It’s Really Important to Make Time to Reflect. That’s Why I Use a Journal.
Having been away last week – that’s why there was no newsletter, apologies! – and given that there was some long travel involved, I enjoyed a bit of time to journal and take time to reflect.
Journaling has been a practice of mine for years. I have always found it very beneficial to collect my ideas, to record my experiences, observations and thoughts, and to work through any questions that might be going through my mind.
Life can, from time to time, draw you away from your true intention. You can get wrapped up in current circumstances and lose sight of the bigger picture: your aspirations, dreams, ambitions. Only to discover you are a little (maybe a lot) off course!
As Stephen Covey puts it:
“So busy climbing the ladder of success, only when you reach the top do you realise it is leaning against the wrong wall!”
So, maybe you frequently feel pulled off course. Maybe you have a million and one ideas whizzing round in your head. A problem you have been churning on for a while. Or maybe you want to incorporate a little more time in your routine for reflection, to ‘check your course’ ? Journaling could be just the ticket!
Here are a few tips on how journaling and finding time to reflect on your life can help you stay focused.
Write down your Intention
In the front of my journal I have written out my intention – What I want to achieve in life. Now please don’t mistake this for a list of goals, it is more holistic than that. It is about the lifestyle I want to enjoy – experiences, personal qualities I want to have, relationships, health, wellbeing, mission and accomplishments.
These are all important parts of the overall intention, or direction, I want to head in. I prefer this to a list of specific goals for two reasons. One, it helps me stay intentional, enabling me to check in with myself regularly to keep me on the right path. Should an opportunity or decision arise, I can check in with this and make sure I am making an intentional decision. Two, it makes sure I am monitoring all areas of my life and not getting to caught up in one are, say my career or my mission at the expense of my health, relationships or well-being.
I know many people who don’t have a clearly defined intention and this can be such a hard place to be. As I say:
“You can’t head of on a journey without first knowing where your destination is”
Want to find out more about HOW to discover your Intention?
Then check out my Gen-ius Network – this is one of the fist exercises I will take you through on my online course and community platform. This forms the foundation or ‘guiding light’ for all your actions going forward.
“It reminds me to focus on my dreams, gives me so much clarity and showed me how I can make it a reality. The bite-sized daily lessons are a really easy and convenient way to learn. I love it!”
Linda – Gen-ius Member
Get Your Thoughts Out of Your Head.
The writers, Roy Baumeister and John Tierney have written that the average person deals with around 150 separate tasks in any one day. That, when you think about it, is an awful lot.
Jotting down a few of the thoughts that have been churning around in your head – and working through how to solve them – wouldn’t be a bad thing. You will notice how it will free you of some extra bandwidth for some of the other things that you’ve got on.
HOW Solution. Identify a few of the recurring ‘niggles’ in your head – those ones that churn and churn. Write them down. Then think about ways by which you can reduce them or reasons why they might be bothering you so much. Write down a few solutions and actions you can take. You will be amazed how relieved you will feel.
Gratitude journaling practices have been well documented in recent years as a vital part of a morning routine. I don’t journal everyday but, when I do, I sometimes like to start journaling with a list of things I am grateful for.
HOW Solution. When you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or ‘off course’, take a moment to reflect on your life. Writing down a list of people and things you are grateful for can have a great positive effect.
Put Aside some Reflection Time.
Do you get stuck in the day to day and feel like you are not making progress? If so, make sure you write down your true intention and reflect on it weekly. Take a moment to pause. Write down what you worked on this week that helped you towards your goal. Whilst you reflect on your life in this way, write down those things that didn’t help too.
HOW Solution. Once you reflect on what you have achieved each week, use that information to repeat it the next week. Do the same with those tasks that inhibited your ability to move forward on your goals. Of course, you’ll then need to take action to remove them.
Your Tasks this Week.
- Write out your Intention!
- Identify a few of the recurring ‘niggles’ in your head.
- Write a gratitude list of people and things you are grateful for
- Reflect on what you have achieved each week
Give it a try this week!