Journaling pic

You can do it in less than 5 minutes a day. It’s something that can increase your creativity, help in your decision making process and expedite your goal setting and achievement. Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg are doing it but I bet you don’t.

This magical mystical something is a journal.  I know the first thing that popped into your head is, “Dear Diary,…..”  A journal is NOT a diary.  It’s a tool that taps into the creative processes of your brain.  Think of the word creative as in creation.  It is a road map and guide to your future successes and a record of the past.  A time capsule of where you’ve been and the progress you’ve made. This capsule is to opened and shifted through often for a multitude of benefits.

The process of journalling has many benefits to the entrepreneur which all access and increase creativity.  A journal provides a time and place for reflection.  A great starting point for each day is to set some intentions.  What will your day look like? How will you be successful today?  This pre-programs your day in a certain order and expectation.  When you are experiencing challenges or feeling overwhelm journal them.  Release them from your mind.  A good brain dump can be extremely freeing. Journal any lessons you learn and quotes or helpful tips you read.  Celebrate breakthroughs and progress on goals.  At the end of the day look at all you have accomplished.  Express gratitude.  Gratitude is an essential emotion for creating success.

Successful entrepreneurs use a journal to:
-Collect outlines and make lists of pros and cons.
-Gain clarity or brainstorm.  Write down any thought that comes to mind.  Let the ideas flow onto the paper without judgement.  A journal is a safe place free from criticism.
-Reduce overwhelm. Dump your thoughts in your journal.  Random thoughts bouncing around in our heads wreak havoc on our focus and concentration.  Bring order to your chaos.
-Relieve stress or vent by “writing it out”.
-Have a central place for “putting pen to paper” on goals.  Actually writing out your goals and reflecting on them makes it more likely you will take action and achieve them.
-Slow things down by taking a moment to find space and clear mind chatter.
-Visualize
-Hone a mission statement
-Document passions and core values.  Re-reading these will serve as encouragement when times are tough reminding you of the big picture and why you went into business in the first place.

A journal can be anything from a simple piece of paper to an app on your phone.  It you prefer the method of sitting down and writing to connect physically to your thoughts choose the paper method.  An entrepreneur can choose a typical lined notebook or a bound book specifically created to be a journal. Even having just the right pen can be incentive to write in a paper journal.  For those who prefer to type it up quick and always have it on hand there are many apps created for journaling. Apps have the benefit of electronic reminders and can be keyword searchable.  This may be useful in building the new habit of journaling. Choose the type of journal that most inspires you.  The best type of journal is the one you use!

When writing in your journal think in terms of the three P’s – Past, Present and Planning.
Open your journal when ever the mood strikes you, or create a specific routine of journaling in the morning or before bed. Keep in mind the journal is meant to be a source of creativity and not another thing to add to your to-do list.  Pay attention to all the ways that work best for you.

The great thing about journaling is that it’s all about you.  There are no set rules.  The more free you are with it the more freedom you have to create.  It may feel awkward at first to let your thoughts flow, but in time the process takes shape.  Use these questions or prompts to help you get into the flow.

AM
Journal your outlook for the day
What would make today great?

PM
Something(s) I am thankful for today?
What small or large step(s) did I accomplish today towards my business growth?
Something(s) awesome about today/yesterday?
Something(s) that could have been improved today/yesterday?

General
I am grateful for…
Daily affirmations, I am…
What have I accomplished over the past month?
What excuses have I been using and how have they interrupted my forward movement?
What strengths have I spotted in myself?
What are my core values that motivate and ground me in my work?
How have people praised my strengths and abilities?
What will I accomplish over the next year? The next 5? The next 10?
What gifts do I possess that the world will see as a result of my bringing them into my business?
What obstacle(s) do I currently need the most help with?
Who are the people in my support network?
Who would want to see me succeed and can serve as a source of advice or encouragement?
What am I grateful for?
How can I serve or how can my business give back to the community?
It is a time of…
My accomplishments this week have been…
Next week I promise myself…

Just 5 minutes a day to reflect and answer the questions above for yourself increases your mindfulness.  When you use a journal to plan, set goals and track progress you decrease stress and increase focus and clarity.  Journaling will help you to make better decisions and lead to greater growth and successes as an entrepreneur.  Start your journaling journey today and soon you’ll be looking back at all you have overcome and accomplished.