How To Journal Like A Boss #MT30 Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of #MT30! If you haven't yet, seen it, Day 1: How to use music to compete like a champ can be found here. Now for today's tip...

One of the most difficult parts of journaling is staying honest with yourself which is why I've found it super helpful to have rules when I journal or when I have my clients do it. When you free write without any rules, you run the risk of editing your work as you write, defeating the purpose entirely. The point of journaling is to get your raw feelings out on paper, not to be 'correct' or to work on your writing style, punctuation etc.

In the following video and subsequent article, I lay out my 4 rules that have taken my journaling to 'ehhh' (and not that helpful) to creating goals, visions, and insight that just flat out weren't happening before. Plus, with these new rules, I feel so much more motivated to journal because I KNOW it's a great use of my time.

Here are a few tips for staying honest while journaling. You can use these guidelines for help with your own journaling, or to use in a workshop with your athletes but as with all of our tips, we encourage you to try it first.

4 Tips For Journaling

Set a timer: Set a specific timeframe of 5-10 minutes.

Do not stop writing (pen to paper): When journaling, don’t let your pen stop moving at any time. When your hand is moving, your brain is engaged.

Tip: If you get stuck, write “What I really mean is...”, until you get unstuck. Like literally write out the words: "What I really mean is...”. Repeat the phrase if needed until you think of something to continue writing.

Be specific: Ask a specific question to focus on while you write. Here are a few examples of good questions to ask:

  • What do you want? (you can also add in 'in the next 30 days' or 'next year' or 'this season')
  • What can you do to help the team right now?
  • When you think about your sport, what are you most grateful for?
  • Pretend it’s a year from now, what will you most want to look back on with pride?

Don't read them!: If you’re doing this with your athletes, remind them that you will not read their journals. This will help keep them honest.

Have you tried journaling by yourself or with your team before? If so, what would advice do you have? What would you add to this list? (comment below).


For more on the benefits of journaling, and other tips for staying aligned, check out our self-improvement blog for coaches. It is FULL of life and mindset hacks to keep you moving forward and enacting change in others. Read: How to Actually Live What You Teach: Actionable Self-Improvement for Coaches

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