The benefits of keeping a business Journal are literally too good to be true: stretching your IQ, evoking mindfulness, achieving goals.
But the list doesn’t stop there. It is claimed that journaling also offers the user the following benefits: emotional intelligence, boosting memory and comprehension, strengthening your self-discipline, improved communication skills, healing, sparking your creativity, self-confidence. (see 10 Surprising Things You’ll Get From Keeping a Journal) Too good to be true?
But maybe it is not too good to be true.
A Journal is a place to write and note your goals, activities, successes, failures and to reflect on how you can improve. A private place. A system that makes you accountable to your plans and goals. Or at least gets you to reflect on how you are doing compared with your aspirations, hopes and dreams.
That all makes sense. But what can a Journal do for you? Let’s reflect on just one of the benefits: achieving goals. This is the one thing that most business managers and directors always look for help with. So how can a Journal help here?
Part of the Journal process is jotting down or articulating your dreams and ambitions. But clearly it is nonsense to believe that the simple process of writing things down makes them happen. The simple laws of physics make it abundantly clear that there is no apparent link between writing and things happen.
An experiment. Humour me as I write this.
“I want someone to give me a million dollars within the next 24 hours.”
Let’s see what happens. (Not much, I suspect.)
On a more serious note, we do need to have clarity about what we are trying to achieve, what we want and what we don’t want. You don’t build a house by just buying the bricks; you employ an architect to design it. And it is the design and planning that is so important.
It is argued that writing goals literally signals to your brain “this is important”. It requires you to think about the whys and hows of things.
It helps you to crystalise ideas. Your reticular activating system then flags relevant opportunities and tools to achieve that goal. This encourages your mind to automatically highlight opportunities and tools you come across that help you reach those goals. Keeping a journal allows you to make new logical connections between thoughts. Both consciously and sub-consciously.
Buying a journal to achieve goals is like buying a diet book to lose weight. Having the book and looking at it isn’t quite enough if you expect to see the desired results.
Will buying a Journal help you achieve your goals? No.
Will using the Journal help you achieve your goals? Depends on how you use it.