I love doing what I do, I love bringing value to you! This is part two on Journaling. Last week we covered Why Should I Journal and this week we are going to go a little bit deeper. You might be thinking, I’d like to give this journaling thing a shot…. But now you are asking the question, how do I journal? So let’s get you to the other side!
This is my life people right here and this is just one stack. I got journals all over the place. These journals capture my life. How do you actually do this thing of journaling? I created a whole 60 day journaling challenge course, but so I can give you four points about how to journal that hopefully can be jumping off points because journaling could change your life.
So how do I journal?
Before I even answered that, here’s the reason people ask this, how do I journal? Because they want to, if you’re in that place you want to, oftentimes it can be intimidating. Or I know a lot of people actually who have tried it before and it didn’t stick. So how do I get over the hump? Like how do I make this thing actually work for me? Here are four things about how you can go about journaling:
Do it consistently because, here’s the deal, it’ll take you 60 days to develop a habit. If you commit and say, I’m going to journal consistently, then your chances of turning it into a habit are much higher. The more consistently you do it, the more consistently you will get the value of it in your life.
I’ll ask somebody, have you ever journalled before? They’re like, nah, I don’t do it consistently. But you know what? When I was going, I was going through the hardest time in my life and I started journaling and it helped me survive that time. Then I’ll be like, Oh, okay. So, it brought massive value to you in the hardest time of your life. Well, what if you did that on a daily basis instead of just doing it in a crisis.
It is like marriage. People don’t come for me for marriage counseling or coaching when they’re in good times, they wait until a crisis and then they get what they need from that environment. But listen, journaling has the power to change your life on a daily basis, but you have to decide to do it on a consistent basis. The first thing you should do is say, you know what, I’m going to do it consistently. If you’re going to start today or tomorrow, you don’t have to go out and buy yourself a journal this weekend. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little notebook you’ve got leftover pages in, the fact that you’re going to do it consistently is what matters. Consistency is the key.
Now there might be some controversy, some disagreements on this because a lot of people have got multiple journals: a vision journal, business journal, prayer journal, dreaming journal, diary, etc… And they got all these different journals? And they try to make each one a specific thing. I would encourage you to journal organically, allow your journal to be, to capture your life, allow it to be what it needs to be for you. That means that some days it is going to be your vision journal, sometimes it will be your business ideas, some days it will be a place for prayer, other days it might be a place for dreams, sometimes it will be a place of reflection or something else.
And it’s just going to be capturing what’s happening in your life. It can be a place to vent and process. . Sometimes it needs to be a dreaming session. LIt’s organic. It doesn’t have to be the same thing every single time. When you pick up a journal, let it be what it needs to be for you in that moment.
So for me, my whole life converges here, my spiritual disciplines, my business. Now, it’s not a to do list. This is not a planner. This is the place of inspiration and processing of that internal work that you do; it all converges in this place, my marriage, my parenting, my dreams, my hopes, my fears, my limiting beliefs. It’s what I need it to be on the day, in that moment that it needs to be that.
Most of you know where I kind of stand on this. I’ve been a pastor for 20 plus years. I love Jesus a whole lot. I’m not projecting my beliefs on you, but that’s where I am. So for me, journaling is a very prayerful thing. Journaling is a place where I give God my undivided attention. And when I do that, I can sit down anywhere; sitting in a fast food restaurant, on a park bench, or in my car waiting in the pickup line for my kids. It doesn’t matter where I am when I open this up, it’s Holy ground.
Now you might frame your spiritual beliefs differently, but your journal can become Holy ground, where you connect with the divine, where God speaks. This is where God does His best work on the inside of me. And I’ve made it a practice so that when I pull this out, I expect God to speak.
Now, sometimes He doesn’t say what I want Him to say. Sometimes I’m saying what I want Him to say and He tells me otherwise. This is where God and I communicate. We converse. I ask, I receive, this is where that stuff happens for me. So when you journal, I would encourage you, don’t allow it just to be in your head, allow it to get in your heart and in your spirit and allow it to be a spiritual exercise. Allow it to take you deep, not just the surface stuff, but into that deeper work.
I saved the best for last. This is big. This is huge. You need to journal authentically because if you journal like, you are creating a memoir and the idea to publish… It is going to have a lot of YOU edited out. And it’s not going to be raw. It’s not going to be unfiltered. It’s not going to be real, honest, and authentic. And if it’s not, I would propose that you are going to waste your time with journaling. What makes journaling powerful for me is that it is real, honest, unfiltered, raw.
That’s why you’re not reading my journal. That’s what, even my wife (if she asked, I’d let her read stuff)but she knows that’s my private space, it’s me just being me. Sometimes, I’ll read stuff for her, from time to time. It’s not like I’m hiding anything from her, but literally the same way you go to a therapist and you sign that confidentiality waiver and you know it is a safe place. It is my safe space. Make your journal your safe place.
Some of you are thinking, what if someone picks it up and reads it? Listen, I’ve been journaling for over 15 years and never once to my knowledge has somebody picked up my journal, sat down, and started reading it. You know why? Because they got enough problems on their own. They don’t need yours. And even if that did happen, if you’re doing this thing right, raw, authentic, and real, it’s going to lead them to growth. In my case, it should lead them to Jesus because that’s me… becoming more like Jesus and why I journal. So for you, it might be becoming the best version of yourself. I’m cool with that. I’m doing that, too. But how you frame it, that you’re going to lead somebody to a better version of themselves.
So make journaling consistent, make it organic, make it spiritual and make it authentic. Make it the real version of you.
Because if you do those four things, you are off in the right direction and the mechanics will work themselves out. I believe that journaling will and can change your life. And by the way, if you’re scared about somebody reading it, do a digital journal or get a little diary with a lock and the key, I mean don’t let it hold you back from the life that you were born to live and become the best version of yourself. Go out there and give your greatness the world because somebody needs what’s on the inside of you. Hey, don’t underestimate the greatness on the inside of you. Go out there and give it away. I love you and have a great day.