What to remember when starting a journal


Carmen Balacianu


Keeping a journal can be a useful tool to help us facilitate reflection and connection with our most inner thoughts, beliefs and desires. It can also spark useful brainstorming ideas about how to better strive toward our goals.

As you start your journey of discovery and exploration, here is some guidance on what to keep in mind while Journaling.

Remember what JOURNAL stand for:

  • JJudgement-free
    I encourage you to write whatever is in your heart. The journal is a personal, private, and safe space to express your thoughts and feelings.
  • OObservation
    Journaling is an excellent opportunity for us to step into an observer role. I entourage you to write down things that happen to you and spend some time thinking about how you interpret your observations.
  • UUnderstanding
    With observation comes understanding. How we perceive what happens to us is more important than what actually happens to us, and observing how we think can help us understand our own thought patterns, which can lead to effective management of our thoughts and behaviors.
  • RRevelation
    This process can often lead to revelations about our desires, our dreams, our goals, and aspirations. Journaling can help us get in touch with our core selves.
  • NNeeds Assessment
    Keeping a daily journal makes it easier to notice problems and potential solutions, as the simple act of writing something down can make it seem simpler and clearer. Keeping everything bottled up can be extremely harmful, and just putting pen to paper can sometimes be all that is needed to release some pressure.
  • AAwareness
    Writing down our experiences helps us to take a wider perspective on our life, as well as reminding us of what we can be grateful for. Raising awareness of these areas is the first step towards making the necessary changes and appreciating what we have.
  • LLife
    Quality Journaling is known to be an effective way to de-stress and decrease anxiety. Just a few minutes a day can have a major impact on health and happiness.

The JOURNAL acronym model is courtesy of the International Coach Federation with whom I am affiliated.

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