PP 061: 6 Ways to Journal to Lead a More Positive and Productive Life

Episode Transcription

I’ve been a journaler or ever since I was a child and on my bookshelf I actually have journals going back as far as third grade. It’s pretty embarrassing, but I do remember a specific journal entry where I was writing about dreaming about the original Mario, way back on the original Nintendo system. These memories and all the other memories in my journals are memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life and hope that someday my children may appreciate and be entertained by them as well. As I’ve grown older. I’ve continued to journal. In this episode, I want to list a few reasons why I strongly encourage all of you to journal as well.

The first reason that I strongly encourage anyone to journal is to check progress that you’re making on any one of your life’s journeys. Over this past weekend, I was looking on Pinterest for journaling ideas and I came across bullet journaling.  If you’re looking for examples of any of what I’m talking about, I strongly encourage you to go to pinterest and look up: Bullet Journaling because, there are so many ways that you can be tracking so many different life goals, including savings, bucket list items, daily action lists, and so much more. As I look back through many of my journals, I can see tremendous progress that I’ve made mentally, physically, and financially and those days when we’re feeling down and like we haven’t accomplished anything. Reviewing our past accomplishments by looking back at where we started can be a great way to lift our spirits.

A second way that we can use journals is to track our daily action items. Well, there’s so many different tools out there like a Sanat and Basecamp and Evernote where we can digitally store all of our to do lists. Having these written down by hand in a notebook allows us to keep these, to do lists, items right in front of us, and then go back to action item one and see our progress.  One of the biggest reasons why I love having my daily to do list items in my journal is because I am really trying to reduce the number of tabs open on my internet browser at any given time. If I have to have another tab open just so I can be checking my to do list items electronically, then it easily leads to squirrels or distractions and gets me off check for the day. I make it a daily practice to set up the next day’s journal page the night before and I write out my big rock items for the day. While I’m not always perfect, I do try to stay on task when those big rock items before I get distracted and participate in other activities.

A third way that I use my journal is to track meaningful quotes that I hear or read either on podcasts, in books, in the Bible, listening to the radio, listening to other people, or even in podcast episodes with guests.  I highlight these quotes in my journal and then I may or may not go back at a later date and make it social media posts out of them. Sometimes these quotes are just saved for personal reference, but they provide a great wealth of information in short little snippets.

Fourth Way that I use my journal is to check memories that I’ve had with my family and loved ones. It can be so easy to forget when a child’s first steps were taken, when a child’s first haircut occurred, or all the little amusing memories that we know are special in our lives, but given the bustle of our day to day lives, we may forget them even as fast is tomorrow. By writing these little events down as they occur in allows me to do a yearly reflection. I can look back and smile and really appreciate all the greatness in my life.

A fifth way that I use my journal is to check my bucket list and also my wishlist. I love to see items getting crossed off my bucket list and my wishlist also keeps my spending on track. If you’ve listened to my episode: “Raising Your Zero” , you’ll know that I’m really trying to be more mindful of what I’m spending money on. So any purchases that are over just a couple dollars I put on my wishlist and think about it for a day or two or sometimes even longer. If those items are still on my mind a few days after I’ve added them to the list that I may bump them up in priority. In all honesty, though, a lot of the items that are on my wishlist eventually fall off and in the meantime I have saved money by not being sucked into shiny objects syndrome. You can use the same thought of a bucket list or a wishlist if you’re single and you’re looking to find the love of your life.

While my soulmate Spec Sheet was not in my journal, I would strongly encourage any of you that are looking for an incredible significant other to develop a list in your journal of all the qualities you would like him or her to have. Getting these thoughts down on paper makes it so much easier to know exactly who you’re looking for and also to politely decline the people who really aren’t up to your standards. I know this may sound a little bit callous, but having come from less than optimal relationships in the past, I want to encourage you not to settle, but to go for the very best person that you can possibly have in your life.

The last way that I want to strongly encourage you to use your journal is to provide motivation and encouragement to yourself. Create a page that tells you – who you are – and I don’t mean that you’re a blonde or a brunette and your such and such a height or weigh so much.  Instead, I mean tell yourself exactly – how awesome you are – . This can be greatly and comfortable for some people, including myself, but we have to remember all the special qualities we have in all the gifts that we can give to the people around us. Unless we give ourself a resource to look back at it from time to time. We may forget just how special we are. I would love to see examples of your journaling and you do not need to include any personal information, but if you want to snap a picture and put it on Instagram, be sure to use the #positiveproductivity so I can take a look for it. If you have any other great ways you love to use your journal, please visit TheKimSutton.com/PP061. and share them with me. Until the next episode, I hope you have a positive and productive day.