Why Journal?

Jim Rohn said a “life worth living is a life worth recording.”  We are on this planet for a short time and much of what we do will be completely forgotten if we don’t record it in some way.  Writing down what you learn and do and feel every day is one great way of chronicling your thoughts and experiences.

But there is an added bonus to keeping a journal to record your activities.  It allows you to see your progress.  It reminds us of all the good things that we accomplish.  It seems to be human nature to remember our mistakes and blunders.  And if we don’t remember, there are plenty of people who seem to be happy to remind us.  What we often overlook are the positive things that we get done.  The people that we help.  The progress that we make.

A journal is a great way to documentation the good things that we have done.  It is so satisfying to go back a review and see that you do so much more good then you may actually realize.

As an example, I was in court the other day.  I had three (3) cases on calendar.  The big one involved a sentencing and I was hoping that the Court would grant probation and not send my client to prison.  I made my best pitch, but the Court was not moved, and my client got a prison sentence.  This was very disappointing to me and of course my client.  The next client was hoping to avoid a felony and wanted a misdemeanor.  I was able to get the Court to reduce the charges.  This was a very significant outcome for the client, and he was very pleased.  That afternoon I represented a man in a restraining order.  While the case didn’t completely resolve, the Court made some concessions that were very important to the client.

The good results of that day do not eliminate the disappointing sentence.  But by giving those positive results recognitions I can see that the day was not a total loss.  It would have been so easy to just focus on the bad result and let that undermine my confidence and zap my energy.  But, by recording both the good and the bad, I get a realistic view of how the day actually went.  Two (2) very happy clients – two (2) successes.

Additionally, after the sting of the loss, I can go back at a later time, review the matter and try to determine how I might have done it better.

Other advantages of keeping a journal.  You can track your financial progress.  You can track your daily activities – use it as a sort of accountability partner.  You can plan your future.  You have a place to record your goals and dreams.  The options are limitless.

While there are thousands of ways to journal, I have been using a “Bullet Journal” for several years.  After reading “The Bullet Journal Method” by Ryder Carroll, I found that his ideas resonated with me.   There is a whole following of people who use Bullet Journals, along with Facebook pages and blogs and videos. I used some of his ideas and some ideas from others as well as things that just work for me.  I incorporated many of the concepts and ideas from David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” in my journal.  For me, my journal is a combination of a paper calendar, a to do list and a record of what actually gets done.  I actually take my journal with me everywhere. 

Keeping a journal may sound like more work than you already have in this busy world.  If it is, come back to this idea later.  The idea of journaling is NOT to give you more to do.  But I found that the compounding effect of keeping my thoughts, feelings, goals, ambitions, progress, successes and disappoints all in one place has really helped me work towards being the person that I want to be.  And it is much cheaper than therapy.

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