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5 Years Of Journaling: How Writing For A Few Minutes Daily Has Transformed My Life

I began a daily journaling habit on April 8, 2019, which means I officially have 5 years of journaling experience. This simple practice has led me to accumulate 10 notebooks of journal entries, capture special moments with friends and family, and gather unique life lessons that continue to serve me to this day. And that’s only the beginning…

In fact, journaling daily has completely changed my life in countless ways. It’s easily one of the best habits I’ve adopted in my adult life. In today’s article, I’ll share 5 ways this daily discipline has revolutionized how I live and show up in the world.

But before we get into that, I want to first explore a few…

Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling

I had no idea writing on a piece of paper every day could have such an incredible impact on my life when I first started this practice 5 years ago. It was just something I thought would be a fun habit, as I’ve always enjoyed writing. But after 5 years of journaling every day, my life has drastically improved. What’s more, the science seems to agree with me on the advantages of journaling.

Here are a few reasons you should take up a daily journaling habit:

  • Organize your thoughts and emotions
  • Vent during challenging days
  • Monitor your goals and ambitions
  • Hold yourself accountable to healthy habits
  • Help you live a life of intention
  • Experience mental clarity with a daily brain dump
  • Improve your writing abilities
  • Grow into a more positive mindset
  • Uncover (or develop) your values and principles

I don’t think enough people understand the power of simply writing out their thoughts and ideas every day. If they did, they would be much more self-aware and on a better path. Journaling can make a huge difference in your overall quality of life.

How 5 Years Of Journaling Has Completely Transformed My Life

This list is in no particular order. Keep in mind that these are my personal experiences of what I’ve learned from this simple daily habit. I can’t say your experiences will be the same. But what I can say is that—regardless of what happens if you start journaling—you benefit from the practice.

1. A Fulfilling Career

I began writing full-time in July 2021. That was a significant milestone in my life because, for eight long years prior to that, I had been trapped in a construction job I hated. And you know how I started the process of getting out of that soul-sucking work? I practiced the art of journaling every single day. Initially, I had no idea putting pen to paper would lead me to a full-fledged writing career.

I just started it to vent, as I knew journaling was a healthy self-improvement habit. However, that led to me starting my first blog, publishing my first book, landing my first freelance clients, and so on until it became my livelihood. Now, I get to help businesses build their brands and connect with their audiences using these words.

This has given me the freedom and flexibility to:

  • Work from wherever I want
  • Do work I genuinely love and enjoy
  • Develop skills in a fulfilling craft
  • Feel a sense of peace and contentment
  • Contribute to businesses in a meaningful way

I get to work from wherever I want, writing articles, blogs, web copy, emails, etc., for my clients. It’s been a long journey to get to this point. And even though I still have a long way to go, as I’ve only been writing professionally for about 3 years at this point, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. And it all stemmed from journaling for 5 minutes every day.

2. Self Awareness

I think we all have a tendency to sugarcoat things in our lives. This is due to two reasons: First, the truth is uncomfortable, and so we don’t want to face it. Second, we simply can’t see or recognize when we’re genuinely wrong. In my 5 years of journaling, I have learned that writing your thoughts every day can boost your levels of self-awareness.

Here are some of the advantages I’ve experienced:

  • More thought consciousness
  • See situations from different perspectives
  • A better understanding of my own line of thinking
  • Stronger grasp on my strengths and weaknesses

Journaling has allowed me to become more attuned to who I am and what I believe. As a result, I can make better decisions that are more aligned with my values and principles.

3. Special Moments

The practice of journaling is more than simply writing your thoughts; it can act as a “time machine.” What do I mean by that? You can use the power of the pen to capture (and relive) special moments in your life: Birthdays, family reunions, unique experiences, intimate conversations, etc. Now, you may argue you could do that with your smartphone. Fair enough; you certainly could.

But what an iPhone can’t do is put those special moments in your own words. It can’t articulate them in a way that makes them more potent and powerful, so they become ingrained in your consciousness.

4. Progress Report

If you’re reading my blog, that tells me you’re ambitious. You have goals, dreams, and aspirations, and you actively work towards them every day. 5 years of journaling has taught me the power of accountability. Think of journaling as a personal accountability partner you confide in to write about your goals and the progress you’re making to achieve them.

A journaling practice can quickly become a progress report where you “check in” on yourself to ensure you’re moving in the right direction. And not only that but when you go back to old entries, you’ll see the progress you’ve made in life. And that will encourage you to keep pushing forward, especially on those down days when the going gets hard.

5. Long-Term Planning

5 years of journaling have helped me develop a more long-term mindset. And this is invaluable. Why? Because life is a long game. Too many people have a microwave mentality toward their goals and dreams. And, of course, I’m not calling the kettle black; Lord knows I’ve been guilty of this mindset as well. However, journaling has helped me grow beyond it.

Journaling every day can help you become more pragmatic. The process of continually writing about your thoughts, plans, and ideas forces you to flesh out the details and think critically about your ambitions. This is how you develop that long-term focus in life—at least, that’s how it’s worked for me.

Key Takeaway From 5 Years Of Journaling

My life would not be what it is if I didn’t practice this simple habit. But the interesting thing is that this could be said for any habit. You would not be who you are and where you are if it weren’t for the daily actions you’ve engaged in up until this point. So, the key takeaway from 5 years of journaling is never to underestimate the power of little actions continually repeated over time.

If you’re looking for additional self-improvement tips, tricks, and tactics, ensure you sign up for The Motivated And Disciplined Newsletter below for more personal development advice delivered weekly to your inbox.

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