In An Instant
I’ve lost track on the number of conversations I’ve had recently about how quickly time seems to be moving.
I’ve spoken with clients who felt like the 4th of July was only two weeks ago.
Our oldest turned ten this year.
I’ve been out of high school fifteen years already, and college more than ten.
The number of people who have told me, “The days are long but the years are short” are only half right.
What do you do when even the days are short?
The Power of Journaling During Change
In my doctoral program, I was introduced to a way of “checking-in” emotionally during a changing season. It gave space to everyone in the room to acknowledge, own, and share their feelings in a safe environment.
Over the years, I’ve also used it with my clients and with myself during seasons of change. It’s a quick focusing technique that can empower us and it’s a great place to start journaling.
Journaling may be a new idea or discipline for you, and it can feel tough to get started.
If so, here is the technique for you to use that won’t eat up a bunch of your short days, but give you immediate power.
Plus, as you continue in this discipline and the journaling and writing process comes more easily to you, it becomes easier to expand on these ideas and create that daily journal to reflect on.
The power of journaling during change is that it gives us memories to look back on. To see how we’ve grown. To see what we’ve overcome. To see the victories.
The power of journaling during change is that it gives us the power to own our narrative. Experience healing. Embrace transformation. To remember that every day is a season of change. That no matter what you’re going through, “You got this.”
How To Start A Daily Journaling Habit
The easiest way to start a daily journaling habit is to remember the acronym S.A.S.H.E.T.
S – Sad
A – Angry
S – Scared
H – Happy
E – Excited
T – Tender
At the end of your day, journal your emotional state using these words. Maybe you experienced all of them in a day. Maybe only one or two. There is no “right answer” only what is true for you now.
As time unfolds you’ll also begin to expand on these. Like the keys on a piano, being able to identify more emotions will expand your “playing range.”
Great pianists can play the full range of the keyboard. Similarly, people in tune with their emotions will be able to feel, experience, navigate and lead from a wider range of emotional states.
A simple journal entry could look like this.
Today, I’m checking in with myself. One thing that made me scared today was when I was running late for work. I thought it would make me look bad to my boss and fellow employees.
I was angry when I got home from work and saw that my kids hadn’t done their chores as I had asked.
I am excited about our upcoming family vacation. I really need that time to relax.
I am feeling tender at the moment for my oldest. His birthday is coming up soon. I see the man he is becoming and it makes want to parent more intentionally.
Consistent journaling will serve us well in a couple of areas
1.) It gives us the power to own our day. By owning our emotions we can then own our actions and work to get better.
2.) It expands our emotional keys. By consistently checking in, we may soon discover that these words are not enough. Soon enough, something will happen where you won’t merely be ‘happy’ but ‘elated.’
3.) It allows us to reflect. The best time to plant an oak tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. The same is true of personal growth, writing that book you’ve always wanted, and growing your emotional intelligence. The best time to start journaling was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. Soon enough, you’ll be able to look back at last week, last month, and the last several years to see where you were, what you’ve overcome, and how you’re growing.
4.) It allows us to shape our future. If we can see where we’ve been and know where we are now, we can better navigate our future. We notice trends, can see recurring patterns, and break out of destructive habits, relationships, or no longer important goals.
Do you journal? What have you learned about yourself? Leave a comment below!
The power of journaling during change is part of our week-long look at how to navigate the “changing seasons” of our lives. To receive exclusive access to all of the content, get an easy to read recap of the topic, and receive my free five-day course on productivity, joinmy community newsletter.