Research shows that keeping a daily journal helps let go of negative emotions, cuts down on over-thinking and procrastination and will leave you feeling calmer, clearer and less stressed.
Perhaps you think journal writing is a bit "woo woo"?
First of all, getting started with journaling is HARD and it CAN seem a bit well, woo.
I hear you.
That was me a few years ago. I had a stationery addiction – so all the gear – but no idea how to really get started with something that seemed a bit faddy and random.
I was studying for my MSc in Executive Coaching which involved writing case studies about clients’ backgrounds, coaching challenges and transformations. Despite having a degree in English, I was finding it hard to write with ease and insight. And I knew that when it came to my dissertation – which had to be written in the first person and was an inquiry into my own coaching practice – I had to do something to “free up” my writing.
At the same time, I was bringing up two teenagers, running my own business and struggling in a difficult relationship. In other words, my days were full of stress, doubt, and over-thinking.
Which is when a fellow coach recommended Gestalt Free Writing. This two-day program really freed me up and showed me why I was struggling to write my thoughts and feelings down, despite actually being able to write well.
That started a process of practice, experimentation and research that led me to identify some of the common mistakes people make when trying to get started with journaling.
Who am I and how does journal writing fit in?
My name is Moyra Mackie and I’m an accredited executive and team coach.
When I coach leaders and teams, I see my role as creating and holding a space for them. A space to pause, to think, to reflect on how they feel and to consider if there is something new or different they could say or do.
This journal was written with that intention. To create a space where you can step away from your busyness and your to-do lists. A space where you might arrive with a whole lot of heaviness and mental clutter and leave freer, lighter, clearer. You might want to see this journal as the Marie Kondo method for your mind and heart.
Writing a diary and a journal are the same thing
They’re not. A diary tends to be a record of things that you’ve done or plans that you have. What I call “out there stuff”. Journaling is “in here stuff”; thoughts, feelings, reactions and yes, hopes and dreams.
There can be an overlap between the two, but writing a journal is a structured form of brain dumping. Or what we call in psychology “letting go”.
Writing a journal is about neat handwriting, good grammar and having something important to say
If writing a journal was about good handwriting, that would count me out. Journaling can include doodling, scribbling, drawing and mind maps. You certainly don’t need good grammar and developing a journal habit will show you that you always have something important to say, it’s just a case of allowing what needs to be said to come out on paper.
Failing to develop a habit of journaling is due to a lack of a set time and place to do it
Not really. Many people get told that if they put their journal by their bed, they will develop a routine. And it might work for them for a while and then the habit fades away.
This journal is specifically designed to help you embed the habit of journal writing in your daily life. You will find yourself missing it when you don’t do it!
Why not get a better understanding of journaling, with this Guided Journaling Class:
Calmer, clearer, more creative, more grateful, ready to go hug my loved ones. These are all reactions to this guided journal class. If you’re not sure that journal writing is for you, why not give this a try? Twenty five minutes in exchange for getting rid of some of that mental clutter and gaining a sense of well-being and equilibrium.
Grab a pen and some paper, find a quiet comfortable place and let’s go on a journey of discovery!
So, what really holds us all back from writing a journal?
We are held back from writing a journal because of the way we learnt to write. We didn’t learn to write in the same way we learnt to talk. Our speech developed through experimentation and lots of trial and error. Our errors were often seen as adorable by our care givers; toddlers are allowed to mangle the language and it’s cute and funny.
When it comes to writing on the other hand, things are not so carefree. We aren’t allowed to make up our own spelling rules; we have lines to write on and punctuation to get to grips with. We even get told what to write. We have teachers and parents watching how and what we write, and we’re being marked and assessed right from the get go.
So it’s hardly surprising that as adults, when faced with a blank page in a journal, our Inner Critic and our Inner Editor hold an intervention and start telling us loud and clear that we have no idea what we’re doing; who are we to think we are worthy enough, smart enough, reflective enough to fill this beautiful book with words?
I hear them and I have a way of silencing them
Through my work as an executive coach, I have years of experience helping people to articulate their thoughts and feelings; to ask questions and create an environment where words don’t have to be fluent, emotions don’t have to be positive and the process of getting there is as important as the end result.
That’s the training and mindset I have brought to creating this journal. It’s structured in a way that addresses the presence of your Inner Critic and Inner Editor. It’s written with empathy for what state you might be in when you pick it up; you’re frazzled and doubting, you’re tired and overwhelmed and the easy option would be Netflix or a scroll through social media.
The structure recognises that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing; you’ll always bring your Inner Critic with you. Having a ritual for getting rid of those critical thoughts, allows you the freedom to engage with a different exercise every day in parts 2 and 3.
It’s tried and tested
Every element of this journal has been created as a result of working with clients. In April I ran a month long “experiment” where I held a live online guided journal session every night on my Facebook page. I got feedback in real time about what was working, what was challenging and what the impact of each exercise was like.
I know what you’re thinking...
This will take me ages, I haven’t got time...
Each day’s journaling is designed to take between 15 and 30 minutes (depending on your mood and your thoughts). But you could just do Part 1. That takes three minutes and this is what my clients say about those three minutes:
“I would highly recommend journal writing. I joined one of Moyra’s journal safari sessions a couple of weeks ago and have been keeping a daily journal ever since. The main benefits for me is it’s helped me to keep perspective in these times, not to be too hard on myself and be thankful for the things I have achieved.“
Justin Ellis, Innovation & Strategy, British retail bank
I’m not really a reflective person – I just like to get on with things...
In that case, you will definitely benefit from journaling. Most of my clients are just like you. They’re busy, successful, no-nonsense people. They are the ones I have seen the biggest transformation with:
“Journaling has definitely helped me to keep a positive outlook. It’s been really refreshing to look back on the last day and get my thoughts down on paper and have some reflection time. I’ve also found that if I’ve had a tough day just writing my daily journal lifts my mood and has a calming effect on me.“
Justin Ellis, Innovation & Strategy, British retail bank
This is what journal writers I've recently been working with had to say:
"Allowed me to create clarity and space around what I was or wasn't thinking"
Helen Walsh - Digital Marketing Lead
This is what the science says about writing a journal...
I’m ready to do this!
Want to take your journaling journey even further? Why not opt for the ultimate self care package...
Thirty-day Guided Journal Safari
Are you wondering how you can make that thirty-day journaling habit stick?
Or maybe you’ve taken part in one of my journaling classes in the past and you know how valuable having a guide and a community of fellow journal writers can be?
Why not join me for this group Guided Safari where a combination of live classes delivered over Zoom and a pop-up Facebook group will give you the support, motivation and community that will embed this habit and leave you feeling more energised, more connected and more focused. And a hell of a lot less stressed!
What you get:
- Three 30 minute live and interactive Zoom journal classes each week (for four weeks) where you can stay on track and experience new and exclusive journal exercises that are not in the written journal
- Audio recordings available to play on catch up
- A weekly email to provide you with motivation and encouragement and new ideas
- A pop-up Facebook group to provide you with a community of diverse journal writers who all have one thing in common; they’ve bought the journal and they want to make sure they get the most out of it. It will be a place for sharing, laughing, connecting and learning
Start date: Sunday 10th January 2021
Live call times (all timings GMT):
- 6pm Sunday
- 6pm Tuesday
- 6pm Thursday
The perfect way not just to create a journaling habit, but to have some all important “me time”. Taking half an hour for yourself, three times a week, to devote to thinking about your own feelings, emotions and well-being can be more valuable than you realise.
Questions you might have
The Journal Safari is £19.50 plus postage & packing.
You do need to pay for postage and packing. To ensure that the Journal Safari reaches you in immaculate condition, the postage charges are £3.70 for UK, £5.50 for Europe and £13.35 for the rest of the world.
If you check the “What’s Included” section on this page, you will find out exactly what you’re getting when you order the Journal Safari.
If you would like extra support you can join my 30 Day Guided Safari – which includes a journal class once a week to get you started and hold your hand through the process. The Guided Safari includes extra, different exercises not included within the Journal Safari.
Please be advised before you buy that we are unable to offer refunds.
The Journal Safari combines thought-provoking prompts and creative exercises to help you develop a habit of creating mental and emotional space that will leave you clearer, calmer and more focused.
Here’s what’s included: