How Journaling Everyday Inspires Me to be a Better Person

Everyday for the past three months, I’ve written out what my personal mission and purpose is.

Everyday.

I’ll keep the specifics of that to myself, but as I’ve noted before – thanks to Samuel Johnson – it’s often more important to be reminded of things than to learn new things.

And journaling everyday, reminding myself of my mission and purpose in various areas of my life, is the ultimate habit for reminding me of the vital things I need to remember every single day.

Here are some other elements in my journaling structure:

Gratitude

I begin each entry with gratitude. I thank God for people in my life, current circumstances (both good and bad), possibilities for the day.

Often, a bit of gratitude for a person leads to a bit of prayer for that same person. Or a personal commitment to be a better friend, dad, husband, colleague, or vendor.

Starting off with gratitude reminds me of the awesome things in my life and prevents me from too quickly going negative (which has become an annoying habit lately – I gots to work on that). (incorrect use of ‘gots’ intended).

Debrief Previous Day

The next section is all about debriefing the previous day.

I review my decisions and responses and evaluate it based on my mission and purpose.

Did I fulfill or live up to my mission and purpose?

Did I make good decisions?

Did I move myself toward any of my current goals?

Did I have fun or enjoy friends, families, colleagues?

What I Want to Accomplish Today

The next section is all about moving forward for that day.

What am I concerned or worried about?

What do I want to see happen?

Do I have any difficult conversations or projects?

Is there something in particular that I’m excited about and looking forward to?

What Are Obstacles to Accomplishing Those Things?

The next section is all about obstacles and what might hinder me from getting things done that day.

Are they internal or external?

Are they real or imagined? (You know how our minds can trick us one way or the other)

Am I making something bigger than it should be?

How to Overcome Those Obstacles

The next section is about how I can attack those obstacles. I make sure to include how I can attack those obstacles through my Christian faith and through what I know to be true and identifying any of the false power that I give those obstacles.

Finally – My Mission, Purpose, and Core Values

The final section is always my mission and purpose along with the formula that I have for hopefully fulfilling that mission and purpose.

I tack on a list of core values. Right now, I’m working on identifying what those might be. Everyday, I write 3-5 of the values that percolate to my mind to see what is truly important to me.

That’s it. I shoot for 750 Words (check out 750words.com for a cool online journaling environment)

How this inspires me a to work on being a better person….

Here’s a few ways…

  1. It clears the decks, cleans out the cobwebs, gets me out of my head – that helps battle the ‘mull’.
  2. It reminds me of how I want to serve others.
  3. It helps me focus on what is important.
  4. It might not shoot me out of a canon of awesome, but it helps prevent me from sitting idly by as life passes.
  5. It encourages me to make choices vs. allowing the days to happen to me.
  6. Daily gratitude always makes me less grumpy. And I can be grumpy.

I’d love to hear from you…. do you journal? What’s your process? How helpful is it for you?

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