Limitless as You Want to Be
A journal or diary can be a valuable tool for personal growth and development. It can be a private place for self-analysis, or an outlet for your wildest outbursts and creative declarations.
By allowing you to record events of your life and your responses, a journal can nurture your spirit and soothe anxiety, as well as motivate you toward goals and reflect your progress.
Achieve Goals with a Vision Journal
Richmond Clinical Psychologist Dr. Theresa Parr says, “Certainly if you’re talking about a journal in terms of goal-setting, anytime you’re going to write down your goals and be concrete about it, and you write down as many details as possible, that’s going to help you reach goals.”
Visualize your long-term success.
Frame your goal in terms that can be measured. Pinpoint a realistic date that you aim to meet your goal. “You can say, ‘I’m going to improve my diet,’ but you have to say how you are going to improve it,” Dr. Parr explains. “Be specific. It might involve chopping up vegetables at night, or packing your lunch.”
Work in your journal at the same time every day.
“Scheduling goes with it really to me, because you’ve got to say, ‘I’m going to do this an hour a night,’ at whatever time. For me,” Dr. Parr says, “exercise is that way. Unless I make it like an appointment and treat it like someone else is there, the next thing you know, the kids need me, or something happens and it doesn’t go.”
Review your journal frequently.
Assess how you’re doing and note where you can make improvement. “If you’re also using the journal as a check-in where you keep looking at it and kind of going back to the goal and trying to adjust,” Dr. Parr says, “you’ll be successful.”
Journaling is often recommended by professionals as a way to build stronger emotional and mental health. This is your daily chance to unburden yourself, and aim for everything you’ve ever quietly wished. By consistently maintaining a journal, you will let go of fears and hurt that still affect your feelings and relationships. “I think journaling can help because you can check in and process emotions and think through things that happen instead of just reacting to them,” Dr. Parr says. “It’s a big component of cognitive psychology. Even little adjustments make it possible to cope and succeed.”
Consider starting a family journal for each person in your home to contribute to. Make this a free forum for everyone to read and express thoughts and feelings in.
If you get stuck, get creative. Write down a conversation you remember, interesting facts you recently learned, or a favorite quote. Draw a picture or make a collage.
No critics allowed! Quiet the internal voice that tells you “Don’t say that.” Write quickly and don’t erase.
Date each journal entry. Record any details about your mood or the time that will clarify later reading.