately capture them, you might lose them. This applies to even any time during the day, have the means to journal close to you.

These are just some of the foundations of why journaling is important. This applies to anything, be it business, entrepreneurship, career, or personal life. It applies to individuals or collective groups as well; there are so many bases for why journaling matters.

How To Journal

In unpacking this subject you must appreciate first that there are several ways to journal. You have to figure out which way or technique works best for you. Many people prefer to buy a journal and write it down in there. Some can just use any usable paper-based item e.g. a notebook, notepad, and the like. Others prefer to use digital items e.g. smartphones, tablets, laptops, and the like. Some can even switch it up to use speech-based journaling where they record themselves instead of writing. This can be due to some people not being that expressive when writing. The bottom line is you must use a method that allows you to comfortably and comprehensively express yourself.

It is important to note that there is not necessarily a formula for journaling. As in, you must just write or note down anything that comes to mind. The idea is to be as raw and unfiltered as possible. It is about letting out everything as is so do not try to filter your thoughts or feelings. For a journal to mean anything it must be filled in regularly – daily most preferably. That way, you can use it to discover, process, and grow, amongst other things. You must make a habit out of it so be consistent. The other thing is to figure out the best spot or environment for you to journal in. The most ideal is something quiet with minimal to zero distractions.

This is what you need to know about the importance of and how to journal. We have barely scratched the surface here which is why we shall discuss more in other articles. By the end of it all, you might find yourself getting hooked on journaling. In my experience I know a few people who journal; most do not. Hopefully, this article will help you better understand the subject.