In my post about journaling prompts, I encouraged you to become your own life coach. Change begins with you, I can be the catalyst but you still have to want it.
In this article we’ll look at how your daily diary can be used as a coaching tool.
Why you should keep a daily diary
A quick and simple way to see how you are moving forward is to keep a daily diary.
Your daily diary will do much more than allow you to see yourself moving forward – it can help you release your hidden feelings helping you to de-stress. A diary will also help you spot routines and patterns for both positive and negative feelings.
A diary will help you see what you are achieving
For many, we are so busy that we don’t actually see what we have achieved in the day. People with a large amount of self belief appreciate what they have and notice what they have achieved each day. This can often be small achievements but the small happy achievements add up.
How it works as a coaching tool
You need to commit to keeping a diary; the diary is for your eyes only, add to the diary everyday – record your thoughts, feelings and activities.
Keep it locked safely away.
At least once a month re-read all the daily entries from the previous month and notice how much you have moved forward, also become aware of any patterns you have developed.
How to complete your daily diary
1) Overview of the Day:
In the overview section, you need to be aware of what is currently going on in your mind. Record all your thoughts and feelings;
eg: today I met an old friend for coffee, I thought it was great to get out of the house and to forget about my problems. I am looking forward to meeting my friend again.
Record your highs and lows, the triggers and your emotions. Record any of your thoughts, and as you start to write open up your mind and let your unconscious mind take over, record all of these thoughts and feelings.
Record the positives, the steps forward and any negatives and steps back. Why did you have a good/bad day? Who did you meet that change your state? Where were you? What were you saying to yourself?
2) Breakdown of your day
What did I enjoy most about my day?
Even if you are currently unhappy with your life, there will be a time in your day that you enjoyed more than the rest the rest of the day, what part of the day did you most enjoy? In many cases (hopefully) you will have had a great day, what part of this day was the best? Why was this part of your day good? What were you doing? What made it fun and exciting? Who were you with? What would you like to do more off?
What would I like to do less of in my day?
Think about what you didn’t enjoy about this day, don’t dwell on it too much though. Imagine you could see your day as a TV show, watching yourself on the television. Which part of your day did you not enjoy? Why did you not enjoy this?
What did I learn today?
We all learn every day; this is one of the things that drive humans forward – our quest for knowledge.
Think about the things you enjoyed and the things you didn’t enjoy in your day and ask yourself for each individual item “what have a learnt from this?”
If a negative point in the day, was when you stopped doing something due your own “negative” self talk, ask your unconscious mind ( this is where the negative self talk comes from) “what was the positive intention?” or “what is it that you want to achieve for me by criticising me in this way?”
Record anything you have learnt about yourself; how you act in different situations, what you enjoy doing, how you handle problems, how others effect you, what makes you laugh. Write down anything you were not originally aware of.
If I could, what would I to do differently?
At times, we act spontaneously in many cases this can be a positive thing, at other times you may regret the way you spontaneously acted. We have all heard people say “in hindsight I should have…” and we often talk ourselves out of doing something new and then later regret it.
We can learn from past, look to the future and live in the present. You can’t change the past and you don’t want to because you have already learnt from that experience. What you can ask yourself is, “if you were in a similar situation again, what would you do different now you have learnt from this past experience?”