Journaling Your Heart’s Desire

By Aaron Sugarman

There’s a ton of great evidence — both scientific and anecdotal — pointing to the power of focused journaling. In their book, Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond, Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge make a particularly eloquent case for this practice. Here’s the gist of it…

“One of the great keys to caring about your own life is to watch it. And to keep track as if it mattered a lot. Which it does. If you’re going to have a good life, a full life, a life that you and others care about, it must be the examined life. And that means writing stuff down. It sounds banal, but it works. It’s so easy to look out at the rain and give it the Full Teddy — ‘I don’t care’ — and go back to sleep. If you know you’re going to have to admit it, in writing, you’re more likely to get up and go.”

Here’s what they suggest as an easy guideline…

“So keep a simple log in which you write down, every stinking day, these three things: 1) what I ate, 2) what I did for exercise (or didn’t), and 3) what I did with my life — sexually, socially, morally … whatever lights your fire. It is a tremendous help to know as you decide from minute to minute what to do, that ‘All Will Be Written’ and ‘All Will Be Known.’ It is a talismanic business, a sign that someone cares. Even if it’s just you.”

If you’re still not convinced, or don’t see the real world value, here are some examples they site as evidence of effectiveness…

“Keeping the log — and keeping it accurately — has been the sacred duty of captains and commanders from the earliest times. Those who tampered with or kept false logs faced grave penalties, certainly including loss of command. That’s a good phrase, actually.  If you do not keep an accurate log, you will lose command. Of yourself!”

But not only does a journal allow you to keep track of what you’ve done, it keeps you focused on where you’re heading…

“A daily log is a crutch to lean on when you’re weak. A shield to ward off boredom when you’re tired. A sword to symbolize your resolve when you falter. It is a practical tool and a magical device that stands between you and the relentless thought ‘You know what? I just don’t care.’  A couple of times I lost my log and, without fail, went straight to hell. In my experience, there is a perfect correlation between dropping the log and going to hell. So now I carry it everywhere. And I keep it religiously.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you want to live your heart’s desire, if you want to stay the course, a journal can be both the rudder and the wind in your sails on this life journey. Want to give it a try?

Aaron Sugarman is a Newfield Certified Coach and has garnered numerous awards for his creative work online (Webbys), in film (Key Art), print (National Magazine Awards) and advertising/marketing (Cannes Lions).

He works with individuals and teams across North America who are committed to excellence and willing to make strong promises to achieve their goals.

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One Response to “Journaling Your Heart’s Desire

  • What do you (and they) use to journal? Analog or digital? I wonder if there is a difference…

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