One of the most effective coaching tools “out there” is the personal journal. It’s not new. People have kept diaries and daily journals for centuries, but it is now being used to great effect as a way of supporting coaching or as a self-guided tool to help people think, reflect, explore, grow and develop Perhaps in this busy, and information overloaded world journaling will go from strength to strength as a means of stepping out of the “doing” for a moment and focus on the “being”
What can journaling do for you?
Improve your relationships
Take time to think about the people in your life, and what they mean to you. Explore patterns of interaction and communication in order to understand people at a deeper level. Plan important conversations and chose the right words to demonstrate empathy and express yourself clearly.
Become a better communicator
Get confusing or ill-formed thoughts onto paper to organise them properly. When you have clarified your thoughts you can express them more powerfully and become more influential.
Increase your creativity
Spending even a small amount of time in quiet reflection, allowing your mind to wander can produce great creativity. It’s no accident that most people have their best ideas when they are in the shower or walking in nature as these are often the only times they are not being bombarded by information and noise.
Respond rather than react
Where events might normally trigger an unhelpful knee jerk reaction, taking a few moments to write down your reaction, the implications of various routes open to you, and what you really want as an outcome helps you chose a more considered and helpful response.
Reduce feelings of overwhelm
When you are feeling anxious and thoughts are going round and round in your head causing unnecessary and unproductive stress, getting them out of your head and down on paper helps get them into perspective and more likely to lead to a plan.
Create a legacy
Keeping a detailed record of your own life and the lives of your children as they grow is a wonderful legacy to share with your loved ones.
Increase your emotional intelligence
EQ, which research consistently shows makes the difference between average performance and outstanding performance is based on self-awareness, self-management, awareness of others and managing relationships. Journaling directly supports development in all four areas.
Get clear on your goals
As you reflect on your life, what is really important to you, and where you are focusing your time and energy, you will make decisions about what is working well for you and what you want to change. Meaningful goals will naturally present themselves. Being able to look back on your journal entries will highlight progress and help you celebrate changes and achievements.
Become sexier, slimmer and more attractive
Okay I lied about the sexier. Although, with better, more understanding relationships, who knows? I was going to say that journaling falls short of making you slimmer but I know that food journals and mood journals are now being used to good effect by many healthy eating programmes, so it really can make you slimmer! One thing is for sure, knowing yourself, feeling confident and being able to express your thoughts and feelings clearly, through journaling, is very attractive.
I have put together a journal here, with questions to help guide you through different aspects of your life and you can use it at no charge for as long as you like. Given that it takes 30 days to embed a new habit why not try it, at no cost, for 30 days and see how it impacts your life?