Use journaling to clarify what matters
Journaling helps me clarify my thinking, process my feelings, and make better decisions and remove the nonessentials from my life. I used to struggle with consistency until I made following changes:
So here’s what I shared with her: Use a journaling template.
That’s exactly what I’ve done with my journaling template. I have gone through several iterations, and I am sure I will go through more. It basically consists of eight questions broken down into three parts.
This template assumes I’m journaling in the morning. As I mentioned at the start, it’s part of my morning ritual. A good night’s sleep puts the previous day’s events into perspective for me. I’m not at my most resourceful at night.
- What happened yesterday? I don’t chronicle everything, of course. I just hit the highs and the lows—those activities or events I want to remember later.
- What were my biggest wins from yesterday? This gives me a sense of momentum to start the day.
- What lessons did I learn that I don’t want to forget? I try to distill my experience down into a couple of lessons I want to remember. It’s not what happens to us but what we learn from what happens to us.
- What am I thankful for right now? This is one practical way I can begin my day with a sense of abundance and gratitude.
- How am I feeling right now? Feelings aren’t the be-all-end-all, but they are an important clue. In the past, I just ignored or suppressed them. This gives me an opportunity to check in on myself.
- What did I read today? I record a list of anything I’ve read since I last journaled, including books, blogs, and Bible passages.
- What stood out to me in my reading? I don’t want to lose what I learn, so I record key lessons and insights.
- What are my plans for today? I preview my schedule and identify the key tasks for the day. This helps me prioritize.
Note: The descriptive text above is simply for your benefit. It’s not actually part of the template.
I’ve been using Day One to journal for the last few years.