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Making Changes With Journaling

When I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses I felt stuck. I wanted to achieve things in my life and I wasn’t able to. This led me to be very depressed. Now, this was partly because of the limiting rules of the Witnesses and the harsh consequences for not following them. However even after leaving the Witnesses I’ve felt stuck at times not sure how to make progress on the things I wanted. Both Witnesses and former Witnesses alike may feel helpless to change or improve their lives. I found that journaling can help, let me explain how.

Now there are many ways to Journal. In the past, I would use journaling to write down my thoughts and feelings. I would also use Journaling to track things like new habits. However recently I came across a way to problem solve and motivate by using Journaling. This idea came from the ModernHealthMonk on Youtube.

Basically, you use it any time you feel stuck or unmotivated to achieve the things you want to achieve in life. Every entry has a standard format to follow with questions you need to answer.

When your stuck answer the following questions in your Journal:

  1. What’s not working right now? (IE, I’m not losing weight, I don’t have a job I like, I don’t have the degree I want)
  2. What’s stopping me from achieving my goal? (IE, I don’t know what to eat to lose weight, I don’t know where to get started etc)
  3. What are ten ideas that might help me with the above problem that’s stopping you from achieving your goal? (Just brainstorming, you don’t have to do these… Just write them down! IE. Buy a cookbook, throw away junk food, so online research, see a nutritionist, talk to fit friend about diet)
  4. What are three things I can do right now? (write down 3 things you can do right now and then pick one and do it! IE, I could meal prep for the week, I could clean out the fridge, I could eat a healthy breakfast)

Don’t get stuck on specifics. This is just to help you brainstorm, to help you find motivation, and to help keep you on track with your goals. When I do this exercise I find that I often have more motivation when I’m done. The boost of motivation helps me do that one thing I can do right now.

Do you Journal? In the comments below let me know if journalling or something else has helped you make changes in your life! I’d love to hear what works for you.



Published by Ryan David Tuttle

PhD Graduate student studying Behavioral Neuroscience, Addiction, Stress, Behavioral Economics, and Individual Differences. Former member Ministerial Servant and Pioneer in a Spanish speaking congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

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