Writing is certainly not one of my strong points but I do like to keep track of my goals and my thoughts. I wanted to take a break from the nutrition and exercise portions of getting fit and healthy as there is one aspect that most people don’t focus on when trying to get fit or lose weight, and that’s mindset. One thing that has helped me to keep track of my goals, especially my fitness goals, is journaling. I started journaling about 10 years ago, in particular keeping a grateful journal. At the time, I was in a job that was extremely dissatisfying and stressful. I had just purchased my first home, was newly engaged, and leaving my job was not an option for financial reasons. I didn’t know how to deal with the stress of my job so along with starting meditation, I also discovered journaling. I had a meditation coach who introduced me to the concept of waking up every morning and writing in a journal of what I was grateful for each day. Give or take a few days off, I’ve been writing in my grateful journal ever since and it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made that has changed my life.
There is a quote by Anthony Robbins “A life worth living is a life worth recording”. I sometimes like to go back and read my journal entries to see how I progressed with my career, training, and other aspects of my life but also to reflect on significant events that occurred in my life and how it’s helped me grow as a person. You’re probably thinking to yourself, how am I going to schedule more time into my busy schedule to start journaling? Well, there are many benefits to having a journal especially when it comes to reaching your fitness goals and I’m going to help you with them in today’s post.
Learn About Yourself
First of all, when you start writing down your thoughts on paper, it’s amazing how the words just flow out of you. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, when you write down your feelings and to start to let out the negative thoughts, you will finish more relaxed than when you first started writing. You can re-direct your life in a positive manner by shifting your focus to achieve anything you want.
Many times we don’t have the support to help us in our efforts to lose weight, workout, or get healthier. Think of journaling as a way of listening to your own thoughts. When you write them down and then read it out loud, you will be surprised as to what you read back to yourself.
If you are new to journaling, the thoughts you write down will become less of daily events and eventually turn into thoughts, goals, struggles, and ideas. As we evolve and grow, so does our writing and thoughts. When I first starting journaling, I would write several pages of events that happened during the day. Now I focus on what I want to achieve and how to get there.
Keeping track of your goals through journal writing is such a powerful instrument as it helps us monitor our progress of our goals. For instance, when I’m training for a ½ or full marathon, I like to track my thoughts and progress so I can use it for future use. After completing a goal, I like to re-visit how I worked through a particular training session so I can use the same tools and tricks for future use if needed. Sometimes, you get into a slump in your current training program and require some instant motivation, so it’s nice to reflect to see how you dealt with it in the past. Remember “the body achieves what the mind believes.”
Be Grateful for the Small Stuff
We live in a world where we want self-gratification. I have a 5 minute journal where every day when I wake up, I write down 3 things that I am grateful for. It’s so important to start your day off on a positive note. If you think good thoughts, great things will happen. If you appreciate what you have in your life, you will focus on the positive things instead of the negative ones.
Things that I consider to be small and grateful for are things that others wish they had. For instance, the other day I wrote in my journal that I was happy that I have the opportunity to have an organic vegetable garden in my backyard where I can give away fresh plant base food to family and friends, or, I am grateful for having wood to heat my home when there are people in this world who are homeless. There is always someone out there who is a lot worse off than we are.
There is a small bush that is located right outside my office window and every spring, a bird comes to build its nest there. I hear the chirping noises of the baby birds every morning when the mother bird leaves the nest to get food. It’s music to my ears. I love the simplicity of it all and the fact that it’s nature at its best.
We all get stuck with having problems and trying to overcome them. When you set your goals, also write down the obstacles you are faced in achieving them such as finding time in your day to work out or staying motivated to continue to exercise. Whatever the problem is, the mind will find a way to solve the issue at hand. Set the intention and it will come to you a later time. This also helps reduce your stress level as you will eventually pinpoint what is holding you back from achieving your goals and dreams.
Tips on Getting Started:
1. Decide on what you want to record in your journal. Do you want to focus on losing weight? What about training for your first race? Don’t like your body and want to change it but you don’t know how? Do you want to eat healthier? It can be any of these things or all of them. It’s your journal so what you write down and keep track of is not limited to one thing.
2. Buy yourself a new journal. You DESERVE IT! You don’t have to spend a lot of money but think of it as the most important book you have, your book of thoughts. No one gets to read this journal except for you. While you’re at it, buy a nice pen.
3. Find a place to write that is quiet and you will experience no interruptions. I use my office space where I can close my door, sit down, and write with no one interrupting me. This is YOUR TIME, so set limitations where your partner or family members can’t bother you.
4. BE HONEST! No one is critiquing your writing or your thoughts. This is the one thing you have in your life where you can be completely honest with yourself and no one can judge you.
5. ENJOY WRITING. I’m not a writer and I don’t pretend to be. You don’t have to write for hours upon hours in your day. If you feel like writing for 5 minutes one day, than do that. If you have lots to say, than write for as long as you want. Every day will be different. Enjoy the process of learning about yourself.
Tomorrow’s Task: Get yourself a journal and start every day by writing down 3 things you are grateful for in your life. This only takes a couple of minutes to write down. Start your day off in the right direction.
I’ve gained a lot of insight about myself over the past few years and a lot of that has come from my journal writing. From writing through problems and finding solutions to setting goals and writing down my achievements. It’s the one place where I don’t feel judged. There are some things in life in which you just don’t share with other people. My journal has become my confident, solution to my problems, and the place that has shaped me to be the person that I am today.
My journal has made me more grateful, help me set my daily affirmations, look back on my day and how I could have made it better. I currently use a 5-minute journal every day amongst other journals to help me set my intentions for the day. I spend a few minutes every morning writing down what I am grateful for, what would make the day great, and then write my daily affirmation. At the end of the day, I look back and write down 3 amazing things that happened during the day and how I could of made the day better so that the next day will be even more amazing!
So how does journaling help you with weight loss, simply by writing down your thoughts and turning them into reality. The choice is yours.
See you tomorrow,
Art & Maureen