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Daily Leadership Thought #112 – Keep A Journal

March 25, 2011

Free Closeup Photo of Journal Book and Pencils Stock Photo

I’ve been keeping a journal for years although admittedly there have been some long breaks in between entries at times.  It is a good discipline to develop.  Not only does journaling provide you with an opportunity for daily reflection. It also serves as an outlet for your feelings about what is taking place in your life at any given time.  Instead of keeping things “bottled up” inside, you now have a vehicle for emotional release (which is always the preferred alternative).  I’ve found it useful and enlightening to go back and read my entries from both difficult and happy periods to watch the arc of my journey and how I ended up processing things including making decisions and taking action.

There is no one approach that works best for everyone.  I ask myself the same four questions every time I make an entry:

1) What went well today? Why?

2) What didn’t go well today? Why?

3) What positive changes (if any) do I need to make given what happened today?

4) What is my biggest lesson from today?

It’s amazing what focusing on basic questions like this on a regular basis will do for you. It will help you identify trends and patterns of your own behavior and how you cope.  It will give you a sense of how the people around you affect your quality of life.  It will capture the lessons you learn along the way.  And, it will keep a record of the daily triumphs and struggles that mark your own human narrative.  As I’ve stated in other blogs, everyone’s life is a novel, and we are all in the process of authoring our own story.  Keeping a journal will allow you to put some of your story on paper as a course of habit.