Use The Habit Of Keeping A Journal

Jason Daly
7 min readFeb 17, 2023

If you have a great memory, you are one of the lucky few. This article probably isn’t going to add any value for you. For the rest of us, we have a difficult time remembering what we ate for breakfast this morning unless it just happened.

Keeping a journal can be a great way to improve our situations. Because we have a difficult time remembering what happened in the past, we can simply refer to our journals. These journals will contain entries that specify the events on any particular day, as well as personal notes to ourselves. These notes can be related to the events, or they can be completely unrelated. It’s up to you.

The value of the journal won’t be apparent until you have been using it actively. This is where making it a habit comes into play. You need to discipline yourself to make an entry every day. Doing it daily is best. But, if you have a hard time with that, then shoot for once per week.

Try to avoid haphazard entries as the value of the journal will diminish. The journal is the reference book of your life. It also can serve as providing answers to problems you had in the past. The entries will contain notes about how you solved the problems.

It’s up to you whether you want to create this journal online or handwritten. There can be more of a commitment when you handwrite your journal. But, the choice is yours, as long as you keep it going and use it.

Some productivity tools can help in your efforts to journal. For instance, Evernote is a free online tool where you can create notes. You can date these notes and create a section called journal. They even have a feature where you can set up checklists or task lists. The information is saved in the cloud and is secure.

If the entire concept intimidates you, start out small. Don’t try to create volumes in your journal in the first few weeks. The journal structure that you come up with will evolve over time. You’ll keep what is working and scrap what isn’t.

A journal can help you recall information, but it also serves to help you improve your memory. As you continue to record your daily events, you are training your brain with this activity. You’ll end up relying on the journal less and less. Another great idea is to turn your journal into a book and sell it.

Using a journal is a good tool for self discipline too. Let’s look at some more ways to increase your self discipline.

10 Tips For Improving Your Self-Discipline

We all want more self-control. Imagine how much easier life would be if eating right wasn’t such a struggle or a trip to the gym wasn’t a fight with self, regarding the desire for an extra hour of sleep.

Thankfully self-discipline is a trait that anyone can master. You don’t have to be born with the ability. In fact, by following a few simple tips, you can start improving your self-discipline skills almost immediately.

Here’s how:

Understand What’s Particularly Tempting

We all have a weakness. Whether we can’t say no to the salty snacks or wind up staying up too late night after night, we’re looking at the same problem: A lack of self-discipline. By knowing what our triggers are, it’s a simple matter to defuse them.

Change Your Environment

Once you know what tempts you, the simple solution is to remove the trigger from your environment. Salty snacks? Stop buying them. Staying up late? Remove the lightbulb from your bedroom. Don’t be afraid to get radical and more than a little creative.

Set A Goal

Without a plan, how can you accomplish anything? Ask what you’re trying to change. What does your new future look like for you? Make an action plan to take you there.

Practice

Self-discipline doesn’t happen overnight. The only way you’re going to learn it is to practice it. Look at the plan you just created. What steps does it require? Push yourself to act on those steps, daily.

Break Things Down

Change is more natural to make when the steps are kept small and very simple. Break things down to their smallest components. What’s something small you can do today to help you build the habit of self-discipline?

Pay Attention To Your Body

Your physical health will always affect your willpower, so taking care of the basics, such as getting enough sleep and exercising regularly will help you to have better self-discipline.

Gain A New Perspective

The moment you start thinking you have no self-discipline, or that your willpower is a finite resource, you start limiting yourself. By changing your inner dialogue, you’re more likely to have success. Remind yourself often: “I’ve got this.” It truly is about mind over matter.

What’s Plan B?

When going into a difficult situation where you know self-discipline will be challenged, create a backup plan. Know before you begin just what you’re going to do if the worst happens. Implement as needed.

Use Rewards

When you succeed in your goals, don’t be afraid to allow yourself a small reward. As human beings, we’re wired to work our best when we know we’re going to get something out the experience we want.

Know How To Move On

Screwed up? Forgive yourself. Keep going. It’s normal for everyone to mess up now and again. It’s what you do next that matters.

Having strong self-discipline helps you to keep momentum going, especially when the going gets tough, but what are some other ways to help you build momentum?

7 Quick Things You Can Do Today To Build Momentum

You’re on the way! You have a goal in mind, you’re working hard to get there. It might be you’re after something personal. It might be you’re concentrating solely on your career right now. Whatever it is you want, you’re hungry for it. You can’t wait to see the culmination of all this hard work.

…only everything seems to be moving so slow…

What you’re lacking is momentum. Momentum is what pushes you into action. It speeds you up as you work the steps and keeps you going.

So, what do you do when momentum is lagging? Easy. You find ways to build it. Try these quick tips guaranteed to make things happen:

Visualize The Future

Take some time to consider where you’ll be in six months. What about next year or the next five years? Seeing yourself in the future is a really positive way to keep your momentum going. If you can get excited about the you of tomorrow, you’ll find yourself fighting to become that person right now.

Get Up And Do Something

It’s so easy to grow stagnant. Rather than binge-watch the latest Netflix sitcom, how about getting up to create some mischief of your own? Go play a game, take a walk, spend time with friends. Do inspirational things to fill you with enthusiasm.

Learn Stuff

An active mind is a creative mind. The act of learning, even in small increments such as 10–15 minutes a day, will still improve cognitive function. In short, by keeping your mind active, you will pick up momentum.

Act When You Don’t Feel Like It

If you’re waiting for the muse to strike, stop. There will never be a perfect time to work. Momentum means keeping going, even when you don’t feel like it.

Put Your Phone Away

Giving yourself the gift of uninterrupted time does wonders for momentum. By turning off your phone for an hour, you’ll give yourself the freedom to relax, recharge, explore, and forge ahead.

Quit

When it comes to momentum, if you’ve found you’re slowing down, it might be because what you’re doing just doesn’t work. In this case, sometimes the smartest thing to do is to stop. Don’t waste time beating your head against a wall when you could be making progress elsewhere.

Do Something Scary

It’s the challenge that pushes you to new limits. When you do what’s easy, momentum lags. This is why it’s so important to challenge yourself to do the things you never thought you would.

Remember, whatever you can find to help keep the momentum going, embrace! If affirmations help, post a bunch of them everywhere. Put on music to get you moving. Create a social life around people who support you wholeheartedly. You’re the one in charge of your destiny, it’s up to you to act.

As you can see, self-discipline is an important thread throughout this article and if you want to increase your power of self discipline then check out the featured resource below for a free detailed report; download, read it and take action 😊

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