After surviving an emotionally and physically abusive stepfather, multiple arrests, six years in high school, and time in drug rehab, I managed to become a lawyer and business owner. In order for me to continue on the right track and cope with the trauma I endured I needed tools to help me become the best version of myself. To that end, I created a morning routine that would set me up to be able to blaze my own path to true fulfillment.
After my morning meditation, I would go straight to my journal, pick up my pen, and write non-stop for three pages, or more, on whatever came to my mind. I wrote about anything as long as I was being honest and I was speaking truth to myself. The key was, once my pen hit the paper, I didn’t pick it up until the three pages were written. At first, three full pages seemed like a daunting task. But, as I got used writing, daily, I could not only easily write the three pages I could surpass that if I wanted to. I noticed positive changes to my life almost immediately.
Here’s what happened after I started to journal on a consistent basis:
1. My Day Was More Focused and Productive. After getting all my thoughts down on paper I was able to set my mind to my daily tasks and activities. Without the burden of things I may be worried about I was able to see clearly what I needed to get done for the day and what I wanted for my life. I wasn’t bothered with all my fears and thoughts because I wrote them down earlier in the day.
2. I Was Able to Express Myself Better. Once I knew what was on my mind and what I wanted for my life–because I had written it down–I went out in the world with more confidence and better self-esteem. I was able to share what I wanted with others and knew how to articulate it.
3. I Became More Creative. Writing constantly provided me an outlet to share my ideas without being judged by anyone. Sure, I wrote down some silly ideas, but I also wrote down ways I could become better, how to deal with people, and the best ways to resolve conflicts.
4. It Relieved Stress. Instead of keeping everything bottled up, journaling was an outlet that set me free. My worries were left on paper and that’s where they stayed.
5. I Was Able to See Things in a Different Perspective. When I was “free writing” I would write down things I didn’t even know I was thinking and learn things about myself and what I thought about a certain situation.
6. It Provided a History of My Life. Was I growing as a person? I can now look back at entries and see what I was thinking at a certain time in my life and how I addressed certain situations. Am I evolving and growing? My journal gave me the answer because I was always honest with it.
7. It Magnified Things I Needed to Change. If I kept writing the same issue or problem over and over again on a daily basis, it was clear it was something I needed to address.
8. It’s an Easy Way to Start my Day Off with Gratitude. If I couldn’t think of anything to write, I always had things to be thankful for. I’d just write down what I was grateful for and it would lead to other things to write about.
Grab a notebook and a pen and start journaling today–don’t wait!
[Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Kyle Robinson. Kyle was born in Chicago, Illinois, and has lived all over the U.S. including Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ohio, California, Michigan, and New York. Raised, in part, by a stepfather who didn’t know how to love, Kyle struggled through high school, was arrested several times, and went to drug rehab. Eventually, Kyle straightened out his life, attended college, and graduated law school. Ultimately, Kyle quit his corporate job and started his own business. Kyle received a B.A. in Political Science from Kent State University and his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Kyle is a writer, speaker, and avid ultra runner. He currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his dog Booker. Follow Kyle on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.]