Starting at 20 minutes a day, I started looking into areas I thought I needed to improve on. Areas that I feel are going to help me become a better person if I’m trying to be my best self-every day. Nine different areas made my list to focus on.
Riding my bike
Listening to Podcasts
Journaling (afternoons, now mornings as well)
Morning Gratefulness questions
Writing book idea (short stories to a novel)
After defining what I wanted to do, I was better able to focus and prioritize what my efforts were going to be. Then, I began to look for resources to help bring me incremental levels of improvement along my journey. I was also starting to feel that I wasn’t moving forward but moving backwards, as I’d moved back into an old apartment. It was too much of an old routine I’d been in before and I didn’t feel like there was a lot of growth opportunity there. I wanted to do something different. Reaching out to a business success coach also brought substantial benefits my process I was developing as well. His reinforcement of journaling for 20 minutes a day and thinking of what I was passionate about helped guide through areas I felt I needed to improve upon personally, and at the same time, create an opportunity to really look into what I’m passionate about. So, I started documenting on my calendar when I was journaling, and what process I was focusing on each day. Tracking my progress each month, I wanted to look back on my year and say, I did this activity this many days and this is the response/ result I got, and this is how I feel about it. Also, reading the book “Awaken the Giant Within”, by Tony Robbins, brought other areas I could journal about on a deeper level. Combining reading and journaling together as a part of an improvement process is just fantastic when reading self-help books. I started looking at what my values were, and I defined what success looked like for me. If you don’t know what success looks like, how will you know where you’re making progress? So, spending a few days journaling, I asked myself questions like, “What do you want to do now? Everything is up in the air!” And deeper questions about my job like, “What about work makes me happy?” Or, “What do I do here that I enjoy and makes me feel like I make a difference?”
Then, I wrote this,
What does it take for you to feel successful?
- A clearly defined goal
- Courage (taking action)
- Completing steps consistently moving to the goal
I took baby steps building towards this. One hundred and forty-one to be exact. But I know how many days I journaled last year, and I see the Change I wanted to happen. I believe that once you get into a routine and become comfortable with the process, you’ll be more likely to journal more frequently. Now it’s more of an everyday process consistently for me. Whenever I feel any stress, anxiety, or have a decision coming up, I prioritize journaling and writing down what my issues are and what the topic is I’m trying to figure out. This way, I can better stay on point, I can list out all the facts I have, and see if I’m covering whatever from every angle. Or maybe I’m missing perspective? Really being able to look at journaling as information gathering has helped me through this process to direct my actions. Having defined my success, values, goals, and what my priorities are has allowed me to spend more time on areas that I decided would be my focus. Now I look at things to do/ try vs just coming up with something on a whim that doesn’t have a lot of thought behind it. Being purposeful and meaningful in my actions has become very important to me since my divorce and journaling has been a huge asset in helping me narrow down and come to a solid foundation on where I stand. Just by talking to myself honestly about what’s important to me and how I feel it. It’s just me there. There’s no one I need to hide from. It’s ok to say I’m frustrated. It happens to everyone. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign you’re human. Just acknowledge it and be willing to work through it. Even if it may bring up some short-term discomfort. In the long run you’ll be able to see a line of progression in the direction that is most meaningful to you and your journey.
Let me know if you try it out.