Keeping a Personal Development Journal

By in Change

By starting each day with the exciting ritual of writing in a journal for just 15 minutes you will help to keep your mind-set positive, stay on track with your goals, keep your productivity high, and also increase your happiness.

“If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down.” Jim Rohn

It doesn’t really matter what kind of journal that you use. I recommend that if you are going to write down all of your valuable thoughts, insights, goals, dreams, and favourite quotes, then they deserve to be saved and treasured in a good quality journal. Journal writing and reading should be a highly enjoyable experience. I noticed that since I started to write in a good quality journal, my writing style improved, my goals got bigger, and it has become a ritual that I look forward to every day. So get yourself a good quality journal.

Your first entry into your journal every morning should be: What am I grateful for today? And write down at least 5 statements. By writing down what you are grateful for, puts your focus on the positive and away from the negative. Also, by focusing on what you are grateful for, you will help to set yourself up for the best possible day.

This simple ritual of recording what you are grateful for can have a powerful life changing effect. Instead of thinking every day, “I am going to be stuck in traffic this morning” and “I have to deal with tough customers all day” or have you ever wished your day away by thinking “I cannot wait to finish work”. If you change this energy draining mind-set to one of gratitude with written entries like the following

  • “I am happy living in this beautiful home”
  • “I have an amazing partner”
  • “I am grateful for this healthy breakfast”
  • “I am grateful for today because I am one day closer to achieving my amazing goals.”
  • “I am grateful for feeling healthy and full of vitality”

The more things in life that you are grateful for, the more you will come to realise how fortunate you actually are, and you will start to appreciate the things in life that you sometimes take for granted.

The next written entry into your journal will be recording your wins from the previous day.

  • Write down all of the small achievements that you accomplished.
  • Make a list of the tasks that you completed.
  • What book did you read?
  • What action did you take to close the deal?
  • How many sales calls did you make?
  • Write down in your journal if you opened a savings account to save up for your dream vacation.
  • Write down if you went to your local car dealership and sat in your dream car. What did it look like? How did it make you feel? What actions are you now going to take to turn it from a dream into a reality?

Next, write down any thoughts and ideas that come into your head. Use these valuable few minutes to brainstorm for new ideas and to help you make up your mind about anything that might be bothering you. Write down the pros on one side of the page and the cons on the other.  I have found that if you want to solve any problem it is always very useful to write down your thoughts, facts and feelings about it first. Then you don’t have to use your mind for remembering everything, you can use it instead to think more clearly and with more focus to solve your problems.

The next part of your journal writing can be the most rewarding; and is my favourite one. Write a list of all your short, medium and long-term goals at the back of your journal. Then every morning read your goals, close your eyes, focus on each goal and ask yourself: “What is one thing I could do today that will move me towards the achievement of this goal?” Write down your answers and commit to take those actions that day.

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” Brian Tracy

While some people will carry their journal around with them, many of us will leave it at home. Most thoughts and insights, goals and ideas seem to come to us whenever they want to, and not when you are sitting down with your journal and your pen. I recommend that you keep with you at all times a small journal or notepad or type your notes into your smartphone. You can always transfer them into your journal at the end of the day.

The final part of your journal writing ritual should be to capture great passages from the books that you are reading, quotes that inspire you, your brief thoughts and opinions about what is happening in the world around you and any important moments happening in your life that you wish to record.

“If you listen to something and you write down certain key elements of it, your memory retention will go up from 75% – 90%” Tony Robbins

Journal writing on a regular basis can often encourage you to read more great books, and become more aware of the wonderful world around you. All the sights, sounds, smells, and indeed the whole mosaic that makes up your incredible life.

As you keep a journal, over time you will see how your interests can sometimes change. You will also see how your opinions can change about many issues in life. It is always very interesting to see how something that was once important to you in the past will have little or no consequence now.

I really hope that you take action and start the exciting ritual of writing in a journal every day. Once you do, I promise that you will achieve your goals quicker, become more aware and appreciate the world around you, and take your life to a whole new level.

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Damien Thomas is passionate about personal development. He enjoys reading, listening to, and watching great motivational and educational material. Damien is the proud owner of the Facebook page “Jim Rohn daily Quote,” which has a yearly reach of over four million people. He is inspired every day to share positive and inspiring quotes with other like-minded people from all over the world. In May 2008 he co-founded the personal development website called Your Peak State Facebook: Jim Rohn Daily Quote, Your Peak State


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