LIVING: 5 Journal Techniques For A Better Mind
A brief note from me before we begin:
I know this started as a health & fitness blog, and "journaling" may not seem to health & fitness-esque, but the whole point of this fitness thing from day 1 for me has been mental strength over physical strength.
Don't get me wrong, I love being strong. I love having physical strength goals to work towards, and nothing clears my mind like a good sweat & my favorite playlist, but that physical strength used to mean nothing to me until I connected it to my mental strength and lifestyle habits, so expect just as many "mental" fitness posts as physical. ;)
In addition to being a trainer, lifter, runner, health-food enthusiast, I'm also a writer, and journaling has been a huge part of my mindfulness practice for years now. But for some of us, it's intimidating, cheesy, too time-consuming & seems pretty pointless. Do you identify with one or more of those journaling beliefs?
I want to try and change that and encourage you to try some new, easy journaling habits that have worked wonders for me, both in the past & currently! Take em for a test run & let me know what you think!
1. "The Daily Recap"
This is one of my favorites because it's easy and such a staple part of my nightly routine now. It's simple and takes less than 5 minutes because I write maximum 3 sentences. You just recap your day from wake up to bedtime, simple as that.
Why is this helpful? It's an easy reflective practice that also ends up being pretty cool a month, 6 months or even a year from now when you can look back and see where you've been!
2. "Meaningful Moment Journaling"
This is my twist on "gratitude journaling" which is highly hyped up but super challenging for me, because the point is not to repeat things, but so many times, the things I'm truly, deeply thankful for are the same! (my health, my family, my spoiled-American-girl lifestyle...)
I read about this somewhere, tried it, and instantly loved it. You pick one moment from your day (or week if you want to start small) that was particularly meaningful to you and write about it. The idea is that by recounting positive experiences, you're able to kind of "re-live" them and experience the parts of them that brought you joy all over again. I don't know about you, but I'm all for hyper-focusing on the good so I spend less time worrying, stressing & thinking about that one rude thing I did but totally take back...
3. "The Dump"
Potentially the easiest journaling style, like, ever. I started this back with a free website called 750words.com and really enjoyed it. It does not have to be 750 words like the premise of the website, but the idea is simply to just free write for a set word count/time period.
You can write a story, recount your day, complain, make a list of your favorite po-boy shops and why, vent, write a letter no one will ever read, write an alternate ending to a TV series... ANYTHING. And that's why it's so easy.
What's the point of this? To give yourself permission to just freakin' write. Spelling and grammar don't count (or even exist!) in this type of writing. It doesn't have to flow or make sense or have any logic. I look back at my 750Word entries & EL OH EL because I was so rambly & vent-y and it was awesomely therapeutic. Set a timer for 10, 15, 30 minutes or give 750words.com a whirl and go write about anything. you. want.
4. "Things I Did Well"
I like this one a lot because it's a list-style of journaling, thus very quick (in theory.) Sometimes it takes time to think of things to put on the list, but that's part of the practice! You think of 3 (or 4 or 5...) things you did well that day and just write them down.
It can be things like "got up after only 2 snoozes instead of 3!" or "opted to make my own coffee instead of spend $5 at Starbucks." If the things you're proud of are things like "got my whole to-do list done" or "vacuumed the living room rug"-- PUT THAT DOWN! It's crazy what some small pats on the back at the end of the day can do for your mind.
5. "Daily Intentions"
I am a sucker for this one and will get on my soapbox any day about it. I can't stress enough how important it is to have some idea in your head of how you want a day to go. Whether that's the night before or the morning of, setting intentions for your day ahead of time is like you saying "It's going to be a good day because I'm saying so right now."
Daily intention journaling looks like to-do lists, mental prep for the day to come, and even just a small note about the type of day you want to have and why. "Today, I want to brighten someone's day unexpectedly and clear my inbox of unread emails!" When you set intentions ahead of time like that, you're much more likely to get them done rather than just shooting at no target and hoping you hit the bullseye.
I hope you give at least one of these a try this week & I would LOVE to hear about how it went! Click here to find me on instagram and tag me in a post about how you used 1 of these journal techniques for a chance to win a FREE custom workout plan!