Looking for a magic pill? The secret sauce? The quick fix to your greatest challenge? You won’t find that here. But I do want to offer a powerful suggestion on how you can make positive changes in any area of your life in as little as five minutes a day. This is a strategy I’ve used to lose weight, get out of debt, start a business and further my spiritual growth. And it’s one of the simplest tools you can find. I’m talking about pen and paper. Yes, journal writing.
Now, before you click away, saying you’re not a writer…or you’ve tried this already…or it’s never going to work…give me a minute to show you how to breathe fresh air into a dying art and use journal writing to make improvements in your life.
Want to strengthen your marriage? Buy a special journal and spend five minutes a day writing down something you love, admire or respect about your husband. After a while, you will probably feel a deeper appreciation for your husband, which may effect your behavior towards him and, in turn, his behavior towards you. You might even give him the journal as a gift. Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect, kept a Thanks-Giving journal filled with all the little things he loved about his wife. He gave her the book at the end of the year. I don’t know about you, but if I received a gift like that, I’d fall in love all over again!
Have a professional goal? Get yourself a beautiful business journal and dedicate it to achieving your definition of success. Then spend five minutes every evening writing down the three things you will do the next day to accomplish your goals. Maybe you need to make sales calls. Or complete a proposal. Or hire an assistant. Or submit invoices. When you write it down, you will take action. (See what I did there? I tricked you into thinking that the writing itself will produce results, when I really meant it will create an awareness and give you motivation to take action. Either way, the writing time is a good investment!)
Struggling to get out of debt? Find an old notebook and start a Debt Free Journal. Keep track of your successes – every credit card you pay off and every temptation you avoid on your mission to becoming debt free. Write down how much you spend each day and how close you are to accomplishing your goal. Describe how you will feel when you are living a life without debt. Be sure to include inspirational quotes to help you stay on track.
Ready to finally lose that “baby weight” and eat healthier? Buy a motivational journal and use it to keep track of your diet and exercise routine. I’ve kept a fitness journal for at least 15 years – probably longer. I used to write down many details, but now I just log my workouts. Even that simple step keeps me focused and on track with my fitness routine. I don’t always keep a food diary, but when I do, I always see results. After about a week of being brutally honest about everything I put in my mouth, I automatically want to eat more veggies and less junk!
Looking for a way to deepen your relationship with Christ? A spiritual journal can enhance your daily quiet time and give you a whole new way to pray. Try writing letters to God in your journal. Or exploring a different scripture verse in writing each day. Keep your prayer list in the journal and write down your prayers for others. Be sure to come back to them and write a prayer of thanks when God answers one of your prayers. You can even use your journal to document every time you feel God’s presence in your life. (If you need help getting started, download this free Divinely Inspired Goals Guide.)
Can you see how journal writing might help you improve something in your life? I understand that you have to DO MORE than simply write in your journal for five minutes each day. But the writing is the first step. It’s what creates awareness in your mind so that you can focus on your goal each day. It’s the activity that gives structure to your dream and provides motivation to continue. And while the changes you experience will be gradual, the daily habit of journal writing will give you a simple tool you can use anytime you need it.
How can you use daily journal writing to make a change in your life? Share your thoughts with me here and let me help you stay on track!
Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a mentor to moms who are running a business that supports their values of faith and family. As president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, she empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace. Join the International Christian Mompreneur Network for free and receive the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur toolkit!
Publication date: July 25, 2013