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You’re ready to write... right?



Ok Team, after reading our last blog post you have purchased your expensive journal and your gold pen, or some crazy expensive technology (we want this to be a priority for you), and you are ready to write, right?


During our last time together, we explored 4 powerful reasons why journalling will enhance your life, and power your best game! We explored:

 

1- Metacognition 

2- Story Capturing

3- 4000 reasons

4- Slowing Down Negativity

 

Now, let's dive into the final five big ideas of why and how to journal:

 

5- Tracking metrics

6- Logging Gratitude

7- Identifying Mindsets

8- Growing Leadership

9- Garage Journalling

 

5- Tracking metrics

 

A daily journal practice is the perfect place to track key personal, family, and business metrics.

 

In his Master Class: How to boost productivity through journaling, UJ Ramdas shares an example of how one individual used journalling to track his weight:

“He plotted this on Excel, and he had a target weight where there was a red line and he would never allow himself to go over the red line.


The guy didn’t make any drastic changes to his diet or workout. In about seven months, he was some 20-25 pounds lighter. Just the act of measuring himself every day over time, and keeping track of that number, led to results that he wouldn’t even have gotten if he didn’t do that.”[1]


6    - Logging Gratitude

 

In his blog on gratitude, Jim Kwik highlights a study conducted by the National Institute of Health that used MRI scans to observe participants' brain activity when they reported feeling grateful. The scans showed increased activity in the hypothalamus, which regulates stress, and the release of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine that increase positive feelings.[2]


Acknowledging and sharing your state of gratefulness (through journalling) makes you happier, as it improves your mental health. My wife, Jenn, likes to journal three things she is thankful for at the start of every day. Beginning or ending (or both) your work day journalling 3 things that you are thankful for is a dopamine shot that is better than coffee.

 

7    - Identifying Mindsets

 

Our Thinking Tendencies Model has given many leaders a huge performance advantage by helping them to increase their cognition awareness. Understanding your current thinking and how to intentionally shift it can provide you with that same leadership advantage.  Journalling your experiences with each of the 6 mindsets solidifies this advantage.




As you journal and start to identify anxious Future-Negative thoughts, for example, the act of writing this Defensive Zone realization down drives focus, increases awareness, and enhances your opportunity to shift towards the Offensive Zone.

 

“Journalling is like spiritual windshield wipers. Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.”  Julia Cameron


8    - Growing Leadership

 

Consistent journalling is not an easy skill to implement. Leaders are learners, but they are also busy. When we capture key learnings from books, colleagues, mentors, or experiences in our journals, we drive the opportunity to review.


I have recently been asked how I make sure that I am reviewing what I write in my journal. The answer is, I regularly create a reminder in my electronic calendar to review certain sections of my journal. This is a discipline I am still perfecting.


Another thing I have implemented to create better retention/review efficiency is numbering the pages in my journal. This takes 15 minutes every time I start a new one, but becomes invaluable during the review process. Instead of bringing my unfinished commitments list forward to the current journal page, I write in the page number and slip back to that page as needed. I recently divided my journalling into four specific areas:

  • Notes & Content Capture

  • Personal

  • Commitments

  • Key Stories


These are areas that I typically try to journal anyway, but segmenting them has allowed me to find them more easily, quickening my review.

 

Reviewing your key captured content is like practicing your wrist shot. Most of my NHL goals came off my wrist shot. Intentionally spending practice time on this skill delivered offence for me and the teams I played on.


 9    - GARAGE Journalling

 

Many of the executives that we work with struggle to implement the leadership skill of journalling. My recommendation to them comes from an idea that I had while taking BJ Fogg’s course on Tiny Habits.

 

Let me try this idea out with you. Do you drive home at the end of the day (I get that not everyone has a car) and park the car in a garage or a carport? Do you turn the key off? Let that be the trigger for your new Tiny Habit!  As you pull your keys out of the ignition, grab your pen and journal from the passenger seat where you have already placed them, and... begin to write.

 

Just begin! Enjoy! Start capturing your day, with no judgement. Start dumping ideas, start being thankful, start scribbling stories out of your amazing brain. Start TINY!

 

Every day you will turn the key off after driving home. Every day you will strengthen the habit of journalling. Over time, with daily practice, journalling will become invaluable. Who knows?


Sitting in your driveway you might just write a whole book.

  

1- Metacognition 

2- Story Capture

3- 4000 weeks

4- Slows Down Negativity

5- Tracking metrics

6- Logging Gratitude

7- Identifying Mindsets

8- Growing Leadership

9- GARAGE Journaling


There you have it: 8 reasons to journal and 1 way to build the habit!!

How accurate is your wrist shot?

How often are you journaling?


Both take focused practice but both enhance your Offensive-Zone wins!

 


 

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