How To Journal Your Way To Enhanced Happiness, Success And Wellbeing
And four types of journals that will help you to create clarity and joy in the journey.
I am writing this as we have just arrived in the final third of 2021! Where has the year gone?
Do you feel like you have achieved plenty? Or do you feel like much of it has been wasted?
If you answered yes to the first question, then congrats! A huge pat on the back for you!
However, if your yes was to the second question then it’s okay… we have time yet to turn it all around.
And, if you know anything about me (which, clearly you won’t if you are new to me) then you know that I will tell you to go and journal. Every. Single. Day.
And we will begin journaling our reflections of the year so far.
3 reflective questions to ask yourself
- Did I set clear goals for myself, for the year, each quarter, each month, and each year?
- Did I celebrate all of my wins, no matter how small?
- Did I write down all of these wins as a reminder that I am a winner?
Chances are that if you feel that your achievements are less than worthy, then you will have said no to at least two out of the three questions. Here’s why…
When you set clear, time-specific goals, it makes it far, far easier to take the actions required to achieve them.
Here’s a little secret — a sense of achievement is gained more from taking decisive action and following through on that action, than by the actual hitting of the goals. In other words, if you take action, but don’t reach the named goal within the time allocation, you will still feel a sense of achievement, rather than failure.
When you take time every week, or even every day, to acknowledge the wins and the progress that you have made, you feel a greater sense of accomplishment in general. This infuses into every aspect of your life and makes you feel greater worthiness and ability in your daily life.
When you also take the time to write these down in your journal, a certain magic happens. When we record anything with a pen to paper, it takes it from a mere thought and turns it into a physical event, never to be undone.
This serves to give us concrete evidence that we are accomplished and highly capable beings.
This kind of journal entry is often used as part of an ‘evidence journal’. This kind of journal is one that we often use to be able to refer back to easily as evidence.
Different types of journals
There are many different styles of journaling, and types of journals, that you can use. Personally, I have four different journals, each serving a different purpose.
My four different journals are as follows:
1. Dream life journal
This is where I write about my dream life as if it is happening right now. In general, the entries are completely unplanned and spontaneous, and may simply be a series of sentences that begin “I am so happy and grateful now that…”
These entries tend to be pretty lavish in terms of the quantity of monthly income I am receiving (£20,000 plus), the way I spend my morning (sauna and massage is one of my favourites), and the view from my perfect house (always a sea view).
Sometimes I describe a day in the life of my dream life. Other times I might just write a poem inspired by how happy I am feeling, experiencing my dream life.
Research has shown that when we allow our imaginations to feel and see experiences that light us up, we start to embody those feelings and feel that a life aligned with our dreams is achievable.
2. Gratitude Journal
This is where you create a daily practice of writing a shortlist of things that you are grateful for right now. This helps you to feel in a state of abundance, rather than a space of lack — lack being the fuel for feeling unaccomplished and unworthy.
There has been extensive research into the effect of gratitude on our health and wellbeing. It has been shown to help with everything from sleep problems to healthy weight loss.
3. Goal Journal
This is where you write your specific, time-related goals down. However, in order to achieve these goals, it is vital to also list the daily tasks that you will do that will move you closer to them day by day.
As James Clear explains, in his best-selling book Atomic Habits, real change happens when you create sustainable habits to manifest those end results. Without those habits in place, goals can be achieved, but will only be short-lived. They can restrict our happiness by becoming THE means by which you will achieve that happiness.
“Achieving a goal only changes your life for the moment. That’s the counterintuitive thing about improvement. We think we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we need to change are the systems that cause those results. ” — James Clear, Atomic Habits.
In other words, lasting happiness comes first from the action that takes you to the results. So the steps that you need to take are a vital component.
4. Evidence Journal
Of course, the highly valuable evidence journal, where you record all of your wins, all of your achievements, and all of your progress.
I also like to include a section called ‘what didn’t work’. Here I document all the things that didn’t go so well and what I could do differently. Because the learning journey has to involve learning from mistakes, I see things go less than perfect as a positive thing. And, the fact that I gave it a go is a win, for sure!
There are many more types of journaling that you can explore, but these are the ones that I recommend starting with.
The biggest challenge can be creating a regular habit of journaling, and this is something I love to help people with. If you would like to gain access to my next free journaling challenge, then I invite you to join my mailing list to get notified of when it’s happening.