9 ways to journal for joy (and money!)

“Writing is the basis of all wealth.”

Those words were first taught to me by my friend/mentor, Jeffrey Gitomer.

And while you can take that statement into many directions, today our focus will be on journaling.

Journaling is your friend.
Journaling is your resource.
Journaling is your ticket to success.

According to a 2007 report from QuintCareers, journaling possesses near-unlimited power. It can lead to:

o Increased awareness, sharper focus, creative problem-solving, broader perspective, active thinking, brainstorming, deeper levels of analysis, stronger sense of self, generation of new ideas, clearing of the mind…

o Enhanced self-confidence, development of action plans, clarity of thought, greater honesty, self-paced learning, self-expression, integration of ideas, and perspectives, unknown needs/wants…

o Release of fears/tensions, awakening of inner-self, self-growth, improved communications skills and better physical and mental health.

Still think journaling is hokey?

Still think only writers and teenage girls do it?

Wrong. Even Dr. Robert Collins, Psychologist at the Free Thought Association, agrees. “People who journal have fewer physiological illnesses. Recording their experiences causes the patient to become exposed to what’s going on and to examine it in a more rational way at a time when the hot thoughts are not overwhelming.”


But it’s not just about illness. It’s about wellness, too.

Journaling has the potential to impact many areas of your personal and professional life. The following list offers nine types of journals you can use to write your way to success.

1. Morning Writings. As soon as you wake up, dump out everything you possibly can possibly for three pages. Clear you mind. Liberate yourself from those (mostly negative) thoughts. Once you’ve cleared your mind of all the crap, let the floodgates open and make way for the good stuff. (I just started doing this every morning, thanks to Julia Cameron.)

2. WOM Journal. Every time you or your company has a Word of Mouth Moment – either in person or online – document it. Look for trends among your actions that caused those moments. Repeat often for best results. (Thank you, Andy Sernovitz.)

3. Thanks Log. Every morning write a list (even if it’s just a few items) of things you’re thankful for. You will smile. You will feel great. You will set the stage for your positive attitude. What’s more, by giving thanks for the great stuff that happens to you, you immediately begin to attract more of that same stuff. Because The Law of Attraction works. Period.

4. HVA Journal. That stands for “Highly Valuable Activities.” This might be one of the best journals you’ll ever keep. What you declare as a HVA is up to you. It could be reading for an hour, working out, going to church, making 20 calls, whatever.

If you practice three HVA’s per day, that’s about 1100 per year. How can you NOT be successful? (Thanks, Marc LeBlanc)

5. Victory Log. Small victories build momentum. Small victories validate self-assurance. They pave the way for later success, enable you to take bolder action and stretch your boundaries one mile at a time.

You MUST write them down. From something as small as saying no to taking on a new project, to winning a charity 5K; write your victories down. Because when keep track, you keep succeeding.

6. Learning Log. That which goes unrecorded goes unmemorable. So, since you’re always learning new stuff every day, I suggest you keep a Learn Journal. You don’t have to fill it out every day. But refer to it a few times a week to document all the cool stuff you learned: lessons, ideas, mistakes made, numbers, answers, epiphanies, books and the like. Anything you didn’t know before. Write it down. After a month you’ll be amazed how much you’ve learned.

7. NO Journal. For many people, saying no is difficult. From small items like whether or not to meet someone for dinner; to big issues like whether or not to make a golf trip to Florida; more no’s can’t hurt.

Every few days, think back to all the instances in which you said no. Then jot them down. Trust me, it feels great. Liberating. Like you’re in control. Like you call the shots. (NOTE: don’t try to be funny by saying no to keeping a No Journal. That doesn’t count. Nice try, though.)

8. Dream Log. Dreams are powerful windows into the subconscious mind. If you choose to explore the meanings behind them, keeping a Dream Log is essential.

According to the book The Einstein Factor, the three keys to dream logging are: (1) Place the dream log and pen next to your bed before you go to sleep, (2) Start writing the moment you wake up, and (3) Evaluate it regularly.

And if you are afraid to keep a dream log for fear of what you might discover about yourself, then that’s exactly what you need to do it.

9. Luck Journal. Luck isn’t a function of chance, coincidence, serendipity, fate, destiny or divine intervention. It’s science. And it works. You can actually become the luckiest person you know. All it takes is three steps:

First, affirmation. Every morning spend at least 15 minutes preparing yourself mentally for the day. Try saying to yourself, “Today, great things are going to happen to me. I’m going to meet cool, new interesting people. I’m going to have fun and have awesome experiences that will enrich my life.”

Second, documentation. Every time something “lucky” happens to you, write it down in your Luck Journal.

Finally, evaluation. Go back and look for patterns. Figure out what rock caused which ripple. Repeat daily and you will no doubt see an increase in your luck. And if you don’t believe me, ask anyone who considers himself to be “lucky.” You can bet he’s been doing stuff like this for years.

What journals do you keep?

Tell us about them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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