Become Your Own Life Coach with Journaling
Life Design is complex. You need to figure out what it is you want out of life, who you are going to be, and what is the plan for getting there. Any one of these are overwhelming. There are so many choices in life, and with the pace of society, those choices are only increasing. What you need is a life coach.
What is needed is someone who understands who we are and what we want out of life. Who better to answer these questions than you? You can be your own life coach. Who better than you to be a sounding board for your ideas, who better than you to create awareness about who you are and your life vision.
The missing piece in this is a process for you to become your own life coach. This is where journaling comes in. With a well-defined journaling routine, with a well-organized journal, you can become your life coach.
Once you have become your own life coach, you can bring in wisdom and techniques from other life coaches and incorporate them into your own life coaching practice. Once you start doing this they will build on themselves to increase the effectiveness of you coaching you.
I will break down the journaling process for life design into the following:
- Process – Creating an effective journaling practice
- Envision – Journaling for a purpose
- Template – Organizing your journal
- Review – Regular review and learning from your journal
- Execution – Taking consistent action
How I did it – Personal Experience
As a business analyst, my role was to understand the business needs of my clients. Often what the client thought was required was different than what they actually required. My job was to bring awareness to the situation, so the client understood the situation from all viewpoints. Once the client had increased awareness of the situation, they could understand what they really needed.
Part of that process of bringing understanding to a situation is to gain an understanding of the current state of the business and then understanding where they wanted to take the business. It was very important that the client understood the starting point before trying to figure out where they think they should go.
The process is very similar for Life Design. You first need to understand where you are in life, and who you are in life. Once you have that increased awareness of your current life today, you can figure out where you want your life to go.
With the assistance of journaling, you can be your life coach to guide you on that journey.
How to Become your own Life Coach
To be your own life coach you need an approach. This approach consists of five components:
The first key to an effective journaling practice is consistency.
Being your own life coach requires a process, a consistent routine to focus on creating and living the life you desire. Journaling is the cornerstone of your life coaching. Determining where it fits into your life is the first part of becoming your own life coach.
Morning and evening routines are the ideal places to fit in journaling. Your morning routine is what sets the tone for your day. If part of this routine is journaling and reviewing journaling your day is going to be that much more effective. Journaling as part of your evening routine allows you to evaluate the day and determine improvements that you can apply the next day.
Creating triggers to solidify your journaling habit is key to a consistent journaling practice. Triggers can consist of sticky notes to remind you to journal, having your journal available in the same spot, setting reminders on your phone, etcetera. If you have the same morning routine that includes journaling that you do every day, it will soon become a habit.
The second key to an effective journaling practice is journaling for a purpose. Journaling towards creating and living your life’s vision.
In order to have all the pieces required to define and create your vision, you need to understand who you are, what you want, and where you are at. Each of these aspects will help determine the vision you really want and help define the path to that vision.
Too often we only envision part of what we want our life to be. Usually, this is in the form of some outcome you want in life such as a cabin at a lake. When you look at that outcome in relation to what you want other parts of your life to be you may realize that you don’t want all the maintenance that goes along with a cabin, having to spend all your summer weekends at the cabin. In the end, your vision might just be renting a cabin every year or so.
We need to discover a vision that works for us
As our own life coach, we use journaling to document and continuously refine our vision. We document our understanding of ourselves and the relation of who we are to our vision. This allows us to determine what parts of our self need to grow in order for us to live our vision. We document where we are in life to determine the path we need to take from where we are to our vision.
The consistent reflection on our vision and our journey to our vision is going to reveal valuable insight into who we are and what our unique gifts are. As we take this journey to our vision, we are going to realize changes that we want to make to that vision, and we are going to grow into the person required to live that vision
The keystone journaling habit is the best way to work on this creative problem. It requires the constant envisioning of our journey to our vision.
The third key to an effective journaling practice is a template for documenting our life design and the journey we take in creating it. Knowing ahead of time what and how we are going to document our lives keeps us motivated.
The template is simply a defined way of documenting our life. The organization of your journal is dictated by the template to keep what you document organized. The template also consists of defined questions (or prompts) that you answer on a consistent basis. Metrics that you want to keep for things like weight loss, habits, finances are also organized according to the template.
The template goes hand in hand with your process for journaling. If you have journaling as part of the morning and evening routines, the template may specify a set of questions that you want to answer about the effectiveness of your day.
As you progress in your life design, your template can change to adapt to new aspects that you want to journal. Questions can change over time as you discover questions that are more effective for the journey that you are on.
Having a well-defined template allows you to search for and retrieve information and wisdom that you have recorded in your journal.
That brings us to the fourth key of an effective journaling practice, reviewing what you have recorded in your journal.
Having a well-defined template for organizing your journal is key to having an effective way of retrieving what you have entered into your journal.
As your own personal life coach, you should be reviewing your life design on a consistent basis. Evaluating what is working, what is not working, and what could be better is the cornerstone of what a good coach does.
When you review different aspects of your life from the point of view of a life coach, you will discover new possibilities, insights, themes, and patterns. You will be able to use these patterns to help realize your life design or to refine your life design into a better one.
Reviewing your journey, you will see how far you have come. Seeing your progress will give you the motivation to move forward. The outcome of your review is awareness and creativity in overcoming obstacles and planning the next part of your journey.
Your process will dictate when and how you will review your journal. As your personal life coach, you would do reviews yearly, quarterly, monthly, and even weekly. Yearly reviews would be the time to take a step back and look at everything in your life design. Quarterly and monthly reviews will focus on creating major pieces of your life design.
The last key of an effective journaling practice is execution. Unless you are actively pursuing your life design and growing in the process, there is no point to journaling. If we are going to be the same person doing the same thing day after day journaling adds no value.
The main role of you as a life coach is to assist you and keep you focused on your chosen path. The first part of your journaling practice is understanding who you are and where you want to go. The second part is executing the path to get there. Understanding the best way that you can achieve your goals is what you as your life coach needs to discover. This discovery is made by taking action, evaluating how well that action worked, refining the action, and repeating the whole process. If you do this on a consistent basis, you will get more and more effective at creating and living the life you envision.
Your journal is the place where you have documented the tools and techniques that work for you in creating your vision. It is a wealth of information about what works for you specifically. This awareness and understanding will allow you to be the best life coach for yourself.
Understanding that you can be your own life coach is the start. The next step is to start to put this understanding into practice. Starting is the most important part – journaling. Once you start a journaling practice you can constantly refine your practice to make it more effective.
- Start a journal
- Create an organization structure for your journal
- Create a routine to fit journaling into your life
- Constantly review your process and your organization and refine them
- Constantly review what you have documented and learn from it.
Your journey of being your own life coach may lead to a career in life coaching. Here are some life coaching links to explore:
- Coach Training Alliance
- The Institute for Life Coach Training
- JournaledLife Conversation
I invite you to join the conversation about these ideas. Together let’s add clarity and insight.
- What do you struggle with to incorporating journaling into your life?
- What do you struggle with in organizing your journal?
- What has been your greatest benefit in journaling?