Helping Creative People Create

Doing it Every Day

I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a blunt object. I don’t get things right the first time, or even the 23rd.

I’ve been writing in a journal every morning, and today I realized that I’ve almost made it exactly a year with this habit. Now, this is nothing earth-shattering for many. Many people have been journaling for years. But for me, it’s big. It’s massive.

You see, I’m not very good with sticking with things. I’m generally attracted to shiny things like ideas, concepts, and exiting business ventures. Unfortunately, I’m not one to typically stick with the shiny things very long. I usually abandon them, and only after I’ve promised something. (I’m not proud of this, not one bit.)

This is why something as unsexy as writing in a journal every morning shouldn’t stick with me. It isn’t in my nature. But somehow it has become second nature to me. I’ve gotten to the point where if I don’t write in the morning, I notice it. In fact, it alters my day in a bad, bad way if I don’t.

My writing time gives me perspective on what I need to do for the day. I think about the big things I’m trying to do, and how to break them down. It’s how I distill and choose what I do later in the day. (It’s funny how that simple choice has massive ramifications.)

But here’s where it gets really interesting: This morning I realized that my journal had somewhat become a reference for my last year. Anyone who wanted to see what my life was like last year could, with one book. The birth of my daughter, a new business venture, a trip to the Caribbean, to name a few. Countless fears, countless random thoughts. It’s all there. Perhaps someday–after I’m long gone, of course–my daughter would want to read what I had been thinking and doing in 2010. (I don’t think my life is that interesting, but maybe she would.)

My journal has grown into something bigger than me, and only because I’ve been writing a little bit in it nearly every day. Now the habit is stuck: it’s snowballed into something more important, something that will continue to become harder and harder to break.

This is how the world is changed: not sweeping reform, not huge events. It’s changed in the small things we do every day.

What do you do every day?

Photo by roland

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  • http://franklinchen.com/ Franklin Chen

    I hear you! I finally started a blog less than two weeks ago, and I did so with the plan to commit to posting every day, and I have succeeded so far, but it certainly takes effort.

  • http://twitter.com/jackiewolven jacqueline wolven

    I write, Glen… I write. And I keep an ongoing Master List – which helps immensely with feeling like I am doing something.

  • http://twitter.com/DannonL Dannon Loveland

    This is a great accomplishment. It is nice to get to a point where things you should do are easier to do than not do. I hope to be able to reach the same accomplishment.

    • http://lifedev.net Glen Stansberry

      Exactly! It’s not easy to not do something when you won’t let you.

      *scratches head*

      Well, you get the idea :)

  • Anonymous

    Timely post for me to read — I just noted in my journal how writing in it every day has yielded some big rewards in terms of getting my thoughts clear and conherent.

  • 1spartica

    I really enjoyed your article, Glen!  It hit home as I have trouble sticking with things.  I usually over-do and burn out, but I began blogging a couple of months ago and  I find that when I blog I learn things about myself that I didn’t realize before.  I try to make my blogs interesting to others, but I know they are interesting to me, so bit by bit I am succeeding.  

    • http://lifedev.net Glen Stansberry

      Good! Yeah, I suffered from burnout a few times on this blog too. You’re right, there’s something intensely introspective about writing for other people. I learn something about every time I publish something here.

  • http://www.workhappynow.com Karl Staib – Work Happy Now

    I write every day. I love the process, it’s vital to my business and it helps me work through ideas.

  • Helena

    Such fantastic advices for a creative – but undisciplined – person  like me.

    And what a nice made blogg.
    Wish I had skills enough to create such a nice looking blogg. 

  • http://peppervirtualassistant.com Siobe Lim

    I can totally relate! Honestly, I’ve stopped writing in my journal for I think 3 months now. I found my journal from last year and this year, and I can say that I really miss writing my everyday activities. It also brought back memories ~ good and bad. I promise that I will write everyday again for the year 2012. :)

  • http://www.sofas-de-canto.com sofas baratos

      Excellent .. Superb ..

  • http://blog.myrecordbox.com Apurva Mehta

    Great post. I am a big fan of journalling as well. Simply writing down what you want to do, and what you did is a great way to build awareness. 

    Also reflecting on my days at the end of the week really reveals what I have been neglecting and what I have been good at. That awareness itself brings about positive change for me!

  • LeslieZeigler
  • Pingback: Quick Quotes Weekly | The World Changes Edition | BetterMess.com()

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Good job on sticking with your journal writing! The main focus of my new self-help book is staying on track with any goal, no matter how big or small, and following through to get results. It’s not an easy task, but I’m proof that it can be done and you can accomplish anything!

    Gail Kasper – Motivational Speaker and Author, http://www.gailkasper.comUnstoppable: 6 Easy Steps To Achieve Your Goals

  • http://www.newsuperhuman.com CrystalDoll

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with single step. You have been doing a good job. I like your writing. :)

  • http://www.logoblog.org/ Logo Design

    Agreed!!
    Perfect Quote!
    Good to see this :)

  • Liana Yong

    inspiring!..i have tried to write journal everyday..but it’s only for few weeks..then i leave it, hahaha… i will try it again and be consistence…day by day..everyday..then be habit.. ;)

  • Bluenyxie

    Its great that you are able to stick to journalling everyday. I have the itch to make everything perfect and when I start a journal, I work on it for so long to make it the way that I want that I give up the next day. = 

  • Vivek Dhiman

    This is how u get successful.. subscribe
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fvL4KurMB8

  • David Smith

    Interesting your ‘discovery’ that you’d created a family memoir by accident. I’ve recentlyhad a similar experience with my sketchbooks. I realised that i have created the story of my last fourteen years- travel pictures, drawings of my baby child while i waited for her to fall asleep, drawings of her as she grew to teenagerdom etc. My drawing style has grown through that time just as, I’m guessing, your writing style has. The only problem is that only i know what they mean- I’m thinking I might add commentary via post it notes throughout.
    I would now feel naked without the current sketchbook in my backpack.

  • http://www.travismcashan.com/ Travis McAshan

    Glen, I just found your site today and liked your story. I’m in the EXACT same situation (when you started I mean) realizing I want do the things I love, believe in and have passion for to help others do the same. 

    Your recent article caught my eye because I just published a post about this exact same thing. I’d post a link here but don’t want to spam your site.

    I’ll look forward to your future articles and perhaps if the stars align, someday I’ll even return the favor and inspire you!

  • http://everythingaboutmotivation.wordpress.com/ Petra Botekova

    I´ve developed an habit of exercising 4 times a week. It has been tough in the beginning but now it feels really weird if I can´t exercise as often as usual for a reason. But what is more important, everyone can develop an habit just starting with small steps and repeating them on a regular basis. In this way you can achieve whatever you want :)

  • http://themindmanual.com/ The Mind Manual

    I certainly know what you are talking about. I found out that when I procrastinate and skip over the important stuff that I actually feel bad for the rest of the day. But doing things sometimes is easier said than done. Recently I’ve found out about Seinfield calendar and since then it’s been easier for me to do my work. It really motivates you because you set yourself a goal and when you finish it, you can mark off that day on your calendar. It is a great way of creating a habit.

  • S2k1tm

    I Agree with you. I recently discovered the J.Song’s book ‘You Just Don’t know what you’re capable of: uncovering the secrets to success’ from Amazon and found out that changing is not about trying but making natural habits and loving it. He mentioned about changing habit by changing thinking patterns. One thing at a time. I really enjoyed the book wanted to share it with you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hza4Df-m8gA&feature=plcp

  • http://www.passiveproductive.com/ Sam Matla

    Wow, that’s awesome man! I started writing on 750words.com a couple of weeks ago, I guess it’s the equivalent of a journal. I’m finding it pretty hard to keep consistent at the moment but I absolutely love doing it! 

  • Amal Chahine

    “This is how the world is changed: not sweeping reform, not huge events. It’s changed in the small things we do every day.”

    This line is spectacular.

  • Riya Malhotra

    I usually follow the procedure of breaking your task as a whole into small chunks and completing it one by one and that woks for me moreover makes my life easier. One similar technique was suggested by my life coach during a sessions i attended few years back.