How to Journal to Transform Your Life

Table of Contents

Journaling is becoming more and more prevalent. The world is changing fast. The pace of change is accelerating and will continue to accelerate. Determining where you want to be 10 years in the future is now impossible, we have no idea what that future is going to look like. Just think 10 years ago:

  • Instagram didn’t exist (Launched Oct 6, 2010)
  • CryptoCurrency didn’t exit (Invented in 2009)
  • Self Driving Cars were found in science fiction shows

I love the future in the “Undiscovered Country” paradigm from Star Trek. If we don’t know what the future is going to be like, how do we map our journey through the future? The only thing we have control over in the future is ourselves, everything else … who knows?

“Keeping a personal journal a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them.” — Stephen R. Covey

If the only thing we have control over is ourselves, then those individuals who understand themselves and where their journey has taken them so far will are going to have the advantage.

Journaling is by far the most effective way to understand yourself. The sooner you start, the more knowledge you will have to work with. Each entry into a journal has the potential to build on itself and other entries to create a wealth of knowledge. In the same way that compounding interest works to increase your financial wealth, compounding ideas work to increase your self-knowledge wealth.

Three Keys to Effective Journaling

I believe there are three keys for a journal to effective in the future. I will expand on these keys in future posts.

Journaling Framework

In order for a journal to be effective, it needs an organizing structure for all the information the journal will contain. Journal entries need to be created in a consistent way so you can effectively get the information out in the future. Indexes, sections, volumes are all part of the framework. Remember you will be journaling for your entire life, so make sure the framework will still work even after 20 years of journaling.

Journaling Process

You need to have a process for journaling in your life both for when to journal and for what you are journaling about. Morning and evening routines, weekend reviews, sets of questions or prompts that you routinely answers are all part of your journaling process. Ultimately, the purpose of all of your journaling is to live a fulfilled life.

Digital Journaling

Lastly, but probably most important, a journal needs to be digital. There are three main advantages that an electronic journal has over a paper journal.

  • All the information in a digital journal is searchable, no matter how far in the past it was created.
  • A digital journal can be updated anywhere, on your phone, your laptop, your desktop.
  • A digital journal can be copied for safekeeping and back up purposes. It can also be duplicated and passed on to your kids and society as part of your legacy.

As a note, just because your journal is digital doesn’t mean that parts cannot be entered using a digital pen. Most tablets, and more in the future, support digital pens. Using a digital pen gives you the best of both worlds.

Your Life Story

Your life story has value, value that you may not see until you evaluate your experiences long after they are over. In the future, those individuals who have spent the time and effort recording their life’s journey will have a wealth of information that others don’t. Entered digitally within a defined framework allows them to search and discover themes, past lessons, and insights we can’t even think of at this time.

“The most valuable treasure anyone can leave behind is the knowledge they have acquired in their one lifetime.” Jim Rohn

Imagine what you could learn by exploring your journal. Imagine what you could create with an ongoing focus on life design supported by your documented journey

What insight, wisdom, themes, and patterns could learn if we could explore journals from the past. In the future artificial intelligence (AI) is going to assist in this exploration. What can be learned from 1000 people’s journey through life?

Let me know in the comments below what obstacles you have in documenting your life’s journey and your life design.

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