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Effective Journaling Tips

Nov 13, 2007
Journaling can be a healing tool, but in order for it to be effective you must also know how to journal effectively. There are also various exercises that you can partake in through your journaling. These allow you to challenge yourself and think more creatively and deeply.

Journaling may be inexpensive, but it does require time and commitment. The time factor itself can be small, only about ten minutes per day or may be thirty minutes a week depending on how you would like to summarize your life. You do, however, have to be motivated to write on a regular basis. Even if you do not have a lot of time to write, you will still be able to enjoy the large amount of personal growth that is available through journaling.

An effective journal entry should be written with clear images and feelings. You should aim to include your reactions along with the facts or events of your life. The experience of certain events may not necessarily be what you thought it would be, and this is what is important to capture. You are bound to feel turmoil in various moments, and these feelings are excellent fodder for journaling. Journaling allows you to vent and understand emotions. These types of entries can be effective at giving yourself a more rounded perspective on past events.

There are numerous things to write about in a journal. You can reflect on the day, the week or even the year. You can reflect on events that you have been a part of or people you have met. Look for conclusions that you may have made or any conflicts that you faced. Most importantly, write about how you felt. This will allow you to examine your own emotional responses. You may find that you need to make a personal action or response to those conflicts. The conclusions that you make from your journal entries are the ingredients to self-growth. Facing those conflicts may also change your life for the better, as you are able to grow as a person.

There is bound to be something that you can write over each and every day. Nothing is too average for a journal. It may be as simple as mowing the yard or paying the bills, but during those times you may have seen something that sparked an interest or turned out to be a good journal entry. Perhaps you want to make your lawn greener or take better care of your roses. These are excellent personal goals that should definitely be included in your journal. These small goals help build your self-esteem and allow you to celebrate over small, daily accomplishments. When you journal there is also a sense of commitment to yourself. You feel that those goals must be completed. Many people may feel that they are, in a sense, letting themselves down by not completing these small personal goals. Above all, your goals should be obtainable so that you don't lose your motivation in achieving them.

You should also always go back and review what you have written. Think about each journal entry you have made and what it means. This is the true aspect of self-growth through journaling. It is easy to recognize changes in yourself through your journaling. You may find that you had a disturbing idea one day, but the next your attitude was much better. You may also find that your attitude grows and improves day by day. This is what makes journaling a true self-growth tool.

Remember that your journal is just for you, unless you choose to share it. This means that you have the freedom to write about whatever you want and about whomever you want. You don't have to worry about proper grammar and you try various different writing styles. Anything you do in your journal is for you and you alone. Write about whatever you want and do your best to include as many experiences as possible.
About the Author
Javier Colayco is the founder of InboxJournal.com, a journaling site for keeping a private or public diary. Users can post entries directly in daily journal reminders, set reminders according to their schedule or post directly through the site.
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