What to do with ideas and how can you turn them into action plans?
How do you capture destructive thinking and turn it around?
How does one change bad attitudes and deal with hurtful issues in life?
How does one deal with disappointments so that they don’t turn into debilitating discouragement?
How do you not travel to the place of discouragement?
How do you nurture your dreams?
One word = Journaling.
I’ve been journaling now for over 20 years. It’s been a critical ingredient in my life. As I talk to people in leadership, I am amazed and surprised at how many DON'T journal. I know it isn’t the answer to everything, but it certainly goes a long way to helping sort out the issues. By the way, to encourage you, it took me about 9-12 months to develop journaling as a helpful habit.
Journaling is so uniquely powerful for several reasons...
- It is like talking to another person. I find that sometimes talking to someone else helps to clarify issues & situations. Whatever the issue then it is great to journal it. Also journaling the issue or question over a few days or weeks can really help with clarification, answers, and even action points.
- Journaling captures the issues, concerns, fears, attitudes, & bad thinking patterns on the page! This is huge. Our minds can go round and round and round a hurt or issue. Unchecked wrong thinking can be destructive. Remember that from our thinking come our emotions, which in turn causes actions. Emotions always follow thinking. That's good if our thinking is good, but if it is negative or destructive in some way, our emotions will be affected and this can lead to wrong actions. So to interrupt stinking thinking, journaling is a key. There are times I write out whole prayers and pray them over the following days.
- I often receive preaching messages, ideas, & revelation while journaling. If you let the theatre of your imagination run, where will it take you? I go to all sorts of wonderful places in God, dreaming, imagining, & planning. I also capture those thoughts on a page. This enables me to process them – pray about them and see what God says in it all.
People often say as I did when I began, "What do you write?" Sometimes you need to prime the pump to get it started. I began by asking the question,
"What did I do yesterday?
How did I feel yesterday went?
What am I enjoying today?
What can I give thanks for today?
What are my major concerns at this time, and what is God saying to me about these?” Etc.
I wrote this when I changed journals a few years ago…
-Disappointments are able to be de-cluttered.
-Untruths are brought out into the light.
-Truths are uncovered.
-Sadness is captured and held long enough to ask the appropriate questions.
-Gladness is celebrated.
-Difficulties are able to be spoken about freely and easily.
-It gives counsel.
-Dreams are nurtured.
-Questions are answered.
-Revelation is recorded.
-It brings self-awareness.
-My thinking is checked.
-Prayers are recorded and re-prayed.
-It uncovers heartache and brings healing.
-Perspectives are clarified.
-Messages from God are saved.
-Insights are gained and captured.
-The future is discovered & imagined.
-God ideas come to the surface.
So why wouldn't you begin journaling? Believe me if I can do it, anyone can...