The benefits of journaling
It appears that there are two types of people in the world when it comes to journaling. First there are the people who love to record their daily activities, thoughts, feelings and goals in a nice notebook or a word document or app. They relish reading back to see what they were doing in the past and seeing how far they’ve come in life, evaluating the progress they’ve made and noting down what targets they’ve hit. These same folk also seem to get great pleasure from jotting down the lovely memories they’ve created with friends and loved ones and diary planning future events to squeeze as much out of life as they can. Troubling thoughts are written down alongside the solutions that spring to mind or the resources that they can access that might help them through and beyond their difficult moments. They can access a record of similar difficulties and see how they overcame and conquered. To them journaling is a gift.
And then there are those of us who don’t.
Journaling is not for everyone although the benefits almost certainly are. Keeping a journal takes time and effort, some planning and a little discipline. If we aren’t used to doing it we have to build this new habit and sometimes that can seem like an extra chore. But would it be worth it? And, most importantly here, could it help me to lose weight?
We have our own journaling tool here at Waetugo and the functionality is always improving. Please feel free to tell us in the comments section below what you would like to see added. Access it by logging in here.
Whether you use a notebook or our online tool, below are 5 tips and strategies that will help with your weight loss efforts.
- Self Awareness – We have spoken about understanding how our habits affect us many times before here at Waetugo and we have long recognised that we are poor when it comes to self evaluating. Regular journaling helps to remove the blinkers we have on about our own behaviours and habits. Reading back over a week of entries can give us the genuine figures on how many glasses of wine or beer we consumed and the sneaky treats that we found an excuse for. Are we being active regularly? We might like to think so but the journal will tell us the truth. Add your weekly weight measurement to the journal and you can compare the bottom line with the weekly choices. A journal might help you to recognise situations that are dragging you away from your goals whilst reinforcing that which is helping you to be the you that you want to be.
- Clarity – Our heads are, for the most part a jumble. Keeping a journal can clarify the issues in our lives and help us to focus on that which is most important. We often invest too much in that which is of low or no value. Long have psychologists recognised the value of being aware of the value of identifying the 20% of our lives that make up the most value. If we could weed out the 80% that hardly moves us at all how much more affective would we be?
- Willpower – Remember our previous article about willpower and the art of snack avoidance? If not check it out and you’ll see how adding a journal to your repertoire can put another willpower trick up your sleeve.
- Stress reduction – It is just possible that higher levels of stress can result in bigger waistlines for some people. Psychotherapists often utilise journaling or diary keeping with their clients to help manage emotions. The act of writing down your thoughts simply helps. Write down a score for your stress and then a few notes on emotions, thoughts and feelings alongside the situation as you see it with a few added notes about alternative ways of viewing things and adding a few perspectives as others might see it and score your stress levels again.
- Goal Review – Setting goals is great. Reviewing them however is essential. Keeping a journal gives us a wonderful, automatic method for regular review. Whether it’s adding a box to our Friday entry with our weight written in or a weekend table for multiple goals, your journal gives you a great place for this.
Journaling is great. If you do it already you know this. If you don’t, give it a go. It might not be for you but you might just find that it changes a lot and adds to the value of your day, week, whatever.