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What I learned journaling for 420 days straight

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

For clarity, this refers to the period 18th August 2020 until day of writing 13th October 2021.

A journal is one of the many things in life that can be started for several reasons; to have greater control over your day, to receive clarity over your emotions or to simply interpret the meaning of your dreams. It is no secret that starting a daily journal will have a significant impact on your personal psyche and therefore, it becomes important to note the many benefits that will be received on this journey. I will be discussing my overall experience of journaling for 420 days straight and how it has impacted my life thus far.

For context, my writing journey began on the 18th August 2020 after watching many Ali Abdaal videos on YouTube. He had discussed his method of daily journaling to avoid procrastinating important tasks and how it had helped him grow as a person. I chose to apply a similar idea using the method that Ali had provided but deviated slightly from his overall template. I can announce that this has been a life changing experience and has proved vital under many productivity slumps.

To start, daily journaling has created a platform for myself to adhere to tasks that I have somewhat been neglecting during my chaotic daily routine. For example, I would often have on my mind that I need to complete certain household chores, but I would find myself procrastinating and carrying them out the following day instead. To get around procrastination, I began writing a to-do list containing a total of six items in my journal, which provided a visual cue that they needed to be done today. I follow this up with a satisfying tick once completed. Bring your chores into physical existence by writing it down.

Underneath my to-do list, I typically write a short snippet of something that has occurred during the day. This usually contains a physical event such as walking or visiting family. This may also include mental notes on how I am feeling at that present moment. The impact that this has had on myself has been incredibly enlightening; I now have more control over my emotions and sympathise with others more meaningfully. By reflecting on our daily emotions and events, we can begin to understand our place as human beings and build a thoughtful picture of how and why certain situations happen to us. Write down a brief passage of your day.

My ability to emotionally connect with myself over my thoughts and feelings has become increasingly adept during the last year. Writing down the negative feelings and thoughts into my journal provided ease on the mind when I realised that the problem is not significant. I have realised that writing down your thoughts and feelings can be equivalent to talking it out with a friend. Although we are missing the feedback engagement, it has allowed my mind to put pieces together and relax. Engage with your emotions.

It is not that hard. Writing a daily journal has taken approximately 10 minutes out of my life each day to reflect on my current situation or day thus far. The value and opportunities that have been created as an outlet because of this has far outweighed the 10 minutes mark. The 10 minutes can be pulled out from the time spent on social media or during a relaxing period before sleep; this will bring a halt to a meaningful day. The benefit is great, and it isn’t that hard.

Overall, daily journaling has been a life changing experience and a very rewarding stride in my life. Simply writing a few words about how your day went, how you were feeling or even how many glasses of water you have had should take a few minutes out of the day and will provide many long-term benefits. The journal will reflect how far you have come and how far you need to go. It can be quite daunting at first, but no habit comes without sacrifice, even if it is only 10 minutes.

Thank you for being a part of my journey.

To Summarise

· Getting sh*t done: Add a to-do list to do the chores

· Daily reflection: Physical memories

· Emotional Connection: Greater emotional control

· It is not that hard: N/A



Ali Abdaal:

My Journal Method:

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