How do I figure out what I need to change? This tool helps with personal growth, even if it's not a habit.

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How do I figure out what I need to change?

I thought I needed someone to share a creative idea with me. It turns out I just needed a tool I already had.

I don’t find much power in the discipline of daily, scheduled journaling.

Sure, many people find wisdom in the habit of documenting their gratitude or answering three daily questions. There were times that I did, too. I might again some day, but I can also get stuck in adopting a habit for the habit’s sake. “Checking the box” can become too important. That’s what happened to me with journaling after a while.

But lately I’ve been facing each day’s end with the feeling that I had wasted much of my time and energy.

I found myself distracted during times I had set aside on my calendar for deep work. And the deep work wasn’t getting done. And in the middle of it, I thought, “Here I go again…”

Looking backwards, I couldn’t figure out what was going on or what I needed to change.

As I shared my challenge during a peer coaching session, I realized that my journal was the tool I needed.

Next time I faced that distraction, I stopped what I was doing and started journaling about what was happening in the moment. It forced me to put the distraction into words, and it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.

And putting words to the problem also helped me find the solution.

Maybe you’ve experimented with journaling.

Or maybe you’ve felt like you “should” journal more.

Let me invite you to view your journal not as a required discipline or duty, but as an indispensable tool to help for specific challenges.

When you find your own “Here I go again…” moment, try stopping what you’re doing. Pull out your journal and put your challenge into words.

You just may find the creative idea that gives you your solution.

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