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Before Any Kinds Of Habit Change, Journaling Should Be The First One You Want To Adapt

Before Any Kinds Of Habit Change, Journaling Should Be The First One You Want To Adapt

Do you still remember the “new year goals” you vowed to achieve? By this time a lot of us would have completely forgotten about it.

Every once in awhile we feel like we have to have some kind of habit change. Maybe you think you haven’t been reading enough, or maybe you are determined to have a diet. But when work, school or every other activity that we generalised as “life” comes in, we simply won’t be able to process so many things at the same time, let alone those items are hard enough on its own. Soon enough they will be put into the “postponed” file of our brain till forever.

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Journaling Is key foundation of habit change.

However, there are also some habits out there that might effectively help you in achieving other targets you want to meet. They are called keystone habits. You might think that among the variety of habits they should not have any relations with each other, but these keystone habits act like the first step of a success business. With them, they can aid you in achieving other goals much easier. Journaling is one of the keystone habits, and by practising journaling on a daily basis, you might be able to achieve all those things that you can’t do previously with much less effort.

Here is why:

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Journaling is a self-reinforcing action. It can make sure you are focusing on your goal.

By writing down your targets and goals every day in the journal, it acts as a daily reminder and keeps you on the right track towards the finish line. It let you focus on the big picture and prevent you from being overwhelmed by the stress and pressure from everyday life. The action of writing it down could also subconsciously familiarise yourself with the goals so that it almost become an automatic function in your brain.

By writing down your thoughts and emotions, it can help you to clear your mind.

Researches have found that journaling has multiple health benefits, which includes relieving stress and other negative emotions. By writing your feelings down it can aid you in expressing the anger, sadness or worry, with effect similar to talking to someone about your troubles. With that you can have a calm and tranquil mind to focus on other issues and move forward in life rather than being bothering by depressing emotions.

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Our brains are designed to think, so let your journal do the “admin work”.

For a normal person, it is sad to say that we can’t rely much on our memory. It is inevitable for us to forget parts of the information received throughout the past. However, by writing important events or ideas down in the journal daily, we can have a reference whenever we want to recall a specific point in time without the fear that we would mix it up with another day. Random ideas that pop-up in your head could also be recorded for future use. Furthermore, it is proven neurologically that by writing things down, it can enhance brain development as well as memory. Subconsciously you will be able to retrieve insight through the writing process.

Just like the old-school sayings, it helps record your life.

Other than simply aiding you to remember past events, it at the same time also helps you map out your life path. If you are able to continually write in your journal, eventually when you will have a book that is essentially an analysation of yourself. It will be a great way in reflecting what have you gain and what did you lack of in the previous days. From this, you maybe able to find the things you need to improve on as well as the possible path of your future.

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Put things down and free your mind for more meaningful things.

William Wordsworth once said “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” This is exactly the key of journaling. Writing all your thoughts and feelings into the journal, so that it can act as the lighthouse of your mind, the point to retrieve or to guide you to the place you want to be.

So let’s start recording your day. No matter how good or bad that day was, let your emotions flow with the letters. You will be amazed by how good it was on relieving your stress. Just do it for this simple reason first, as days past, eventually, you will realize the bigger reward that comes along the way.

Featured photo credit: www.theodysseyonline.com via theodysseyonline.com

More by this author

Raphael Ha

Writer. Still waiting his chance to travel the world.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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