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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 August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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