The Practice of Journaling – Part 2
If you had a chance to read my first installment on this theme last week, you will recall that I prescribed three things you could write in your daily journal that would make a definite improvement in your state of mind.
1 – Your inner conversations – what you say to yourself each day, good or bad
2 – Your Smile factor, one thing you would like to do each day that you know will make you smile
3 – Your Wins, three or more things you did today that you are happy you accomplished
Hopefully, you invested in the consistency of writing in your journal this past week and you are understanding the value of the habit of journaling on a daily basis.
Today, I promised to bring back some more thoughts so you could maximize the effect of journaling.
As far as your internal conversations are concerned, you may have begun to notice that you have some common theme discussions.
I wish I……
I hate doing……
I’m not doing enough……
I’m being lazy……
I’m not enjoying work…….
I’m scared to try that…….
Most of the conversations we have with ourselves tend to be negative and unproductive. If this is not the case, and you are having positive conversations with yourself, then keep writing those things down and keep reinforcing the positive!
If you are writing a lot of the above, or some variation, then the next thing you can do is put a name on your negative characters.
As an example, if a lot of what you are doing is judging yourself or others, then name that character judge Jerry as an example. If it’s always about being scarred, then call that character fearful Fred. The idea here is you label these characters and you begin to recognize them when they are appearing in your conversations.
Over time, you’ll start to recognize that one or two of them are often in your head, messing with your state of mind. You want to begin to recognize them so you can cut them off and redirect your conversations.
Remember in one of my previous blogs (January 30th, 2023), I discussed the concept of the 4As. The practice of journaling is about becoming Aware, A number 2, and the idea behind naming your ego characters (the conversations that keep circling in your mind) is the third A, accountability. By naming the characters, you can now become accountable for their existence and actually do something about them!
The next thing you are going to add to your journal, best done in the morning, or established at day’s end, is your daily plan. Take 10 minutes each day, either when you get up or before you hit the sack to determine your key intentions for the next day.
This is not a “To-Do” list!
These are things that link to what you are most passionate about and driven to do in your life.
That doesn’t exist for you right now you say? You are working at a feverish pace, but not connected to it? You are listless and unmotivated?
I understand, it’s not uncommon.
If that is you, then your job is not to write your daily plan, but to write the answer to this question:
“Unrestricted by my current circumstances, un-limited by money or time, absent any restriction, what would I like my life to look like? What would I love to be doing? How would I like to feel?
Ask yourself this question each day, and truly reflect unbound by your limiting perspective. If one of your characters appears, just observe the thought and return to your focus on your truth.
Who do you want to be?
With consistency, you will begin to recognize that you have limiting statements (characters) in your daily conversations and that they are stopping you from really being the person you wish to be. Once you have seen and recognized these two realities, you can begin to plot a course to shed yourself of those limiting characters and focus on your truth.
If you know who you want to be, then all the things you put down on your daily plan should be those things that will contribute to you achieving that intention.
Ask yourself if what you have written is helping you move towards that intention. If it is, get it done, and move one step closer to who you wish to be!
If your daily plan is empty of truthful intentions and full of “To-Do’s” you know you are just staying busy and not moving toward your truth or away from what’s holding you down.
Fill your day with things that pull you and push you towards your truth, celebrate your achievements daily, plan the day ahead, and learn your inner language. The more you know, the more you can shed the negative and accentuate the positive!
Here’s what you can do starting tomorrow in your journal:
1 – Learning your language, what narratives and characters keep circling in your internal conversations.
2 – Name your ego roles, the characters that keep turning up.
3 – Set your intentions each day, a few things you want to do each day that contribute to who you wish to be, and where you wish to go.