by Wezi Ginindza
I never could tell the purpose of writing in a journal, recording your daily progress, writing about what you have learnt and writing about what you are grateful for. At first, I thought keeping a diary or journal was useless and I also found writing about myself and how I feel a very odd thing to do. When I decided to keep one, I started with writing letters to myself about all the things I wanted to heal from, to change about myself and to keep record of my growth.
A lot of the habits that we have and things we do, we do unconsciously because we picked them up somewhere in life and as time goes on, it becomes difficult to undo what we have learnt in the past. Keeping a journal has helped me reflect on some of the things that have become liabilities in my life.
Here are some of the reasons why I decided to keep a journal and that I think will help you see the benefit in keeping a journal:
- Recording my daily progress keeps me motivated and inspired. Because many times I forget why I started, why I’m doing what I’m doing and why I should continue pushing myself to realise the best version of me.
- When I record my daily learning, I’m able to constantly execute what I have learnt and reflect on it on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. Keeping a journal does not mean you have to record your experiences every single day. However, it is good practice because it shows you how far you’ve come and how to go about achieving your goals by looking at what worked and what didn’t.
- Daily gratitude shows you all the blessings that you have and how you can do so much more with what you have been given. You can either develop yourself or the people around you. This will help you set your goals and achieve them more so set boundaries for yourself.
- Also, journaling organizes your thinking. Writing down my experiences and goals has given me clarity on what my strengths and weaknesses are. Clarity breeds mastery and I have been able to master my thought patterns and actions by reflecting on how far I’ve come and reflect on where I want to be. Having control over your thoughts is probably one of the most difficult things to do but never impossible. It is in fact a life-long lesson. Not being mindful of your thought pattern allows negativity, fear, confusion and misunderstanding to creep into your life. So, make a conscious effort to overcome your thoughts where you control them and not be controlled by them. When you do this, you begin to take true inventory of your life.
- Journaling your experiences fosters hope and it serves as an outlet. It’s okay to be angry at someone or a situation, but transfer that energy into your writing, your music and your art. Understand that an adversity is an opportunity for mastery. Therefore, writing out what you want to happen in your life can make it a reality.
Journaling events that are horrific, painful, exciting and joyful will reveal to you why you behave the way you do and believe in what you believe in. By doing some kind of inventorying, you will see the things that do not enable you to do what you want to do. Once you are aware of these things it makes it better to work on them and change what needs to be changed because as you grow, they are some behaviours that just won’t fit.
Lastly, journaling your experiences will show you the people that are meant to stay or leave your life, because people that impact your life in a positive way will not stifle your growth and development.