Coaching Principle ‘Keep a Journal’

‘So it is written, so it shall be done’ - Ramesses

Imagine you have come up with an incredible idea that would revolutionise your business! You were so convicted by it that it lit a fire within so fierce that you wanted to yell it out. Well what if the idea was so great yet you didn’t write down the idea into a journal? Imagine how you would feel if you forgot most of what your creative powers conjured up?

Well science tells us that an idea can be gone forever with 7 minutes! Last principle’s focus was on reflection which we know is a pillar for all creative powers and idea. Without this remember, we remain automatons just going about our daily lives in routine. Not that this is bad. But what when we are inspired?

Keeping a journal is the most profound activity that I have ever done. In fact I attribute all my success to keeping one. I often look back at my journal and see that what I had written more often than not materialised for the better.

I do not think anyone is an ‘expert’ in journaling, let alone myself. Yet buying and keeping one around you will transform the way you think and enable you to achieve more on many levels.

There are many ways in which we can keep and maintain journals. We can create the following categories:

  • Ideas Journal (this could be personal, business, spiritual, philanthropic)

  • Action Journal (implementation for personal growth or business)

  • Daily/routine journal (how your day panned out)

  • Work and personal journal (keeping them distinct)

Or you can keep one journal for ideas and one planner/diary for work which is what I follow. Journaling is preferable using old fashioned ink and pen. Here is why…

  • You will not be distracted by the myriad of other possibilities like Facebook or ‘other work’ which is a distraction

  • It sharpens your writing skills (something I am personally still working on)

  • If you look after your journal it cannot be deleted into cyber ether.

These are common-sense ideas. This doesn’t mean I do not use a mixed method of ‘Note taking’ on my smart devices or PC.

In principle 2 we talked about the Reticular Activation system (RAS) working best when we are in creative mode. Well when we journal the same thing occurs except now we are consolidating an idea or thought into a word. The next step for materialisation is for you to look back, revise and then implement those inspirational ideas. How amazing!

For trainers and coaches out there performing many hours on the gym floor or running outdoor programs, we must ensure we have ‘creative time’ and an opportunity to keep our journal. This is great for personal development and to harness and sharpen your skills as a trainer and coach. I found that programming worked much better when I began keeping a journal because all I thought about was customising and creating smart programs for my clients. To this day I educate trainers and coaches on this very bedrock.

The key ingredients for a coach are:

  • Focus on the thing you want to excel in most. Let’s say it is writing a better program for your client.

  • Obsess about the program and ways in which you can better the process for how you program

  • Take liberty in writing a process that will ensure better and smarter programming

As with most things we need to be disciplined and create routines that ensure we are journaling always without being warped into cyber world or other distractions.

Coach’s Tip:

Keep a journal of ideas. This will be separate from your work and ‘to do’ diary. We will talk more about effective systems and processes that requires us to use an incredibly simple but powerful system called ‘To Do, Doing, Done’ by Snead and Wolf.

An ideas journal is purely for collecting and collating your thoughts which are based on your reflections. This may further be broken into:

  • Immediate implementation: within a 3 month period

What is useful here is to migrate your more immediate goals into your daily planner/diary and project management system.

  • Big picture ideas can be anything from what you want to achieve in the next 12 months, 3 years or beyond. These are projects and ideas you should be excited about. Even if you do not do or become that which you write down, you gain better insight and understanding about your-self. It raises your inner awareness about what you really want and where you truly want to be

  • Another part of the diary may be jotting down quotes or ideas that inspire you. It could be a poem, a song, or a drawing.

Albert Einstein once said:

‘The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you, and you don’t know how or why’

I would add that this inspiration be recorded in your journal, just like Einstein and other greats have done before us. For us to grow and prosper we need to stimulate our learning process by keeping a journal. What we will explore in principle #4 ‘Adopt a Growth mind-set’ is how to cultivate our ideas and journaling in an upward spiral of never ending learning and success.

Until next time happy journaling

Coach Tarek

Suggested Read:’ To Do, Doing, Done!’ By Snead and Wolf

To Do...Doing...Done!: A Creative Approach to Managing Projects and Effectively Finishing What Matters Most focuses on the skills required to manage any project without getting bogged down in conflicts or sidetracked by unexpected changes or developments.

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