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The Surprising Benefits of Journaling One Sentence Every Day

https://jamesclear.com/journaling-one-sentence

jamesclear.com

The Surprising Benefits of Journaling One Sentence Every Day
From 1986 to 2011, Oprah Winfrey hosted The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was the highest rated talk show of all-time and familiar to nearly anyone who owned a television set in North America at that time. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the "Queen of All Media" built a brand that stretched far beyond the television ...

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Learning from old experiences

Learning from old experiences

When looking back on her previous journal entries, Virginia Woolf remarked that she often found the significance to lie where she never saw it at the time.

Reading your old journal entries is a bit like reading a great book for a second time. You pick up on new sentences and see the past in a different way.

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Journaling sharpens your memory

Journaling sharpens your memory

Our beliefs change slowly as we gain experience. Journal entries remind you of how you once thought.

Time will change your face without you noticing, but it will also change your thoughts without you realizing it.

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Journaling motivates you

Journaling motivates you

There is something about knowing that your day will be recorded that makes you want to make at least one good choice before the sun sets.

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Journaling to have a proof of progress

When you have a bad day, it can be easy to forget how much progress you have made. But with a journal, it's easier to keep a sense of perspective.

One glance at your previous entries and you have proof of how much you have grown over the months and years.

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Making journaling easy

Write one sentence per day.

The primary advantage of journaling one sentence each day is that it makes journaling fun. It's easy to do. It's easy to feel successful. And if you feel good each time you finish journaling, then you'll keep coming back to it.

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Journaling prompts

  • What happened today? (Daily journal)
  • What am I grateful for today? (Gratitude journal)
  • What is my most important task today? (Productivity journal)
  • How did I sleep last night? (Sleep journal)
  • How do I feel today? (Mood journal)

Leave 31 lines underneath each prompt. One line for each day of the month. This is where you'll write your one sentence each day. Once the month is complete, you can look back on 31 beautiful journal entries per prompt.

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"We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience."

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The Benefits of Journaling

  • Research reveals that people who journal have a 25% increase in performance when compared to people who do not journal.
  • Journaling helps improve well-being after traumatic and stressful events.
  • Journaling improves communication skills. Writing reflects clear thinking, and in turn, clear communication.
  • Journaling before bed decreases cognitive stimulus, rumination, and worry, allowing you to fall asleep faster.
  • Reflective writing reduces intrusive and avoidant thoughts about negative events.

The Goals of Keeping A Journal

  • You can bring your problems to a journal. Journaling is you figuring things out and clearing your head.
  • Leave your destructive thoughts in your journal. We all carry around destructive thoughts about the things that went wrong. Instead of holding our thoughts in our head, we can put it down on paper.
  • Keep a journal for your grandchildren. Fifty years from now, our own notebooks will be around to astonish and inspire our grandchildren, unlike our tweets and Facebook posts.
  • Journal for your future self. Produce something that you can look back on and learn from.

Forget all the rules others impose about a journal. Do what works for you.

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Journaling approaches

  • The Gratitude Journal: Simply write about something that you’re grateful for.
  • Morning Pages: Before starting work each day, write 3 pages, long-ha...

What you write, you learn

The key to learning is to stop passively consuming information and start actively engaging with the ideas we encounter.

One effective way researchers have found to reinforce learning is through reflective writing: It promotes the brain’s attentive focus, boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns and gives the brain time for reflection.

What you write, you control

  • Recording your thoughts in a medium outside your own head helps your mind to become quieter: It stops returning to the same worn-out mental loops over and over. 
  • When you recount and reflect upon your thoughts and experiences you are, in effect, telling your own story. Journaling helps us clarify, edit, and find new meaning in these narratives.

Journaling Before You Get Out of Bed

Journaling Before You Get Out of Bed

Try grabbing your notebook as soon as your alarm goes off and writing for a few minutes before your feet even hit the ground.

This way you know it will get done, and the activity first th...

Use a Journaling App

While many people recommend journaling in a physical notebook to give your brain a break from screens, if you’re having a hard time keeping up that practice, you can try using an app that you can whip out when you have an extra moment in the day.

Don’t Use Full Sentences

Feel free to have your journal as disjointed as you want.

Leo Babatua of ZenHabits says he only writes his journal in bullet points; just three to six per day. By making it this easy, he says it’s much more attainable for him to keep it up.