Organizing Your Marketing Efforts

Organizing Your Marketing Efforts

7 Tips for Organizing Your Marketing

Someone once said: “Your life will begin changing the moment you decide that you want it to.” And so it is with organizing too! Organizing your marketing efforts will help you succeed, just ask other business owners.

I’ve found that the same is true for growing your business. If you want to see different results than what you’ve seen in the past, you must make a heartfelt decision to do things differently. You need to start with making over your mindset and start organizing.

Mental blocks can hold you back and keep you from achieving your goals. When you sit down to work on your business are you clear and focused, or is your mind cluttered with ideas, client requests, overdue items and more?

The FIRST step to achieving your goals is de-cluttering and organizing your mind. When you do this, you’ll be able to clearly define what you want to accomplish and start taking the necessary action to achieve your goals.

It’s a long to-do list. Right? Too many ideas for marketing your business, missed opportunities, and a constant state of overwhelm that’s running your life. Don’t you think it’s time to clear out the old and get organized? When you do this, you’ll find that it’s easier to focus on marketing your business consistently and effectively.

Here are seven simple practices that you can use NOW to help you with your organization:

1- The first thing to do is to document EVERYTHING! Yes, you heard me right…

When your brain is busy trying to keep track of the many details that are floating around your head, you begin to feel stressed out and overwhelmed. Write down everything! Get a notebook if you prefer the pen and paper type of note-taking, or use Evernote. No matter how you do it – start documenting every aspect of how you run and market your business. Getting it all out of your head and onto paper is going to relieve a tremendous amount of stress.

2- Use a notebook to capture all of your ideas

Apart from your procedures and to-do list notebook, you should create a space where you can write down all of your new ideas. Entrepreneurs have no problem generating great new ideas. But it’s far too easy to forget about them or allow them to distract you from your profit plan. Keeping your ideas in one spot will make it easy for you to refer back to those ideas often so you can actually implement them. Imagine how you can increase your profits when you start taking action on your great ideas?

3- Use just ONE to-do list

If your daily task list is in 7 different spots, you’re going to feel distracted and scattered. Keep everything in one list – there are countless options, so just choose one and stick with it! Once you’ve picked the best option for you, commit to using this one system for your tasks and projects. Using a web-based system will make it easy to delegate tasks to other people and help you organize an effective system.

4- Plan ahead with your content

Many entrepreneurs feel stuck with marketing because they aren’t sure what to do. Just start with one month – plan out what you’ll be doing in the upcoming month. Pick a date to publish each piece, plan out the theme for your content and jot down some ideas for your newsletter, blog posts or social media updates. When you sit down to write your marketing materials you’ll crank out your content quickly and easily. This will also help you to stay organized.

5- Create a Master Schedule Template

If you find yourself looking back at the end of the week and wondering where the time went, you need to implement this right away! Using a weekly calendar, you can designate blocks of time where you’ll work on certain aspects of your business. For example, reserve Monday from 9 am to 12 pm for marketing, 1 pm to 3 pm for writing, 3 pm to 5 pm for email management, and so on. Start by inserting recurring tasks (like client meetings, marketing times, meeting with your coach, etc.) and then designate other blocks of time for your other activities. Don’t leave your essential tasks to chance! Make a plan for when you’ll do them and you’ll boost your productivity. Daily Plan Sample [Click to Download]

6- Set clear boundaries

Once you get this support system into place, you need to follow through and stick with it! Commit to yourself that you’ll honor what you’ve set out to do. Turn off email notifications and other distractions. Make sure that friends and family know when you’re available to chat. You can also create accountability for yourself by working with a coach or mentor to help you.

Marketing and growing your business isn’t impossible – but it does require planning and consistency to work. When you de-clutter your mind and organize your materials, you will be able to see the results you’ve been looking for and fully enjoy a successful business.

So, which organizing tip will you implement first? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments!

 

YOUR “TAKE ACTION” PLAN FOR THIS WEEK:

1.     Plan a “brain dump” – Take time this week to get everything out on paper – all of your “to-dos,” all of your big ideas for growing your business, all of your client projects – everything. When you write it all down you’ll be able to get it off your mind and develop a plan for getting things done.

2.     Get organized – Create digital files on your computer for all your important documents. Also, anything you deem important, such as graphics, articles you need to write, backup files for your website, just to mention a few. I’m sure you can think of others as you go through your computer. You’ll save time each day and boost your productivity just by knowing where everything is located.

3.     Master your schedule – Set time aside each week in hourly blocks for all of the things you need to do – including marketing your business. You’ll be more productive, waste less time, and get more done.

4.     Plan ahead – Write down your content focus for the next month and brainstorm ideas for blog topics, social media conversations, and newsletter articles. Then sit down to write at your designated time and get your content into the hands of the people who need you!

5.     Set boundaries – Let friends and family know when you’ll be available to chat and commit to sticking with your master schedule. You’ll eliminate distractions and increase your profitability.

GO…Do it NOW! You will be so thankful that you did this for your growing business.

Remember to contact me if I can help in any way. Your business really needs organization and I can provide that service to you.

What You Can Learn When Your Life is in Shambles

What You Can Learn When Your Life is in Shambles

Today we are discussing life in general, but more importantly what you can learn when your life is in shambles. I can hear you saying, “Well, nobody’s life is perfect“, but what if something horrible happens to you or someone you know?

Life can be terribly revealing, can’t it? You can learn to live with disappointment, you just have to acknowledge that you can.

I really love this quote:

“Every event in life can be causing only one of two things. Either it is good for you, or it’s bringing up what you need to look at in order to create good for you.” Deepak Chopra

 

No one wants to go through transitions, but we all will. Things must change because we are growing, evolving beings. We are here to learn what lessons we need to reach our full potential. You want that too, right?

So it may not be all fun and games. But if we want, we can learn important lessons that will serve us well as we move through tough changes.

 

Let me explain…

 

What is Really Important in Life – and What you Can Learn

When things are status quo, we believe the big, external things in life are what matter. What kind of car we drive, what our job title is, and how much money we have in the bank. These are all that seem to matter during our normal daily lives. But when “tragedy” strikes and we lose something of true value, it helps us reassess what is really important in life.

We shift our thinking and start spending time with those people and doing those things that make us really happy. Instead of just following our routine, we go out of our way to do things for other people.

 

That Fear Doesn’t Need to Hold you Back

So often, we feel we have too much to lose to take a big risk and change something we desire to be different. But when it all falls apart, no matter how we try to keep it together, our greatest fears come true.

We see that we really have much less to lose than we thought and that being delightfully happy is worth the risk. We can stop letting fear hold us back and take a plunge into what we’ve always really wanted.

 

Letting Go of STUFF is Freeing

We hang onto stuff like it’s a life raft. It can be material things, people, or situations that deep down we know is no longer making us happy. Often we are just too scared to let it go. When life forces our hand and we lose what we thought we couldn’t live without, we can finally feel free.

Free from holding on so tightly that we focus all of our energy on holding on instead of re-evaluating if we really want it in the first place.

 

You DON’T Have to be Perfect

We spend so much energy trying to be perfect every day of our lives. We beat ourselves up over the tiniest little flaw or mistake. All this struggling is exhausting! And ultimately, the best we can do is to pretend that everything is perfect in our world. Because we are never going to get to a stage where everything is perfect.

When you share your experiences with others whom you trust, you will start to see their masks come down. You will hear about how imperfect their lives are, and yet see that they are still happy.

In the comments below, how does this make you feel? I would be so interested to hear your perspective.

 

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journaling is a popular tool used by coaches and consultants helping people to improve their health and lives. Studies have shown the benefits of mental and physical health. If you are considering whether this could be something that could help you then you probably have questions about what you need and how to do it. Gratitude journaling is actually very low cost and fairly simple.

 

You will need:

 

Writing implements: You could use a pen or pencil but why not increase the fun and creative aspect of your journaling by adding color and even texture. Different colored pens or pencils, as well as different styles, can make your gratitude journal not just a record of thanks but also a really creative endeavor.

 

Notebook: While you could use a piece of paper, keeping a special notebook for your gratitude journal ensures that you will know exactly where you are writing and allows you to review previous gratitude records. Your notebook can be a plain and simple one or you could splash out on a more decorative one. However, why not consider using a plain notebook and jazzing it up yourself.

 

By decorating a plain notebook or making a book from scratch you are making a greater commitment to the project itself. Your notebook will mean more to you and you will feel a greater connection to it when you use it. After all, if you are writing positive thoughts inside it, you also want to feel happy and proud when you see it.

 

Time Alone: By taking time out away from disturbances you are giving yourself space to think, relax, and write. You’ll also find that you enjoy the experience of being alone and celebrating those things you are thankful for.

 

Now you know what you need it’s time to discover how to do it.

 

Writing Time

 

Collect your journal and whatever you’ve chosen to write with.

 

Find somewhere quiet and that you know you won’t be disturbed. Your journaling time should be a time for reflection and celebration free from outside distractions for the best results.

 

Ensure you are committed to gratitude journaling and that you want to feel happier as well as more grateful as a result. There is no point in just going through the motions of journaling without creating a positive meaningful emotional experience.

 

When you write, instead of creating a long list of things you are grateful for put some real thought into it. Take time to write about a particular event and describe in detail why you are thankful for it. Remember to record how you felt and why.

 

Try to include people you are thankful for as much as you can, not just events. By including specific people and the reasons you are thankful for them you will create a greater emotional impact. It becomes more personal.

 

Include surprises and unexpected events as these will create a stronger sense of gratitude and a more significant emotional impact.

 

Time to Reflect

 

Set yourself a weekly date to write in your gratitude journal. While you could journal every day it may be more beneficial to create a habit of writing in your gratitude journal once a week. This will allow you to plan for it and enjoy it.

 

There are no right or wrong ways to keep a gratitude journal. Everyone’s will be different. However, it is important that you are committed to the process and the outcome, as well as make time for it on a regular basis.

This is the last article in the Journaling Series. I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and can put it into practice as you go about your life. Remember, you can write all about what you’re grateful for in your business also. Writing in a journal is not just about your personal life. Make it interesting, you might want to go back and read your journal at the end of the year just to see how far you’ve come. I bet you’d be surprised by what you find out about yourself.

 

Journaling your Way to Massive Action Success

Journaling your Way to Massive Action Success

Journaling is not just for 12-year-old girls! Journaling can be a powerful weapon in your get-it-done arsenal, and it’s easy to do. You can and should put all kinds of things in a goal journal, not just your thoughts and feelings on a given day.

 

Journaling is just one way of tracking your actions and successes, and yes, even your setbacks and failures. It also keeps your goal right in front of your face so you keep on top of taking action steps each and every day. It keeps all your ideas and revelations in one place so you can go back and review whenever you want. For example, if you are having trouble getting motivated one day because you feel like you’ve been working hard, but making little progress, going back into your goal journal is a wonderful way to help you see that all of those little actions really are paying off in a big way. So what should you keep in your goal journal? Start with these ideas and add to them as you see fit.

 

  1. Detailed goal--Write down your exact goal in as much detail as possible. Describe it in a way that makes you feel excited about what your life will be like when you achieve your objective.
  2. Your Why--Your Why is the big reason why you want to reach the goal you have defined for yourself. It’s the reason you are willing to take the massive action steps needed to change your life for the better.
  3. Massive action plans and schedule–When you make the plan for how you will go about reaching your goal, write it here. Writing it down is important so that you can track your efforts so you can see what actions are creating the most results.
  4. Braindumps--A brain dump is just a list of actions that you need to take in no particular order. Sometimes all the tasks you need to take build up in your head, making you confused about where you should start and what you should do next.
  5. Prioritize--After you do a brain dump, organize the tasks into a priority list and add them to your daily and weekly to-do lists.
  6. Daily to-do list–Write out your to-do lists here so they are always handy.
  7. Aha’s–As you make massive action, you will have inspiration or aha moments when something becomes clear. Capture those ideas here so that you can refer to them later when you are ready to put them into action.
  8. Journal entries–Yes, you should actually journal. Sometimes there’s nothing better than stream of consciousness writing to help you solve a problem or get your worries off your chest. It’s a therapeutic and inspirational way to work.

 

 

Expressing Yourself Through Creativity

Expressing Yourself Through Creativity

Learning to express yourself through creativity is a great way to learn to live more in the moment than in the past or future. It’s difficult to focus on anything but the present when your brain is actively involved in creating. This is one of the ways you can live a healthier, more balanced, more fulfilling life overall. Today’s article is about Expressing Yourself Through Creativity.

 

There are so many ways to begin expressing yourself through creativity.

 

Here, we’ll discuss a few of them, but this list is by no means exhaustive!

 

  • Look for beauty in everything around you. A forest full of trees holds beauty just like a city street lit up at night does. Beauty is subjective, and you may find that the things you find beautiful, someone else does not. That’s okay! The point of the exercise is to hone your ability to look for and find beauty in all places – beauty that will inspire your creativity!

 

  • Learn to communicate effectively. You will have difficulty expressing yourself if you can’t communicate what you’re feeling and thinking. Learning to communicate gives you the power to express yourself with words. It allows you the freedom to capture and relate the ideas you have when inspiration occurs. There is no expression without communication of some kind.

 

  • Find or make a creative home for yourself. It could be a room in your home that you dedicate to expressing your creativity. Maybe it is an art studio away from home, or a garden where you feel safe and unencumbered. Wherever you choose, when you get there, you should feel excited to begin creating.

 

  • Take a step in a creative direction by deciding on a form your creativity will take. This never has to be set in stone, and this will change as you evolve. Maybe right now, it is dance, but later it might be drawing, journaling, woodcarving, or cooking. Don’t limit yourself! Try things that interest you, and if you find them fulfilling, wonderful! If you don’t, simply move on to something else.

 

  • Give yourself time to practice every day. You won’t know if you really enjoy something unless you do it. Don’t let the fear of imperfection prevent you from the beginning. And realize that starting something new is always a little scary. The key is in not allowing that fear to stop you from moving forward.

 

Hopefully, these tips will get you moving in the right direction towards expressing yourself through creativity. Don’t let the fear stop you – just get started! Once you do, I bet you’ll find it hard to stop writing. Who knows, one day you may write a book about all the things you’ve learned about yourself. Hey, you never know!

 

How Journaling Can Change your Life for the Better

How Journaling Can Change your Life for the Better

You may not have journaled since you were a kid. Or maybe you’ve never tried it and don’t see the point. But, the action of putting pen to paper is an extraordinarily beneficial way to improve your life. Journaling is an effortless way to change your life when nothing is going right. Today’s discussion is about How Journaling Can Change your Life for the Better. So pull up a comfy chair with a cuppa and enjoy today’s read.

 

Discover what’s important

When you free write, you end up writing about the things that are most important to you. They may be things that you don’t even think of as that important but looking back over your writings later will give you a strong inclination of what you find the most rewarding in your life. For example, if you find yourself coming back to the idea of starting your own business over and over again, it’s obvious that it’s a dream that’s important to you. When your life is in chaos, you have less to lose, and you might decide to go for it and see what happens.

 

Track successes

We get used to living in a routine and frequently overlook the small actions we make that add up to beneficial changes in our lives over time. Journaling helps us see all the successes we’ve had, even when life isn’t going the way we want it to. Using a journal as a form of tracking our successes can bring us a great deal of comfort when times are tough.

 

Let go of old emotional blocks

We can share our deepest fears and worries in a journal. When we feel down, we often need a sounding board more than we need advice, and journaling gives us that. We can let out and then let go of past hurts and failures, our needs and wants, without having to tell anyone about them but ourselves. Writing is cathartic and can help us release old emotions and beliefs that are no longer serving us.

 

Find the answers

People who journal often report that they find the answers to problems within themselves by using journaling to tap into their unconscious. Each of us has the answers to every problem already inside of us and journaling is a way to access those answers in a positive way. It’s amazing how allowing ourselves to be honest and open to our struggles ends up making the answer we’ve been seeking so obvious – it’s all there in black and white.

 

Encourages creativity

Many people who journal find themselves writing poetry or drawing to express themselves. A journal is a safe place to be creative. There’s no judgment from others, just an open invitation to express ourselves in whatever way comes up. Allowing this creativity to spring forth is another way that our problems get solved because we allow our minds to be in a different, creative space that is open to all possibilities. Are you willing to try it?

In our next article, we’ll be discussing Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success. Make sure you come back to read it.

 

What is Expressive Journaling?

What is Expressive Journaling?

Expressive journaling can be your road to de-stressing and re-energizing your mind. It can help you declutter your brain and your soul, and help you get feelings out on paper where they can be examined and interpreted. Today’s discussion is all about What is Expressive Journaling?

Do you even know what it is? Journaling like this can help you live more of your life in the moment, as you deal with the past and future in your journal. You’ll feel more secure in your daily life without all that hanging around in your brain, and you’ll find yourself enjoying your days with less worry and pressure.

 

Here are lots of different types of expressive journals, and each of them can be used exclusively. Or you can mix and match what you want when you want it. We’ll talk about several of the most common types of expressive journals in this article.

 

  1. Art Journal – Whether or not you are artistically talented, an art journal is an excellent idea if you love to doodle and sketch. What are you feeling? Turn that into a sketch. Draw an outline and then color it in with colored pencils or gel pens. If getting better at art is your goal, make the page opposite your creation where you write about how you feel about what you’ve created and how your progress is coming along.
  2. Gratitude Journal – There’s no better way to increase positive feelings in your life than with a gratitude journal. Each day, reflect on your experiences, what you’re thankful for, and lessons that you want to remember for the future. And then take it a step further and let the people you’re thankful for know about it!
  3. Dream Journal – Each morning, grab your dream journal and write down your dreams from the night before. Leave room after each dream, in case you come back with different insights later on, and you want to record them. Your dreams can tell you a lot about your waking life when they’re interpreted correctly!
  4. Creative Writing Journal – If stories are your thing, try a creative writing journal. Write a short story every day, or challenge yourself to write a short story in just 100, 200, or 300 words. Challenge yourself and hone your skills!
  5. Positivity Journal – Each day, pick something positive that happened that really inspired you. Write about what happened, the people involved, and how it made you feel. This can help you see more positive things in life overall, and helps decrease negativity.

 

So, don’t overthink your journaling – just get started and try!

 

We are now beginning our series on the topic of journaling. There will be several articles on the whys and the hows so this will be really interesting You might want to read these all at the same time or even save them in a file you can go back to and read from time to time.

At any rate, this is a topic of discussion and you’ll be happy to know that even the most famous people write in a journal. Try it, you might even like it!

Laying the Groundwork for Self-Expression

Laying the Groundwork for Self-Expression

Being able to adequately express yourself isn’t something that comes naturally to some, or even most of us. But it’s important for you to be able to express yourself and express your wants, needs, and desires, as well as express things you don’t like. Being able to express yourself is necessary to live an authentic, fulfilling, and healthy life, and to help you create the life of your dreams! Today we’re discussing all about Laying the Groundwork of Self-Expression.

 

There are three (3) main steps involved in learning to express yourself. These steps may not feel natural at first because they are new, but stick with it! You’ll soon find yourself better able to express yourself to those around you with confidence.

 

1). Learn to listen to yourself, your emotions, and your intuition. Too often, early in life, we are taught (directly or indirectly) to hide our emotions, and put on a smiling face even when we don’t feel like it. It’s time to unlearn all of that. So, the first step is to begin to really feel the emotions that are inside you. Your first instinct may be to mentally run away from those feelings but try not to do that. Feel each emotion, no matter what it is, without any self-judgment. Your emotions are simply what they are, and there aren’t any wrong emotions, only wrong ways that we’ve learned to react to them. So, quiet yourself and allow yourself to feel because you can’t express yourself if you don’t know what you’re feeling.

 

2. Acknowledge whatever you are feeling. Honor those feelings, again with no judgment. By self-validating your feelings, you learn to seek answers from within yourself, rather than always looking outside yourself for solutions. In reality, all we need we already have inside of us. Acknowledging your feelings might seem very frightening at first because you feel vulnerable. That’s okay. That feeling of vulnerability will go away once your mind realizes there isn’t really any need for fear.

 

3. Tune in to how your body reacts to the emotions you are now experiencing. Body awareness is very important in learning to express yourself, as it is one of the best ways to gauge your comfort level. If you tense up in response to an emotion, show your body and brain that everything is going to be okay by doing some deep breathing. Close your eyes, acknowledge the feeling, and then let it go. If a part of your body tenses up, consciously relax it. Use your new awareness to find what works for you in terms of expressing yourself, both emotionally and physically.

 

What do you think about writing in your journal like this? Have you thought about what you might write about and how it might be different? Let me know in the comments below.

How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance

How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance

Today we’re talking about How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance. You are well aware of the power of your emotions. You probably also understand how sometimes they can seem out of control and unmanageable. If you’d like to achieve emotional balance, greater control over your emotions, and better health, the following information will prove invaluable.

 

There are certain skills for managing emotions.

 

These include:

 

Definition:

Defining the emotion in your own terms and from your own understanding.

 

Distance:

It is important to gain some distance from your emotions. This will help you gain a clearer understanding of your feelings and how they are impacting you. When you are in the middle of the situation dealing with the emotions in the here and now everything will seem muddled and you will struggle to see what is happening as well as the bigger picture.

 

Release:

By understanding and recognizing the emotion as well as achieving distance you will be able to begin releasing the negativity surrounding it.

 

Focus:

Through focusing on the emotions and the attendant triggers, feelings, and behaviors you can gain clarity and create change.

 

Regrouping:

By following through the previous skills you will be able to regroup your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Creating a new set of behaviors when dealing with difficult situations will help you to cope in the future.

 

Maintenance:

Like all habits practice makes perfect and you will need to constantly remind yourself of the positive changes you have made with regard to your emotions and their impact on your life. What will you do to remind yourself how to remain positive, calm, and balanced?

 

Writing can help you to achieve emotional balance as it will take you through all the skills above.

 

How does it work?

 

If you are suffering from emotion, such as sorrow then everything you think, feel, and do will be tainted by it. It will have a negative effect on you and your actions. No one wants to live in sorrow for long.

 

By taking a piece of paper and a pen you can write yourself into a more emotionally balanced state.

 

Start by writing a really happy memory of a time when you were not experiencing any sorrow or any other negative emotions. Make your writing really descriptive so that you can see the scene clearly, make it colorful, add sounds, smells, and things you can touch as well as taste. Write down how you felt and why you felt so positive and happy.

Try and include the following:

 

When?

Where?

What?

Who?

How?

Why?

 

This positive memory will become an anchor. You can display it somewhere prominent or keep it safely hidden for use when needed. It is designed for use when you are feeling anxious, stressed, sorrowful, angry, or any other negative emotion. If you have a bad day you can refer to it and be reminded of a happier positive time.

 

Next, follow each step from defining the negative emotion you are feeling to maintenance. Again include the when, where, what, who, how, and why as this will really help you understand the emotion as well as any triggers and resulting behaviors.

 

By writing your thoughts and feelings at each stage, as well as identifying the triggers, you can not only understand the emotion better but yourself and your reaction to it. By having this written insight into yourself you are learning how to take control of your emotions and achieve balance. You will be able to refer to it to remind yourself how to cope with difficult situations or simply how much you’ve achieved and grown.

And you thought journaling was just about writing! I hope you’re learning a thing or two. Writing about your thoughts can be complicated, but if you have a plan, it can be very rewarding.

 

Next up, we’re discussing Laying the Groundwork for Self-Expression. You’ll want to catch this one as we are almost done with the Journaling Series. 

 

An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write

An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write

Today we’re going to discuss journaling. So to get clear, this is An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write. Is this you? If it is, then stay tuned because this is going to be several discussions around journaling and why you want to start.

Journaling is a powerful self-help tool that is gaining popularity. You can purchase a variety of journals online from stores such as Amazon as well as in bookshops. Coaches and therapists also use journaling to help clients. It is also incredibly easy to journal on your own in just a plain notebook. However, all journaling has one thing in common and that is writing.

 

So how can you journal if you hate writing? Ha…now that’s a good one!

 

Draw Pictures

From simple to elaborate, any kind of picture that expresses your emotions and situation will help. After you’ve drawn the picture you can label and annotate it. If you leave a blank page opposite your drawing then you can come back and review it at a later date and jot down any additional thoughts, emotions, and responses. Quite often this simple method will actually get you writing quickly. Try it, I bet you’ll be writing in no time.

 

Here’s a trick: why not try using different types of pens or pencils to make your journaling more interesting and exciting? Try different colors to make things interesting.

 

Diagrams

If you are journaling about a problem, then you might consider using a diagram such as a mind map or decision tree. Diagrams are powerful because they are visual and help you to see patterns and connections more easily. If you are trying to make a decision, then you can illustrate the different outcomes and results to help you formulate the best decision. Adding in color not only makes them more attractive but can highlight connections.

 

Use Prompts

Using a simple prompt such as a word or question can help break the blank page syndrome and inspire you to unburden yourself onto the empty page in front of you. It’s important that you don’t feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences. The journal and act of journaling have to relate to your needs at that moment in time and this will vary day-to-day.

 

You could consider purchasing a journal designed for the specific use you need. There are lots of weight loss, gratitude, happiness, and other journals available. Many of these will include prompts and recording methods that don’t require lots of writing.

 

Create a Collage

Get some magazines or newspapers and cut out words, phrases, paragraphs, or even articles that relate to your situation or emotions at that particular point. Add in pictures that you find that could demonstrate how you are feeling or want to feel. Again you can annotate it to make it truly personal. Leave a blank page so that you can revisit and review at a later time and add in additional journaling.

 

Speak It

While writing using a pen and paper is probably the most powerful method of journaling you can also use dictation software such as Dragon. You’ll need the software and a computer with a microphone to use this method. It may be easier to start your journaling journey by speaking to the computer and imagining you are talking to a friend or just yourself. The software will ‘write’ what you say and you can save the document so that you can review it later.

 

You may decide to keep your journal electronically in which case you can review it and add in later thoughts and feelings by typing or dictating through the speech recognition software. Or you may decide to print it out and keep it in a binder. If you do print it out, then you have the opportunity to embellish it or make additional notes on the hard copy. One way to do this is to use One Note for Microsoft Office. It’s convenient and you can keep your thoughts by writing day-by-day.

 

Be Flexible

Journaling does not have to be undertaken every day for a set period of time if that does not suit you. Many people journal every day for 20 minutes as that is the method that suits them best. However, it may be that once a week is enough.

 

Alternatively, you may decide that you will journal when you feel you need it. Some days it may be that you choose to use a prompt or picture to kick-start your writing. Other days you may find that the words flow and you can write without stopping.

 

The important points to remember are that the journal is a personal document designed to help you and that it is designed to be used and revised. It’s a living document and there is no right or wrong way to create or use it.

 

Stay tuned for the next article on journaling. You’re not going to want to miss it!

 

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