A journal is a great way to get all the busy ideas out of our minds, it is a place to work through challenges, a place to recount successes, and a place to clarify our path toward positive change. Engaging in a process that channels ideas and thoughts provides a platform for “actively thinking” and can provide insight that you might otherwise miss.
The frequency that journalers write is also as varied. Some people find that daily entries are a meaningful tool, others journal when they are facing a decision or some juncture in life. I have used this tool on different occasions, and find myself returning to it more frequently as I explore different and more creative variations of journaling.
Be creative, be true to yourself, and give journaling a try, you will be surprised what can come from it. Here are some brief ideas about creative journaling techniques.
A journal does not have to be written in sentence form with proper grammatical form. You do not have to create a “conversation” with your journal. Instead, try making a list of pros and cons about a decision. Or try making a list of possible barriers to making a life change. If you are trying to change your diet, list the things that could derail you. This
type of journaling works great for those who do not have a lot of time.
A collection of clipped pictures or other memorabilia that represent your goals, your frustrations, or your plans can be placed on journal pages or even in a large sealable plastic bag with a date on it. The creative process of collection will allow your mind to work on the topic without the pressure of writing. This kind of “active thinking” works well if you are not fond of writing.
For those who are drawn to artistic expression, a sketchbook can become a great journaling tool. Try doodling or expressing yourself by sketching objects or people. Try melding words and art together for new levels of expression or even try creating shapes with strings of words.Letters
Write brief letters to yourself or pretend friend in a notebook or loose-leaf paper. In these letters include a few details about what is on your mind and why. Some like to create a running dialog, others jump about as new things pop into mind.
One of my favorite things about journaling is the ability to look back at where you were mentally and physically in the past. I happened upon a list of pros and cons from a decision I made 9 years earlier. In one way it felt like I was looking at the life of another person, so much time and so many things had passed since that time. That served as a great reminder of the power we have in the decisions we make. I made a positive change, moved to a new city, and have been delighted with the decision. It was pleasing to see that my decision making process was well on target and being on the other side of the decision made the reflection process very powerful.