Over the past few months I’ve been exploring deeper with journaling.
I’ve always loved writing. There is something magical about getting the thoughts from my mind somehow onto the paper. It can be freeing and almost like a release of pent up energy.
But despite enjoying writing, for many years I’ve had an ongoing struggle with journaling. My problem was perfectionism. Strangely enough not in what I wrote, or whether it was good or not, but in how the words looked on the page.
For years I found myself buying beautiful journals and intending on writing in them every single day, only to quit after I messed up a page, crossed something out, didn’t like my handwriting, or missed a day. It really was insane, I admit.
What’s funny, is that I know I’m not the only one who has done things like this! (Perhaps you can relate!)
As I got better at typing and had a computer accessible anytime I wanted, some of my perfect penmanship hang ups disappeared, but it just wasn’t the same. “Journaling” on a macbook doesn’t feel the way writing on paper with your favorite pen does. So that slowed down my efforts once again.
I’m not sure exactly what happened to me, but about a year ago I got back into journaling, and I’ve stuck with it. I’ve been able to move past the need to have the words look perfect on the page or to be so consistent that it hurts!
I’ve discovered that part of the learning that one gets from journaling comes as a direct result of the messy scribbles or the thoughts that seem to ramble out of us for half a page, until finally it all makes sense.
As someone that has practiced mindful behaviors for more than a decade in the form of yoga and meditation, I’m now beginning to think that journaling can have equally powerful effects in helping to get clarity and better connected to one’s self.
And don’t get me started on the benefits of writing things down as it relates to our goals!
This is something I know for a fact works. I love creating a list and crossing things off as I go along. Studies show time and time again that writing down your goals significantly increases your odds of achieving them.
So, here’s the interesting part - if writing your goals down increases your odds of achieving those goals, then journaling about your dreams and deepest desires, your feelings and emotions should up your odds of resolving those things too, right?
The answer is yes!
Goals come in all shapes and sizes, emotional, and relational goals are just as real as goals that you may set in your business or career. Anything you wish to have, to feel, or to be is a “goal”.
The messy, unorganized, bad handwriting kind of goals are just as important as your spreadsheet kind of goals and if you’re anything like me you’ll find that taking the time to get those thoughts out of your head and onto the paper through journaling can really change your life!
Here are some staggering statistics that I hope will convince you to write it down:
According to a study done by Dr. Gail Matthews at Dominican University, those who wrote down their goals accomplished 42% more than those who did not write down their goals. Whoa!
A study of a group of Harvard Graduate students showed that only 3% of the students had written goals, 13% had goals in their minds but didn’t write them down and 84% had no goals at all. After 10 years, the same group of students were interviewed again and the conclusion of the study was astonishing. The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down, earned twice the amount of the 84%who had no goals. The 3%who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97% of the class combined!
Sharing your goals with others is proven to increase the chances of you achieving your goal by 37% and writing goals down in addition to sharing them, increases your chances of achieving your goals by more than 50%.
Only 3 out of every 100 adults write their goals down. Yikes!
I know that there are a million different things we “should” be doing and sometimes all those things can feel overwhelming. I’m right there with you! But my commitment to you is to bring you the very best of what I’m living and learning and to keep it as real as possible along the way.
Right now I’m living and learning all about journaling for mindfulness and to achieve goals and I’m loving the results! So of course, I want to share that with you :)
Thanks for reading!
I would love to hear from you! Do you journal? If so, have you found it helpful in getting clarity on things you’ve been struggling or achieving your goals? Leave a comment and let us know.