The magic of keeping journals
When I was young, I used to think……..what’s the point of writing a diary? That’s weird. If I were to write a diary entry, it would detract from valuable playing time. Some ten, maybe fifteen years on, it doesn’t seem so strange anymore.
Now if there were ever a principle I believed in more than anything regarding fitness and health, it’s measuring, tracking and recording. You want to lose fat? You better have a decent idea of what you’re eating and in what amount. Want to get strong? You must know what numbers you’ve been hitting, and what numbers you need to hit in order to show evidence of progress. And I know many of you log all your workouts on your blog. I think that’s great.
You needn’t be overly anal about it. Just have some recordings of your ‘journey’. I myself have a plastic folder that contains all my sheets (workout records – weights used, movements etc) from a good year ago. Yes, everything I’ve done physically for a year and more. On top of that, I possess a good old fashioned note book that acts as a daily journal/diary of sorts. This is a very recent implement of mine.
The underlying beauty of having this trusty old book, is to write three things I’m grateful for each day. Well, night actually. I know many have publicized this simple exercise. I gave it a trial as something to offer a clearer perspective on my situation. None of us are immune to a bad mood or period of mild depression. We’re all partial to unwarranted self-deprecation.
A gratitude entry gives us a slap across the face. One we usually are long overdue. The contents can be anything. Whatever comes to mind. It can be as mere as being grateful for having the resources to prep a healthy meal. It can be as sheer as being grateful for your relationship being every bit as alive as it was in its youth. No specifics. Just genuine appreciation.
In addition, I write in how I’m feeling regarding whatever dieting/eating approach I’m using. I’ve experimented with numerous fasting protocols as my schedule has become a little more rigid. (Side note: I will do some writing on fasting, meal frequency etc….soon!)
By doing so, patterns can be detected. When patterns are detected, self-discovery happens. Finding out where you fared best, and on which approach.
And finally, I’m not a mindless wannabe meathead who thinks the only evolution worth experiencing is adding another half inch to his biceps. No. If you’ve read my content, you’ll see I think the brain and personality must evolve far more than the body in order to really get close to truly living to your potential.
Imagine this, you chat with relatives about a great old family event from some years ago. You reminisce, look at photos and say…….”man, that was a good time!”. If you’d been keeping journals of some kind, you’d have been able to rummage back to the relevant date and actually read your perception of that day, the world and life in general as you foresaw it then.
How cool is that?
Better yet, you’ll be able to see just how much you’ve grown as a person in the space of time. You could technically just ‘recall’ previous events, but we both know it’s not nearly as accurate or magical, or genuine.
Keeping records aid results in the gym, allow you to see where you’ve tripped up nutritionally and ultimately……..allow you to observe just how much of an improved version of yourself you’ve become.
Those kids with diaries were way beyond their years. They really were.
JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.
Diaries are awesome. I love being able to go back 3 months and looking at where I was then compared to where I am now. It is the true mark of progress.
Absolutely! I’m relatively new to keeping a diary and I’m trying my utmost to do it daily and not miss an entry. Just trying to add that to my list of good lifestyle habits 🙂
I used to use charts but I have found that a notebook is more personal as I can jot down other things like how I am feeling, my diet and notes about changes.
That’s exactly what I do. I’ll write it in sections; how my eating has been and how I feel……energy levels etc. What’s made me happy, sad or in between. But the most important element is the gratitude for me.
I don’t have a diary or a journal, I have blogs. 😉
Yes indeed. Blogs are on par with journals, probably better actually! Depends how personal your blogs are I guess 🙂
At least one can get pretty personal, but then that’s what makes it relatable to an audience.
Wholeheartedly agree. If you can’t connect with your audience, you may as well not blog at all. Great point!
I have had so many diaries though the years… what I learn from writing is putting words on what I feel, to be grateful for what I have and just to have something that is mine – just mine. When I go back to read what I have written, I see how long I have come since that day or year, but I also see myself and my life in perspective. Which is something I really belive in, to see your life in perspective and try to not only see it through your own eyes 🙂
Wonderful insights, thanks for interacting! Absolutely, gratitude is massive. Sometimes I’m grateful – or I write down my gratitude for the most seemingly small and insignificant things, yet other times they’ll be more prominent. They make fascinating reading right? So just how far back could you go if you tried to dig an old journal/diary out right now?
I had two from when I was 7-10 years old (I´m 18 now)… but I threw them away because I was struggling at the time with being bullied. I just wished to be done with it, if you know what I mean. So the earliest I have now is from 11 years old me, when my family and I went traveling a lot. Then I don´t have any for a couple of years, because I started blogging online (but deleted those as well). But I have a couple from 2-3 years back until now 😉 I have used them as therapy in many ways you could say, and for document my life and everything I have seen.
Ah nice, I guess they were the best way you could relieve some emotion. Just make sure you don’t delete or trash your current blog and diary 🙂 I have a seriously good memory, but it’s amazing how much time can skew it. And you end up remembering things a little differently to how they were………that’s when journals and diaries really shine! Haha. Pictures are another great one, although I’m not really a picture guy, never have been. But I can totally see the beauty in these massive collage-like photo collections some people have.