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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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