NOTE: This is an audio version of similar content where I dive into the journaling strategies for self-mastery.
Journaling Strategies For Self Mastery
If you’re here, there is no doubt you’ve heard of the power of journaling for clarity and personal growth. It’s been a pillar of our world and is one of the most talked about practices and routines for those looking to grow and create exponential results —in all areas of life.
During my decade inside the trenches inside personal growth, self-mastery, entrepreneurship and living my best life —I’ve used this practice time and time again. And yet, I realized only during the last 18 months did I really harness the true power of journaling which I wanted to share with you today.
Because like anything else —you’ll get out of journaling the same energy you choose to pour into it. For years, I’d engage in random journaling: no system, no routine, and predictably…little results I could touch and feel.
But 18 months ago I decided to give journaling everything I’ve got —and it has transformed my life. What I’m going to share in today’s post is some things you’ve likely heard…but also some I haven’t seen anywhere else.
These journaling strategies for self-mastery are designed to help you create clarity, release obstacles, paint the vision of your future —and navigate the daily ebb and flow of life and business.
I’ve also added an audio version of this post in the form of an Academy Podcast Quick Hit —which you can access above.
Let’s dive in.
Journal Strategy #1: Celebrating Wins
Where did you kick ass, take names and step into your courage this week?
I was in the middle of a virtual training call for one of my programs —the 3P experience. I’d already asked this before but challenged the individual to truly “own” their win. We repeated this 7 times until I felt the right level of inflection and truth in their voice.
The first strategy for journaling success is simple: celebrate your wins. On the surface, it may not seem like much (and rather obvious) and yet this is extremely rare. Instead of celebrating wins, you and I focus on what’s missing in the bank account, how we don’t have enough followers and how our results aren’t happening at the speed which we want.
This is the simplest practice of all: every day, identify at least 3-10 wins you experienced in those 24 hours. It’s not about the magnitude of the win —it’s about authentically celebrating what you created, accomplished or how you tackled resistance and did it anyway.
Here’s why this is powerful: it primes your attention to focus on what is working, and how you are making progress. As you know, seeing our own progress in real time is next to impossible —and often takes feedback from others or deep reflection for ourselves to recognize how far we’ve come.
Even during the most arduous of days, there are wins you can find. You could have had the most challenging day of your year, and if you look closely enough: there are wins waiting to be owned.
Journaling For Self Mastery Action Step: Identify at least 3-10 wins every single day and take a moment of gratitude and ownership for creating them.
Journal Strategy #2: Paint Your Vision
The second strategy for journaling success is all about painting a vivid vision for your life: the feelings you want to feel, the experiences you want to be a part of —and the people, places, and opportunities designed to make you feel fulfilled and excited about life.
If you’ve followed any of my work, including the podcast or have done The Integration Experience audio training or grabbed The Best Year Guide, you know I’m relentless about doing this exercise often.
Because again, in my world —too many people set their vision once a year and then forget about it. This is where journaling to paint your vision comes in: taking time to explore the infinite possibilities of your desires and noticing the common themes and patterns that come up.
Often, I’ll engage in this practice through the use of various prompts, including:
This year was my best year ever. Here’s why…
I wake up one year from today. I’m amazed at what has happened in my life —and the opportunities I’ve experienced. They are…
The key to this journaling exercise is to play around with space and time. Meaning, you’re going to journal about your one year vision one day….and then step back and take a 10-year view.
Personally, I pour a ton of my focus and energy on the one year vision as it’s close enough to create urgency —but far enough to give me time to produce significant results. My quarterly targets sit at the front of my journal and my life mission and purpose statement at the back.
This makes it convenient and easy to remind myself where I’m going: what I call the North Star vision. You’ll be doing the same, and creating the space to journal about where you’re headed and why.
Journaling For Self Mastery Action Step: Paint a vivid, specific and detailed account of your vision…one year, three years and even twenty years down the line. Think big and bold —let yourself get lost in possibility.
Journal Strategy #3: Emotional Release
All transformation is emotional. I’ve said this countless times as a reminder: when you want to create something you’re not currently experiencing, you’re going to brush up against your emotions.
Often, this is the biggest obstacle in the way. For most people, it’s not a lack of strategy, tactics or mechanics. Those are easy, simple and they work…for the most part.
What gets in the way as we stretch our comfort zones is being pushed to our emotional edges —and feeling uncomfortable in this process. Because our egos want to re-affirm what we believe to be true and our current reality (as a safety mechanism), it’s going to do anything it can to keep you where we are.
Enter the third strategy for journaling success: emotional release. If you pick up any of my journals, you’ll find some intense entries where I’m questioning everything, circled by darkness. Sometimes, I’ll look back at these and wonder what the hell was going through my head.
Writing down our emotions has been proven to make us feel better and act as a healing mechanism —shortening the time for recovery. Furthermore, as we get the emotions out of our heads and onto paper, they start to lose their power over us.
We can examine them with clarity and contrast and they lose the grip they had on us. This practice is crucial for practicing our emotional intelligence, and ultimately, emotional resilience.
But don’t wait until you have one of “those” days to use this practice. Often, I’ll ask myself a simple question —even if I’m in a great state of mind:
What can I let go of right now that’s no longer serving me?
Then, I make a list of all the possible emotions, thoughts and beliefs that I can and choose to let them go.
Journaling For Self Mastery Action Step: Release your darker or negative emotions when you’re going through a challenge in your journal. Don’t judge anything you write…this is about the release.
Journal Strategy #4: Life Deconstruction
Take a moment and go back to a time in your life where you were incredibly present, connected and felt fulfilled on a deep level. Go into the specific moment right now and focus on the intensity of what you felt.
What was happening around you?
Who were you with and what was your environment?
What were the core ingredients to bring this experience to life?
The fourth strategy for journaling success is all about deconstruction. I first learned about this from Robin Sharma, and even though I’d already done it —he defined it as deconstruction and added perspective to why it matters.
When we deconstruct peak experiences or great moments in our lives, we’re more likely to experience them again. Not only do we re-engage with the peak emotional state (and thus, change our state now) —we start to notice the patterns leading up to the experience.
Armed with this knowledge, we’re more likely to make similar decisions and choices to repeat these feelings —leading to a powerful cycle of expansion. If you’re new to this practice, start with some of your big life moments: the day you met your significant other, a career breakthrough, the best meal you’ve ever had, a time you overcame fear and stepped into your courage, etc.
Once you’ve done this for some of your bigger life events, practice doing it on the smaller things: a great conversation you had, an amazing hike, watching the sunrise or sunset, a yoga class that left you inspired and more.
This has become a near daily practice for me and the benefits have been enermous. What I’ve noticed is I re-create the peak emotional states more often —and I become much more likely to step into action instead of overthinking.
For example, if I’m feeling sluggish and drained after a long day, I’ll get a desire to hike a mountain. Resistance comes in and says I don’t have the time or energy and I start to believe it. But then I remember the times from my de-construction where I shifted my environment and felt incredible after. Then, I’m much more likley to repeat this cycle and you can do the same.
Journaling For Self Mastery Action Step: De-construct the most powerful moments of your life, then do the same for smaller peak experiences. Paint a vivid picture of how it came to life, who was there and how you felt.
Journal Strategy #5: Affirmation Overload
If you follow me on social media at all, there’s no doubt you’ve seen an example of affirmation overload: picking a statement of belief and writing it down hundreds of times.
This one is one of my favorites to re-wire the subconscious mind, embed a belief deep within my spirit and re-affirm who and what I am. The research is clear on this one: putting pen to paper is extremely effective for behavioral change and belief —which is why I double down and fill out an entire page, or pages.
I’ve taught this method to tons of people, and most won’t do it. I get it: it’s not easy, and after your first 25…you’re ready to move on. Your mind is attempting to talk you out of finishing. However, overcoming this resistance is powerful and the feeling of accomplishment when you’re done is incredible.
Journaling For Self Mastery Action Step: This one’s simple. Pick an empowering statement of belief and write it down to fill your entire journal page. Stay focused and present during the process.
Journal Strategy #6: Transcribe Greatness
There was a time in my life where I knew radical change required radical change…obvious, right? This is when I chose to throw away my TV and go deep into the study of the great minds and thinkers of our times. I’d listen to the same exact audio recording every night as I slept, effectively re-wiring my subconscious mind when it was most malleable. In the morning, I’d wake up and put on the audio version of a classic text, and start to transcribe it.
I’d fill up journal pages with the words from these texts, and the same ones would come up time and time again: Emerson’s Self-Reliance, Thoraeus Walden, Seneca’s On The Shortness of Life, Marcus Aurelius and his Meditations.
Mind you, I wouldn’t transcribe the entire text: I’d pick empowering sections and write for 30-90 minutes as much as I could.
The last practice for journaling success is transcribing the great texts, and the one I do least often. Typically, I’ll engage in this one a few times a month. However, it’s also incredibly powerful for immersing yourself in great wisdom while opening up your own.
Journaling For Self Mastery Action Step: Pick a text that resonates deeply with you. Grab your journal and transcribe it…I pair the audio while looking at a digital version for maximum effect.
Journaling Strategies For Self Mastery
So, there you have it: my favorite ways to use the undeniable practice of journaling to create clarity, momentum, release obstacles in the way and live a purposeful life. As I mentioned earlier: you’re going to get what you put into it. Often people will get excited about journaling, order a bunch of new tools…and then do it for a couple days.
When I started to hang around those on a powerful life trajectory, I noticed something else: they’d bring a journal with them everywhere they went. My friend Seth Mattison has done this every time we’ve hung out, and I started doing the same: because we never know when inspiration is going to strike, and we may miss it.
Pick one of these and get started now, and watch what happens.
Journaling Strategies and The Leap Of Your Life!
Lastly, I wanted to remind you that my upcoming book, The Leap Of Your Life is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your local bookseller and on this page for massive bonuses. This book was written for you: to help you identify the bold move in front of you and not just dream big…but live big.
What did you get from this? Post to comments!