Create the Life You Want through Journaling
Client story and case study of Julie.
Julie loved her life. She had a supportive husband and three kids. She lived in her childhood home that she and her husband were slowly renovating. She was active in her community and felt connected to a large network of friends.
But Julie wasn’t happy with her job. She worked in the administrative office of a local college. It came with good benefits and a generous vacation package. Still, Julie wished she had a more fulfilling career with the opportunity to set her own hours. She just didn’t know what that job might look like.
Journal for Personal Growth
When she finally voiced this thought, her mother told her to begin journaling daily. At first, Julie struggled to journal. Then she began to describe her unhappiness with her career. She journaled about the jobs she’d worked over the years, describing which tasks had made her happy and which she avoided.
The more she wrote, the more she discovered she wanted a creative career. So, she began taking artistic classes at the college where she worked. She tried several different ones then she discovered photography. Within a few weeks, Julie knew she’d found the new career path she wanted to pursue—becoming a freelance photographer.
Journal for Self-Discovery
Journaling can improve your life in so many ways. But one of the most important benefits is that it helps you discover yourself. You learn more about what you like and what you don’t. You begin to understand how you’re wired and what you want to create more of in the world.
But that’s not the only thing that journaling is good for. It can also help you set new and exciting goals. Maybe, like Julie, you’re stuck in a rut and wondering what the next step is. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and want to get clarity before you make your next move.
Journal to Brainstorm Solutions
You may already be clear on what you want to create more of in the world or know your goals. But you’ve encountered obstacles when you’ve tried to pursue what you want or you’ve faced a significant setback.
Journaling can still be helpful for you. Often, writing out what you’re experiencing can lead to new breakthroughs that you hadn’t considered before. This is because journaling encourages you to see your situation in a new light.
Use journaling to chart a different course, adjust your sails, or lean into a new adventure. You just might discover something new about yourself or the world around you!
Different Types of Journals
When it comes to journaling, your first thought might be of a diary with a lock and key. Maybe you kept one as a kid that you guarded against your sister or perhaps you’re a free spirit who’s never seen the point in keeping a journal.
No matter which category you fall into, you should know there are many different types of journals. In fact, you can create a journal for just about any activity you do. Here are some of the most common ones…
A travel journal is the perfect way to capture all of the adventures you’re having. You can journal about which cities you’ve visited, which hotels you stayed out, who you met, and what you did on your trips.
Using a travel journal can help you remember important events that you don’t want to forget like how amazing you felt when you learned to surf or how much fun you had when you finally mastered the art of skiing.
Daily Life Journal
Some people like to record their daily life in a journal. This might include writing about current projects, a fight with your spouse, or a kind act a stranger did for you on the subway system.
You may also find yourself drawn to a daily life journal during an important season in your personal life like an engagement, a new baby, or the home-buying process. These events can bring up a lot of emotions and it can be helpful to process them in the privacy of your journal.
If you consider yourself religious or spiritual, you may like the idea of keeping a prayer journal. Many people who participate in this practice will record what they prayed for as well as the date of their request.
Later on, they can go back and add how that request was answered. This can be a wonderful way to grow closer to God or the Universe, depending on your beliefs. It can also be a source of comfort when you look back later to see how many situations turned out for the good.
Another type of journal that you might enjoy keeping is a business journal. With your business journal, you can record your work projects, plan new products, or brainstorm new ways to market your services.
It can also be useful for generating ideas or coming up with solutions to problems you’re facing. You can also use it to consider what new goals that you might want to pursue and how you could accomplish them.
A bullet journal is a special type of journal that allows you to track many different areas of your in life in one convenient space. Inside of it, you can keep lists, make notes, and create plans. The idea is that you write down short phrases or “bullets” to help you remember important dates, manage your to-do list, and keep you on track with your goals.
The advantage of using a bullet journal is that it can be customized for your life. So if you want to keep a list of the books you’re reading, how many steps you took today, and what knitting project you’re working on, you can easily do that.
Bullet journals can take a few minutes to set up. But there’s plenty of inspiring ideas on social media sites like Instagram. Just look up #bulletjournal or #bujo and you’ll discover all of the ways you can decorate a bullet journal.
The wonderful thing about journaling is that there are no rules. You can create the journal you want and customize it to fit your life.
Which Journal Style Is Right for You?
When it comes to journaling, there’s no wrong or right way to do it. Journaling is a creative activity so you can relax and simply do what works for you. But if you’re stuck and not sure what type of journal you need, ask yourself these three questions…
What Do You Want More of in Your Life?
Patty was a real estate agent and single mom. She was busy raising three teenagers and often felt overwhelmed by all the demands on her time and energy. When she thought about what she wanted more of in her life, the answer was clear: inner peace.
So, Patty started a meditation journal that she used each night before bed. She wrote down positive affirmations she wanted to embrace. She recorded how long she meditated for each evening as well as anything that was troubling her.
As time went on, Patty noticed it was easier to sleep at night because she had taken the time to process the noise of the day. Now, she wakes up feeling peaceful and refreshed.
How Would You Like to Grow?
Beth’s marriage crumbled after thirty years when she discovered her husband had cheated on her. Her children were already grown and Beth realized she was alone for the first time in her adult life.
This realization was scary but also exciting. Beth began to think of the ways she’d like to grow and realized she’d always wanted to travel. So she bought a camper with a goal of exploring every state in America.
Along the way, Beth kept a travel journal. She recorded what she was learning about herself, who she’d met, and what she was seeing. The trip gave her the chance to seek out new experiences and consider what she really wanted from the next phase of her life.
What Would You Like to Change about Your Life?
Sarah had struggled with her weight her whole life. When she was a child, she was obese and other kids bullied her. She frequently binged on junk food like ice cream, candy, and cakes to distract herself from her dysfunctional home life.
When Sarah thought about how she’d like to change her life, her health was her top concern. Sarah’s therapist knew that giving up junk food meant Sarah would need to deal with her emotions, rather than stuffing them down.
So she encouraged Sarah to buy a journal to give herself a safe space to explore her emotions. Sarah started a health and wellness journal where she began to record how she felt instead of snacking to escape. She began to recognize painful situations that triggered her feelings and how to cope with them.
Don’t feel like you have to commit to one journal-style right away. You can start journaling and figure it out as you go. So for now, just relax and enjoy the journey.
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