5 Ways Daily Journaling Will Drastically Improve Your Life
Our podcast (listen here), is called Better Off Better, and it started with me and my two best friends entering into a verbal agreement that affected my life from then on. We do weekly challenges to test out things that people everywhere seem to think make them better people. Now, we know we aren’t great people, so why not try and fix that though very competitive challenges where we purposely pit ourselves against each other? Doesn’t that sound healthy?
Of course, I wanted to win. I’m inclined to illustration, so most of my journals have been heavily decorated as to keep my attention long enough to actually use them, but what were the benefits we found from just one single week or journaling? Surprisingly, a lot. Here are my 5 ways daily journaling will drastically improve your life.
1: Reflection and Appreciation
It may sound weird to say I took so much from this one week experience, but I really did see changes in the way I thought about something as simple as my daily walk to the pond near my house.
Daily journaling, now that I’m not in school anymore, seemed kind of pointless to me in the start. How could I possibly write about anything when I don’t have homework or classes to list? Well, I started recounting the events of the day. Not emotions and feelings, (I was worried about it turning into a diary) but just the simple fact of what I do in my day to day life.
Journaling helped me realize how much I appreciate those little things like a walk or an hour of TV. I think it’s really important to take a quiet few minutes from your day and reflect on the small things in your life. There’s no question that things are crazy in the world right now, and journaling helped me take some time (forced or not) to sit and breathe and think about what matters to me.
2: It Inspires Productivity
Do you have a hard time taking the five minutes it would take to answer an email you’ve been pushing off? Clean your room? Finish that last part of your assignment? The last paragraph of your essay? Yea, me too.
Journaling for a week helped me realize that I was pushing off the simplest tasks for absolutely no reason! It was easier to ignore it until r i g h t before it was due, until the floor of my room was shrouded by clothing and half-finished art projects. No more.
Bullet journals are all about lists, and seeing that one little unchecked box on your list does. Not. fly. Setting up to-do-lists in my journal made it so much more satisfying to do those simple tasks that are easy to brush under the rug until “later”. I got so much more done by seeing those empty little boxes, and saved time by seeing the next task right there in front of me. (No really, it works!)
3: It’s Great for Long-Term Goals
I set up a system in my journal, and after the week I was basically forced to do this so as to not lose a week on our podcast, I actually liked how I laid my journal out, and aimed to make a model I could follow longer-term. A bullet journal is so great for seeing your progress on a longer term basis, and helps you stay on track.
Habit trackers (good or bad) are great for keeping up with simple daily tasks you easily forget (shit I still haven’t taken my vitamins today), or track habits you’re trying to kick (I see you biting your nails right now… mark it off!). It’s also really satisfying to see your progress over longer periods and nicely displayed.
Tracking meetings, sleep schedules, stress levels and more are good to see correlations between environmental factors in your life, and can help you cut down on stress. Even over the one week challenge, all three of us saw correlations between our sleep, stress, and caffeine levels. Try it for yourself, it really is cool to see!
4: It Helps With Creativity
I used this week as an opportunity to make a journal that was pleasing to the eye, and through that, I worked through a creative block I’d been fighting for a while. It was super easy and low-pressure to design a layout I actually wanted to fill up. If you don’t like how you laid it out, no biggie, make a better one tomorrow/ next week/ month. At best you have a spread you’re super proud of, and at worst you don’t love the spread and it inspires you to look at other people’s journals and get excited for the next one you do!
It’s also a great space for doodles and sketches. I love adorning my journal spreads with ideas for drawings or paintings, small doodles of a funny idea, or a sketch of something around me while I’m journaling. It’s a fun way to really personalize your journal, and make you want to keep it and look back on your old notes and ideas!
It’s super low pressure to just scribble out any ideas you have! Are you interested in fashion? Scribble down some color combos or outfit ideas! Into electronics? Your journal is a perfect place to write down ideas! Film? Write down some script ideas! Its really low-pressure and inspires you to just fill up the space with anything that comes to your mind!
5: It Keeps You Organized
I have trouble with forgetting to do that one task I pushed to the next day. With a journal, I saw the item I didn’t check off yesterday, and just moved it to today’s list. It turned out to be a simple thing that has changed the way I work forever. (yes, really!) I use a small journal, so anything I need to quickly remember to do is right there where I need it to be. Even after one week, I saw a huge improvement with remembering tasks and planning my day.
It’s super simple to plan your days. You won’t waste time trying to figure out where you left off on your never-ending list of things you have to do. Also great for long term projects, as you can easily go part by part in your daily lists. Lastly, have a list for long term projects with multiple parts!
The customization of journaling makes it so easy to get and stay organized and on-task. I really would recommend it to anyone who has never tried, or used to journal and list-keep but never stuck with it!
-Easy to set up and use
-Good record for the future
This has been, 5 Ways Daily Journaling Will Drastically Improve Your Life.
Check out our list of essential items to start or return to journaling
How about out our podcast Better Off Better and listen to us struggle to become better people!
But of course, the author of this post Jenny Whipple
Lastly, here’s our YouTube channel for video podcasts and other comedy stuff