Why Writing A Journal In 2016 Makes Sense

Discover why it makes sense to start or continue keeping a journal in 2016 and how it helps.

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I've been writing a journal for over thirty years. The content of my journal is varied. Anything from how I am feeling, notes and draft content for work projects and articles to quotes and notes of interest gathered spontaneously throughout my day. I see my journal as a working book, sometimes a work in progress. It is a living book I am always returning to look things up, retrieve a quote or expanding on ideas started on her pages.

My journal travels with me everywhere. You will often find it squashed into my handbag, sometimes claiming most of the space. But knowing I have it in my possession is oddly a comforting feeling, one that ironically always conjures up a feeling of safety and connection.

My journal entries are precious to me. More precious than most of the other contents in my handbag. A message brought home recently when I bounced off a train from Derby and in between walking from the mainline train station to the underground managed to leave my handbag and all its content in the middle of Kings Cross train station. Now that’s a story for another day but suffice to say in the hour or so before I was re-connected with the entire contents of my handbag (I know, you’re thinking how lucky is that!) what I worried most about more than anything else in my bag which included my purse, all my cards and both sets of keys for the car and home was my journal. I would have paid a handsome reward just to get my journal back.

To be honest without it I felt shipwrecked. My journal hosts many precious ideas, quotes and notes that may appear insignificant on their own but when pieced together with other projects and content are not. It is through the practice of regular journaling that I enable myself to become more self-aware, more mindful, often thoughtful and reflective and I hope as a result often a better person and human being.

Don’t get me wrong. Keeping a journal doesn’t suddenly make you into a saint. I am far from perfect and my journal knows this but it is amazing how non-judgemental and forgiving my journal is 24/7, something I deeply respect and hold dear to our relationship. I have noticed that with my journal by my side I am more willing to own up to mistakes and wrong doings and thereby be better placed to made healthier choices and decisions about what to do about them.

Journaling offers perspectives on life that are real. Very often coming to my journal brings distance to emotionally charged feelings. It helps me in uncanny ways to see other sides of the coin when I slow down and examine situations and events with a more discerning eye. Journaling allows me to become more thoughtful and mindful when I write. Keeping and sustaining a journal has helped me to open doors in my imagination to my dreams and aspirations which may have remained closed had I not chosen to commit to a practice of regular journaling and reflecting on the page.

I love the creativity that explodes when I write and engage with my journal. It gives me a different experience to the sometimes, demanding pressures of work and modern life that seem to suck out life force through the demands of day to day activities.

I love the things I tuck into my journals, the random yellow index cards with a quote captured from something I was reading or a train ticket that reminds me of a poignant moment on a journey which could easily have been forgotten. Many times I am surprised by what I find when I return there.

I am not sure how far I would have made it in my life if I had not written regularly in my journal. It has been a healthy dose of self-therapy and on many occasions self-coaching against a backdrop of low self-esteem, self-doubt and low levels of depression. Journaling was a self prescribed writing prescription that brings with the practice a range of physical, psychological and emotional benefits. Then there are the times when the journal is like one of those friends that doesn’t know how to do anything else than tell you the truth no matter how hard they try to hold back.

I believe I am a better person because of my journal. It allows me to be more of myself, more often and that has to be a good thing. By this I mean when I take refuge in my journal I am more akin to express myself wholly and sincerely and not dumb down who I am which we can sometimes do when we are with other people. It has saved me countless arguments because the journal seized the intensity and sometimes ridiculousness of my feelings and processed them before I projected my unprocessed feelings onto my nearest and dearest, colleagues or total strangers. It has also been the balm when I have felt overwhelmed and distressed and not sure about what to do the next. My journal has always helped me to find a way through.

That’s why it works for me to write my journal first thing in the day. I write around 6am and flex my journal muscles by writing in-between the gaps of my day on public transport, at the wheel of my stationary car or in waiting rooms. Wherever I find myself doing it sets me up for the days. Journaling nourishes and strengthens the roots of who I am. Journaling creates healthy conditions that allows me to step forward to go face the world with greater confidence and stability that has originated from within.

Writing a journal has led to a rich inner life that has served as a safe harbour I can return when the storms of life rage. Keeping a journal makes you an author of your own life. When you let go and trust you will often find that the writing has information for us rather than the other way round.

There are things in my journal that are intensely private and will stay private and there are private things in my dairy that are common to all human beings that warm our hearts when they are shared. Keeping a journal is not a lonely act. On the contrary it connects us to the tribe called the human race by giving us a voice, a safe place to tell your stories, shed your tears and build your dreams. This is what connects one human soul to another. Journaling connects you to a global community of other journal writers all around the world.

I wonder what will motivate or inspire you to keep a journal in 2016? Can you think of the ways in which a journal will help you become a better person, be a better person or live a better life? Are there ways in which keeping a journal can support you to upgrade your work life, or help you become a better observer and listener?

Not sure where to start with your New-Year journal entries. Are you in need of more inspiration for your journal pages? Then treat yourself to my free downloadable Juicy Journal prompts, which I hope will inspire you to hit the pages of your journals in 2016 http://ow.ly/WuJxw

The kit includes fifty-five custom designed journal prompts with inspirational quotes. There’s no email sign up and you have permission to share them around.

Lets share the love in 2016.

In service of your wonderful writing self.

Happy New Year!

Love Jackee

Join Psychologies and NOW Live Events for a wonderful writing workshop with coach and speaker Jackee Holder in London this May: Writing to heal your life with Jackee Holder.

Jackee Holder

Professional & Personal Coach, Author, Speaker & Journal Coach, Life Is A Work In Progress!

I am energised and come alive when I am writing and journaling and over the years I have filled the pages of over one hundred journals. I am a bookaholic and see writers of all genres as part of my natural tribe. I am qualified in many areas of personal development and well-being including a Masters degree in creative writing and personal development from Sussex University and in the completion stages of training as a psychosynthesis counsellor. But by far life and it many bumps, bruises and triumphs continues to be my greatest teacher. Life has been a series of adventures and challenges but creativity has remained a mainstream force of my life. This means that over a period of twenty years I have authored four published books, 49 Ways To Write Yourself Well, Be Your Own Best Life Coach, The Journal Journey Guidebook and Soul Purpose along with numerous workbooks, e-books, free journaling products and articles for a range of journals and magazines. I have recently launched The Inner and Outer Nature Self Discovery deck of cards which brings together my love of journaling and nature. In my professional vocation I work as a corporate coach, coach supervisor and leadership facilitator. I love what I do, no two days are the same and I love how I can bring so much of what brings me alive into this work. I care about our environment and have a deep reverance for trees and nature. I hold nature and journaling as my go to sources of well being and write regularly around the therapeutic benefits of forest bathing, connecting with nature and journaling. Twice a year I open the doors to my online well being journaling class, Paper Therapy. Over five weeks you are immersed in a world of journaling prompts and exercises that empower you to creatively and mindfully grow a daily or weekly journaling practice. You will learn about the therapeutic benefits of journaling and how journaling can help you thrive even when you are challenged and stretched. Paper Therapy http://www.jackeeholder.com/events/paper-therapy-online-journal-writing-course/ I journal regularly, love listening to an eclectic range of podcasts interviews which challenge me to think outside the box. I am an early morning urban city walker and love the quiet hum of the mornings when most of the rest of the world is asleep. I have a real curiosity about trees and tree mythology and love the way trees beautify our and resource the environment. London is my home and for now I feel so lucky to live in the city with the most green parks and spaces in the world. You can find Jackee here: http://www.jackeeholder.com Follow me on my urban walkabouts at Instagram:@jackeeholderinspires @girlabouttown Twitter: @jackeeholder


Go to the profile of Diane Priestley
almost 6 years ago
This is a wonderful article! Thanks Jackee. I so agree. I too have been journalling for decades - since my 20s - and I can't imagine getting through life without scrawling my inner thoughts and feelings, insights and theories and my goals and dreams on paper, almost every day.
Writing a journal is a very creative way to explore and manage your inner world. Funny thing is I seldom read back my notes. For me, the act of writing is the important processing part; to sort out my mind and gain clarity.