We know others observe us, but how do we observe ourselves? The benefits of journaling are multifaceted, especially for leaders. Journaling works its magic twofold: during the present moment of writing, and when you review past entries. By writing about what is important to you, why you value it, what you are working on, and what are possible solutions, you better understand your goals, motivations and strategies.
What to journal. Keep track of your goals, your values, your achievements, your thoughts, and your ideas. Writing goals can positively impact the likelihood that they will be reached. Keep your goals front and center so that you can refer to them when trying to make a decision.
Vehicles for journaling. A journal does not have to be a heavy bound book. Voice memos on smartphone or recorder; spiral notebook; or a computer entry can all be great vehicles for journaling. Think about what works best for you. Some of us are talkers and others are writers.
Examining the present. The first step is to be honest and start writing down your real thoughts. By reviewing your entries, you will have a better understanding of yourself, which will allow you to think clearly and make smarter decisions. This type of acknowledgement also brings clarity. Recognize your achievements as well as your frustrations.
Reviewing the past. Disclosing more privately than publicly and reviewing your entries in their entirety enables you to start to be your own therapist. Reading prior posts allows you to see the progress you have made and how you overcame difficulties. This increases your confidence. You can also see what habits have been picked up or let go.
Past experiences influence today’s motivations and decisions and all this adds up to your being a better leader…and a better person!
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