How taking just 5 minutes for yourself each day can bring lasting benefits
No matter who you are, I imagine we can all agree that we all have problems. We all have big goals we are working towards, but we have issues, challenges, and stressful times that meet us along the way. Now, keeping a journal will not eliminate problems... however, it can help with how you react to and overcome them. Keeping a journal has continuously shown to help individuals accomplish their goals, reduce stress, and improve their attitudes in many ways.
The great thing is that it does not have to take much time! You can easily start by writing a couple of sentences each day.
See 13 ways keeping a journal can help you:
1. Keep yourself on track, plus, get in shape!
“I’ve been journaling daily for two years now and it has helped me reduce stress and also get into the best shape of my life! I journal about my workouts, what I eat, my goals for the day, and much more. Without writing down my goals and journaling daily, work tends to pile up and can feel a lot more overwhelming. As a mom to a busy toddler, it's also hard to keep everything in check. Daily journaling helps me ensure I don't miss anything, keeps me on track with tasks throughout the week, and motivates me to go above and beyond. I would definitely recommend daily journaling to anyone with a busy or stressful life!”
- Liz Jeneault, Vice President of Marketing | Faveable
2. Hold yourself accountable
"I have been journaling daily for 30+ years. It has allowed me a place to explore thoughts, feelings...and even more, it has been my #1 self-accountability tool for turning the dreams I wear in my heart into the realities I walk in life. After writing seven books, building a million-dollar biz, traveling to 50 countries and even walking 3,000 miles across seven of them in the last five years...I think I will keep journaling until I have zero breaths left in me."
- Shawn Anderson | Author, Speaker...Unlimited Thinker | ShawnAnderson.com
3. Align your thoughts and feelings to accomplish your goals
“Journaling every day has allowed me to start and finish my day on a positive note. When I journal first thing in the morning it gives me the opportunity to align my thoughts and feelings with my goals, values, and necessary beliefs so I can have a fulfilling and productive day.
Journaling takes things that feel so out of reach and puts them on paper making them feel tangible and therefore maniputable or attainable. When I first started journaling I followed a very specific and set ritual day after day. Everything I would write down started manifesting in my life. I would set a goal and celebrate it on paper as though it was done and shortly after I would have achieved it. Whether that was in life or business, I was seeing how I could literally write my reality into existence. Of course, this was possible because the act of writing it down and connecting to it each day rooted me in the mindset of making it happen so I was quick to take actions that aligned me to those realities.
We can’t just ‘write’ it and hope it shows up but the act of writing it consistently and stepping into the version of myself who feels all the gratitude, all the love, all the excitement actually was the catalyst to consistently upleveling my life. I continue to do it for these reasons as well. This actually inspired me to create an interactive guide/journal for people within my #1 Best-Selling Self-Help book, ‘Believe your way to Badass’, that will literally guide you through redefining your beliefs, developing self-love, and manifesting your way to your best most badass self through journaling prompts and action game planning!
Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated. It can just be a way of taking a time out each day and checking in with yourself."
- Celeste Rains-Turk | Online Fitness Coach | Self-Love, Food Freedom and Mindset Mentor | Celestial.fit
“One of the biggest benefits of journaling is problem solving. As much as we may try, it's nearly impossible to figure out solutions in our heads. When you write things out, and look at them objectively over time, it's much easier to figure out the best course of action. Journaling also helps with tracking progress on projects. This is especially helpful when working on a side hustle or passion project, where you only have a certain amount of time you can devote each day or week. Even if it's just a few lines, I recount everything I do each day, whether it's a meeting, email outreach, social posts, articles, etc. When working toward a big goal, it's super-helpful - as well as motivational - to identify and track all you have accomplished.”
- Debra Eckerling | Goal Coach/Project Catalyst | Author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals
5. Get clarity on thoughts that are holding you back
"I have had a daily morning writing practice for last 5+ years. It is the number 1 thing that keeps me sane. It allows me write down on paper everything that is going on in my mind and allows me to access my subconscious thoughts and patterns - things I am struggling with, things that are holding me back, things that I want from life that may be covered with too much noise, my fears and whether they are true. My writing practice is like a windscreen wiper for my soul and my mind. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who would like more clarity of mind and wants to do self-enquiry! "
- Kapil Gupta | Relationship & Men's Interpersonal Coach | Business Consultant | Nibana.life
6. Release emotion and gain clarity
“I was one of those kids growing up that would start a journal for a week and then forget about it for a year. Then I’d journal again for a week, drop it for another year. It wasn’t until I was 28 that I started journaling regularly, and now, daily. I started journaling as an experiment with my morning routine. I had been trying to work through some tough stuff I was dealing with at work and I didn’t feel like I had a ton of support. Journaling allowed me to carve out this beautiful moment in time where I could release emotion I was holding onto, work through issues with the people in my life, or problem-solve big things that were on my mind. I’ve continued to journal daily for the last few years because it’s become an incredible support system for me.
Journaling has helped me more deeply connect to myself and my intuition, allowing me to operate from a place of real authenticity in my life. It’s brought clarity to my triggers, improving my relationships with colleagues, friends, and my partner. It’s led to so much more clarity on what I want out of my life and how I spend my time. And, it's created space for me to heal old wounds that no longer served me. Overall, I’m more content and satisfied with my life because of my journaling practice."
- Emily Eliza Moyer | Career & Leadership Coach | Purpose & Alignment | EmilyElizaMoyer.com
7. Track and influence you happiness
"I started journaling every day at the end of 2013 when my life was starting to change. As part of my journal, I've always tracked my happiness at the end of each day, in addition to writing whatever's on my mind. This not only helps me maintain a peaceful mind, but it also allows me to learn about the things that influence my happiness. By watching my happiness evolve, I've been able to steer my life in an overall happier direction, both in my career, my relationships and my hobbies.. Tracking my happiness also makes journaling a lot more fun! I believe everyone should try journaling at least once. What gets measured gets managed, and journaling is the best tool that can help you manage your personal development."
- Hugo Huyer |Author | Tracking Happiness
8. Vent your feelings and remember small things
"I have been consistently journaling since I was in middle school, and I’m now in my mid-twenties. Over the course of this decade-plus, I’ve filled more than 20 journals which are among my most prized possessions. I started journaling daily because it was helpful for me unload overwhelming thoughts and feelings. Journaling allowed me to vent all my frustrations and sort through my feelings on paper, which was immensely helpful. I’ve continued this habit because I enjoy those benefits to this day. I’m able to process emotions and unload heavy thoughts, since things don’t seem as daunting once they’re written down.
In addition to the mental health benefits, keeping a journal is the perfect way for me to remember the small things in life that bring joy. It’s easy to remember the big moments, but when I write down a funny conversation or a small pleasure from that day, I get to look back fondly and appreciate the simple joys in life. I recommend people to journal for both of these reasons – it allows you to get out of your head temporarily and sort through your thoughts, and it allows you to look back on memories you may have otherwise forgotten."
- Erin Ford | Website Content Writer | Hotels4Teams
9. Clarify your goals and move on from negative experiences
“I journal for two reasons: to clarify my goals and action steps to reach those goals, and also to release negative feelings and emotions. With respect to goals, I gain tons of clarity on what I want to achieve and how to get there simply by writing things down. Simply thinking about goals and action items can feel productive, but for me, it's really not. I need to write it down. The process of doing that prompts me to analyze problems in more depth. Writing leads me to see challenges ahead and flaws in my thinking. But most importantly, writing stimulates creative problem-solving. These are the reasons why I launched Prospeqs Equestrian -- to provide a tool that horse riders could use to hold themselves accountable for taking steps forward to reach their goals.
Outside of goal achievement, journaling also helps move on from negative experiences. For example, sometimes a negative interaction with someone can get me stuck in a thinking loop, which involves me replaying conversations over and over in my head. I've found that simply journaling about the issue turns off the thinking loop, freeing up my mental energy for more productive activities.”
- Catherine Brock | Founder | Prospeqs Equestrian,
10. Reduce stress
"I started daily journaling at age 11 (35 years ago), and I’ve written every day since - over 12,500 entries. (OK, so I have forgotten a few days, but just a few: five or six days total in 35 years.)
Writing in my journal is a natural, ingrained part of my day, like eating dinner or brushing my teeth. It helps me process the day’s events and feel a sense of closure. It helps me make sense of my life and process difficult, often emotional conflicts through creation of a personal narrative. It can feel like a release to write something down and then let go of it.
At the same time – and almost paradoxically - daily journaling also helps preserve memories, giving me a written account of my life. If I want to know how we celebrated a special occasion or where we went hiking on vacation 15 years ago, I can find out. Time seems so fleeting and elusive to me, and journaling helps me capture a small piece of it.
I find journaling to be a stress reliever, allowing me to purge frustration. I also have gained a lot of personal insights, by tracking patterns in my life and my own response and behaviors. For example, 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since then, journaling has taken on a new importance, allowing me to follow the trajectory of my symptoms and find correlations and patterns.
Journal-writing is a powerful tool to enhance self-knowledge and understanding”
- Lisa Doggett, MD | Family Physician | Author | LisaDoggett.com
11. Eliminate you bad habits
“I have kept a journal since middle school, so about age 11-12, and now that I am 41, I find that daily journaling keeps me sane!
Once I got into my 20's, I got more dedicated to my journaling and I found SEVERAL patterns that were negatively affecting my life by looking back and making a spreadsheet to chronicle events and behaviors. Clinically dry I know, but it made me prove to myself behaviors I could no longer deny.
By keeping honest in my daily journal, even if just writing one page, I am more aware of the bad habits I'm trying to evolve out of. Knowing I will be writing down what I did later also keeps me on my toes about sticking to positive behaviors, too! We are all human, I know, but it just keeps me conscious about my actions and words.
I recommend others journal every day to vent somewhere safe that is NOT online. It helps you work through issues in private and without judgement. And, writing it in a paper journal will always keep it accessible to look back on and reflect, (Plus, it will never need re-charging!)”
- Carrie Aulenbacher | Creative & Author | CarrieAulenbacker.com
12. Reduce anxiety
"I've been journaling regularly for about twenty years and highly recommend everyone to do it. The reason I do it is to create space in my head and to examine any underlying feelings that I might not be aware of. Ignoring these feeling can eventually manifest in undesirable ways such as through anxiety or depression, so it's better to catch them while they are small! I initially started because I was experiencing anxiety and journaling gave me an outlet to express all the unexpressed stuff inside me. It was a safe, private space to simply get everything out. But over time I found I was finding my own answers to the problems I was experiencing - which is why I've continued. Journaling helped me find perspective, create solutions and to see what was actually worth worrying about, and what I could let go of. (Turns out there isn't much we genuinely need to worry about!)."
- Rachelle Strauss | Health and Wellness Coach | TheHealthandWellnesGrid
13. Most beneficial part of your day
"I journal everyday, sometimes twice a day. I have been journaling for 20 years, the last five of which have been almost daily.
I do it because it is hands down the most beneficial thing I do for almost every area of my life.
It has helped me do all of the following: heal my emotions, discover limiting beliefs ,problem solve, plan out my dreams and goals, come up with new business ideas and connect to universe energy and angels. It also helps me sleep by getting my thoughts on paper and out of my head.
I recommend everyone do it for many reasons, but my number one is: It is a great way to manage your emotions. If we don't they only accumulate and harm us. Emotions don't just leave if ignored, our bodies hold on to them. Consider your journal a therapist."
- Andrea Travillian | Life Coach | AndreaTravillian.com
Try it out!
Today, sit down down for 2 minutes and start writing. Start small! Let this small habit help you accomplish more and reduce stress in your life.
If you need help getting started, check out the GoalCrazy 90 Day Guided Journal & Planner. It will ask you questions and give you a format to follow to get the most of your journaling. You can check it out below.
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