Two years ago my life was a mess, literally and figuratively.
I never knew where my phone or wallet was, you couldn’t see the floor of my room. On the few occasions that I did clean my room, I realized that there were upwards of 90 empty pop cans littered throughout it.
I had horrible relationships and no goals. I drank too much. I was lazy. I had no purpose and no drive to move towards anything better. Things in my life crumbled and I hit rock bottom.
I’ve been looking back recently and wondering how I got to where I am now. The past feels like a bad dream that I’ve woken from, and I’m pinching myself to make sure this is real.
People ask me for advice and I could go on for hours, but you have to take things one step at a time and I think I’ve figured out the very first step.
Putting It On Paper
I believe years ago I dreamt of being better, but those dreams were lost in a fog shortly after.
We barely have time to think, and when we do get a chance the thoughts quickly evaporate without a trace.
This is why we need to put them in physical form; write them down.
I look around me right now and my room is covered in writing.
My journal is beside me. A to-do list is to my left. My wellbeing checklist is beside my journal. I have random doodles and thoughts of the future. On my wall I have a whiteboard with my focuses for this week. On a corkboard I have my Ideal Day written out, beside that is my personal Manifesto for life.
My life began to change when I started recording the moments when I wanted more, when I believed in my ability to change, when I had an idea for something I could do, and I wrote it out.
My life changed when I started journaling. I could see the patterns in my days and weeks.
I would see that every night I would complain about the mess, or that my relationships were unfulfilling, or that I wanted to be creative, and I would eventually be compelled to do something.
When you journal it gives you a specific time every night to contemplate, reflect, look forward, and release pressure.
I’ve kept a journal on and off for the past two years. Whenever I don’t have one I start to lose clarity and insight.
If we can take time to journal every night, even just a few sentences, we can change our lives.
I’ve had many different versions of this throughout the past two years.
Put simply, it’s just a list of things you want to do daily that support your wellbeing and your goals.
The first checklist I created had only four things on it: Breakfast, gym, drink water, 8hrs sleep.
Every night I would score myself out of four and see how I did. This was probably the most powerful change I have ever enacted in my life.
If you want something to improve, measure it.
Now I have a wellbeing list with ten things on it:
1) Breakfast 2) meditate, 3) exercise, 4) work on 2helpfulguys, 5) grateful list/affirmation/manifest/ideal day review, 6) water/healthy food, 7) 10 ideas, 8) plan next day, 9) 8hrs sleep, 10) journal.
If I were to give one piece of advice to someone wants to change their life it would be to write things down. Journal every night and create a daily checklist.
Regardless of whether your journal entry is three lines long, or you get zeros on your checklist for a month straight. Just start writing things down and putting them out into the world instead of letting them evaporate from your mind.
There is power in seeing something written in your own words, it affects you.
It’s almost magic: start putting things down on paper and they will come to life.