If you’re anything like me, or one of the many women I have coached, you’ve read a weight loss book or two.
Maybe you have shelves and shelves lined with them.
Perhaps they know you, in Barnes and Noble in the Weight Loss section. Or maybe they see you clicking away in amazon.com, the world’s largest virtual bookstore.
Wherever you are, if you’ve read ANY of these books, I’m sure you’ve read the advice ‘Keep a journal’.
Now, you know I’m anti-diet. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two from some of these best sellers.
So, when most weight loss professionals talk about writing things down, they are usually referring to two types of writing.
One, of course, is the old food journal. Some people like it, and many people hate it. What it does is help you become aware of what you’re really doing. Become more mindful.
Left to our own devices, we all think that we eat less than we do, and exercise more than we actually do.
The food journal helps us play detective with our reality.
But the kind of writing I am really talking about here is simply journaling.
Journaling what you are thinking, and feeling.
Why you do the things you do.
It’s how you get to the root of any problem behavior.
And that’s what puts you in the power position to make changes.
So, what’s the big deal about journaling, and why does it work?
When you think about why you’re doing something, and it stays in your head, it’s hard to be objective.
The story in your head sounds like the truth.
The only truth.
But when we take a few minutes and write down what we observe about a troubling situation, it’s like taking your thoughts and downloading them from your head, onto the paper.
Once there, you can examine them. It’s a perfect way of separating yourself from your story.
In your head, it feels like the only possible reality.
On paper, well, it’s just one possibility.
A whole new world of different perspectives suddenly becomes available to you.
It’s like having a deep conversation about you and your situation with someone else, only that someone else is you.
It’s truly amazing.
And the better you get at it, the quicker you will see the truth.
Eventually, you’ll see things clearer even before you write it down.
But seeing things spelled out in black and white, well, there’s just nothing like it.
So next time something is bothering you or you find yourself doing something you know isn’t in your best interest, and you don’t know why, sit down with a pen and paper. (Of course, computer docs work fine, too!)
- What’s happening?
- How are you feeling?
- What were you just thinking?
- Is there another way to look at this?
- What would feel right to you at this moment?
- What do you choose to do?
Don’t tell yourself you have to sit and write daily for an hour.
There is no minimum daily requirement.
This tool is for you.
When you want to feel better.
When you want to get to the bottom of something.
When you know you could be happier.
Isn’t that what we all want?