If I had to guess, I would say I started my first journal around the age of eleven or twelve. Even back then, I made lists, set goals, and perhaps dabbled in a bit of creative writing. But never, ever, have I been the type of dedicated person who free flowed journaled on a daily schedule. Sure, I keep a journal every day to jot/list/otherwise pontificate as the need arises, but I could never make the claim that I sat down and wrote daily for 20-30 minutes EVERY SINGLE MORNING until the last week of December 2016.
I had been reading Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss and the book was blowing my mind with all of the entries and tips about journaling. “Journaling?” I thought to myself. “I thought this was supposed to be a business book.” Oh, but it is, Grasshopper. It is.
Must-read sections about journaling/writing guaranteed to make your life better: P. 225 – 231; P. 247 – 249; P. 265; P. 569; P. 583 – 585; and P. 614. You’re welcome.
The biggest game changers for me were writing down my daily affirmations fifteen times, and writing three free flow pages of handwritten words every morning. When I started the daily free flow brain dump writing exercise, I thought it was just going to be a bunch of new-agey guru type of stuff and I went into it willing, but maybe with a little bit of an “I don’t have time for this crap right now” kind of attitude. Man, was I ever wrong about that. The third week in to the exercise, I had a major epiphany and started making some serious cuts and changes to my life that led to other (and better) things. You don’t find time. You make time.
After about 60 days in to the practice of writing the dedicated morning journaling pages, I decided to try writing at night before bed to see if there would be any changes. I wanted the exercise to work better at night, but it just didn’t work for me. After a day of working on the computer, my wrist was too tired and battered to sustain the three handwritten pages. Also, too many times I found myself just too exhausted by my daily work load to write and think even more right before bed!
The morning journal pages aren’t pretty. Oftentimes, they are complete nonsense, and maybe I might spend an entire paragraph just writing down song lyrics. After a few months of doing the practice, the point of the exercise for me is to create some slack in my mind and ease the sense of pressure I tend to feel when I wake up to hurry and get things done. I still feel like everyday can turn into a contest of how many tasks I can complete if I’m not careful. I don’t want to rush into my day trying to win a race against time at work anymore.
The morning journaling pages coupled with my daily affirmations helps me fight monkey mind, dump negative thoughts, and try to get my mind in the zone and prep my subconscious to recognize opportunities with others that match my intentions. The exercise for me is probably the closest I will ever get to finding a way to meditate and to reach a higher vibration or pure soul level. I’m trying. I’m not floating off the bed yet, but I am getting better at life, I think. My life is better when I make the time after waking to write the morning journaling pages. The pages referenced above do a much better job than I have done at explaining why.
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