The more I continue throughout work and life the more clear it becomes that reflection creates better opportunities for mindfulness. Mindfulness is not only an important leadership skill, but it is an incredibly powerful self rewarding tool that can help guide anyone to wisdom.

I have personally kept a journal throughout many periods of my life for written reflection. I firmly believe that creating a writing habit is a step in the right the direction. Here are just a few reasons why I prioritize written reflection everyday:

  1. It is a positive habit to replace with a negative one.

Although we hate to admit it, we all have negative habits. One way I try to combat all my bad habits are by replacing them with good ones. For example, dedicating a faction of your time everyday to writing something quick about why you were grateful. Maybe it is replacing social media with Duolingo.

Whatever the bad habit is, find a way to change the habit into a good one. For example, lets say you sleep in a lot. One way to replace the habit would be to jump in the shower immediately after waking up so you do not have the urge to go back into bed.

2. Memory keeping purposes.

It is always a trip down memory lane when I open up a old journal and start reading what I wrote about. It almost makes me feel like I am reliving the day over again. The things that were going on and the way I was feeling when I wrote something down. I will also include details of the whether, what I ate or even what I wore.

It is also super fun to look back at to remember the exact day and time you decided to write and why. When you are reading your old journals, you’ll be brought back to the exact day you were writing about. I know I do when I read my past entries. I also so to see how my writing and spelling have improved over the years of writing a small entry everyday.

3. Get it out of the system and on to paper.

When I find myself frustrated about something, writing makes me feel much better than what I did before I started writing. It helps you analyze the situation in a different way and creates more clarity for your thoughts.

When I was younger and I was upset about something, like my mom yelling at me, I would take out a journal or sketch pad and I would all the built up emotion inside me and let it out on paper so I didn’t have to carry the burden anymore or at-least in that moment trying to calm myself.

By the time I was done, nine times out of ten, the thing I was working on looked awful on paper, but it helped me get past something for the greater good of everyone around me.