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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 November 5, 2020

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. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and 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. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

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, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on Small Tasks

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that 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 positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

3. Upgrade Yourself

Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning 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[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a Friend

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

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. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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If you allow your perfectionism to fade, 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.

Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

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 ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

7. Read a Book (or Blog)

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

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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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[3].

Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

    One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

    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 your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

    10. Find Some Competition

    When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s 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, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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    11. Go Exercise

    Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

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

    If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

    12. Take a Few Vacation Days

    If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. 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.

    More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

    Reference

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