From Benjamin Franklin to Winston Churchill, many of history’s greatest achievers have kept a journal or diary at some point in their lives. Their reasons for doing so have varied, and whatever they were, historians thank them for writing things down.
Now, don’t be mislead, it probably wasn’t journaling that made these people become historical figures. However, it probably helped them along the way. The act of keeping a journal has so many great benefits and, in this article, you will read of three main reasons why you need to keep a journal.
Reason #1: It’s a Record
When you write in a journal, it means you have a record of everything about which you are writing. Presumably you are journaling about events that are happening in your life. Therefore, you now have a record of the things that have happened. This can be very beneficial on so many levels.
Imagine if George Washington didn’t keep a journal. Think of all the history and great life lessons that would have been lost. Even if you don’t become famous, keeping a journal for your eyes only can be a great thing to do.
You can look back and see how you’ve changed and grown. In addition, you can use it to learn important lessons and to put your life in perspective. Sometimes it can be a great feeling looking back and reading about what you have done in your life and the people you shared it with. Reading your old journal entries can also serve to help you re-live those experiences.
Your memories will be more vivid and you will be able to put yourself right back where you were, not only at the time it happened but, you’ll also remember and re-live, the time that you wrote about it!
Imagine being able to read over 20 years of your life. There will be so much detail that you would have otherwise forgotten. This is a great way to immortalize yourself and hold onto those memories, both good and bad.
Consider, someday, when you have children and grandchildren. Imagine being able to hand down a book of your entire life. You may not think it is a big deal, however, to them it will be.
Wouldn’t you have appreciated it if your grandparents kept a journal that you could read? Consider what some of them may have lived through: The Great Depression, A World War, the mining industry, the industrial age, et cetera. Wouldn’t it be cool to read all about it from the perspective of your family member?
Yes, it would. Therefore, know that future generations will appreciate your journal. It may not be appreciated by the world, but your family will appreciate it for sure.
Reason #2: It’s Meditative
Virtually everyone nowadays pushes him or herself to the limit and is always stressed. People never feel like they have enough time, and it is tough to accomplish what you want to accomplish. In addition, many people constantly deal with life’s everyday struggles and wonder what to do or where to turn.
Even though this sounds like a dismal way of life, you know it is the truth.
However, you don’t always have to feel overwhelmed or down on your luck. Writing a journal at the end of the day is an excellent way to get everything off your chest. A journal is the world’s best therapist and you need to start keeping one right away!
The act of writing things down is so beneficial that it is unimaginable. Basically, it boils down to this: If you have multiple problems and many things to do, then you are trying to solve and remember all of them. Now, if you write them all down in one place, then you only have to remember where you wrote them down.
Now you only have to remember one thing instead of all of those individual things. This frees up your mind and will give you peace and renewed energy.
Then, at a later time, if you go back and read over what you have written you may realize that things really aren’t that bad. Perhaps you were sad or angry and that is why things seemed so terrible.
However, now that it has been written down, you may have changed the way you feel about it and it no longer bothers you like it did. You may have even solved the problem or accomplished the task. If that is the case, be sure to write it down as well! Then you can track your progress and see how things are moving along.
What’s even greater, is that journaling is an activity that doesn’t involve electronics, computer screens, smartphones, TV’s, et cetera. It is a very simple task that only requires a pen and paper. This is essential when you are trying to unwind at the end of the day.
Reason # 3: It’s a Powerful Tool
In addition to being a great record, and an excellent way to keep your sanity, journaling can also be very useful to track your progress in anything. Are you working towards a goal, or do you want to start a new routine? Then start marking it down in your journal. In addition to writing about your day, problems, tasks, et cetera start tracking your progress.
Perhaps you write down what you ate each day, your spending habits, whether or not you worked out, et cetera. Whatever your goal is, write down how you are doing with it and track your progress each day.
Keeping a ledger within your journal allows you to assess your performance in any goal at a glance and it also provides you with some useful contextual data that may be beneficial in the future. Rather than simply recording numbers on a chart, you will be writing about how you are doing. Maybe you are trying to lose weight.
Instead of simply writing your weight down each day you can also write down how you think it is going. How you feel about your progress, your diet, et cetera. This will allow you to tie everything together and easily track your performance.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should keep a journal, definitely more than three of them, as you found out. The question isn’t why should you keep a journal, it is why aren’t you keeping a journal? Therefore, take some initiative and start writing in your own journal today.
Write in it every few days and eventually, you’ll be making small entries each and every day.