“I started this habit of writing a journal 3 years ago. It became almost a ritual in it’s own right because it changed my life in so many positive ways.
Here’s the journaling process I use.
- Every sunday afternoon, I set approx. half an hour to an hour aside to write a journal.
- In contrast to many other people I only do my journaling on a weekly basis – I don’t have the time to do it every day. There’s another advantage of journaling that way: by the time I sit down to write a journal, a few days have probably passed, my head is clearer and my reflection is of better quality.
- I use Evernote for my journaling and I find it a great tool for this purpose. That way, my journal is always with me. Sometimes I take add a note or two in my journal notebook already during the week or send myself an email directly to my “Journal” notebook in Evernote, so I don’t forget about it until Sunday.
- I tag each week like this:
Week of March 15th – 22th 2015 | CWA | Sailing | Barbecue party | …
This appears in a headline of the particular Journal weekly note.
- To structure my thoughts, I use a “template” that I’ve developed over the years. It served me very well over these couple of years and I want to share it with you.
1) How did my week go?
- What success did I experience? What can I celebrate ? What can I be proud of ?
- Any magic moments? (Besides text, I’d put here links to private (unlisted) youtube videos of our most magical moments.
- What challenges did I endure?
- What I didn’t achieve this week (but I said I will). What are the reasons?
2) What did I learn in this week?
- About myself?
- About others?
- What do I plan to do – differently or the same – tomorrow?
3) Who did I interact with?
- What was interesting about them?
- Anyone I need to update?
- Thank ? Ask a question?
- Share information or feedback with?
4) My Top 3 Goals for next week BIZ / PERSONAL
5) Upload the nicest and most inspiring photos of the week
I upload the photos and they appear in Evernote as thumbnails which is nice. Going back in time and just looking at the thumbnails I can quickly remember what was that particular week all about … and most of the time I smile 🙂
How do I set my top 3 goals for the week?
I follow this mini-template. It proved to be extremely helpful for me especially at sorting out what is important and what is not.
- First of all I keep a bucket list as a separate note in Evernote. It’s a simple list of things that came to my mind for some reason.They are not in any particular order. The list gets regularly updated. If for example I get a thought about something I want to do, I’d record my voice or send myself an email and then forget about it.
- When I get to write my journal for the week, I go to that bucket list and pick 10 most obvious goals/tasks.
- I decide for the 3 that I want to accomplish the following week by asking myself this:
- What is the outcome that I want to see?
- Why do I want this? Why does it matter?
- What do I need to do ? List of smaller actions that will make my goal come true. If there are more than 3, then I break it in smaller goals.
- What will get me the most “bang” for the least effort? Apply the 80/20 rule.
- Can anyone help me (speed things up)?
- How long will it take?
- Re-prioritize – if necessary (especially in light of the duration to accomplish the task, things might change)
- Schedule them / block the time in a calendar. RULE: Things not calendar don’t exist!
With time, it becomes a routine so this process of setting priorities for the coming week is done fairly quickly. It takes about 10-15 minutes which I don’t find disturbing. The benefits are far greater anyway:)
Then it’s all about execution.
A successful execution needs to be celebrated. I do so at the end of the week when I’m journaling again by reminding myself about the successes of the week (point Nr. 1 above). It makes me smile many times. And that is a good thing. It makes me a more happy person. It also makes me much more grateful and aware of how lucky I really am. When I screw-up though, I honestly admit that and write down what were the reasons for screwing up and what will I do differently next time.
So the loop is closed.
What about you ? What’s your process of writing a journal?”