There are useful techniques that allow you to get past mental blocks you're holding on to. You can learn to affect your subconscious in ways you may have never realized just by writing it down! The secret to having your writing move you forward is in what and how you write. There’s a huge difference between ‘diary writing’ and ‘effective journaling.’

Diary writing: Many people keep a diary; they write a couple short sentences about the events of each day then tuck it away then go about their days until they write another short diary entry. At some point the diary gets forgotten about until the time it’s discovered, often after years have passed. It’s read and memories of the events are recalled.

There’s nothing wrong with diary writing, it’s a tool we use to create a feeling of nostalgia later in life. Although if you want to get the most out of your writing there’s another way which will allow you to really learn something about yourself. It’s called Effective Journaling.

Effective Journaling, lesson 1: This process will assist you in moving yourself forward, it allows you to see your results and alter your next thoughts and actions accordingly. Effective Journaling is always done by hand. Typing text into your computer will not create the desired affects because writing by hand is second nature to us and allows our mind to wander. This is secret number one: You want your mind to wander! And you want to be able to capture all of your mind wanderings… Do I have you wondering about your wanderings yet? : )

When you feel your mind wander, stop writing. Jot a quick note, just one or two sentences of your new thought, just enough so when you look at it again, you know what you were thinking. Then immediately get back to where you left off! This process is a form of brainstorming by yourself. It’s through writing things out that your mind processes new ideas and brings them to your awareness. Take advantage of how your wonderful mind works! You’ll write more in detail about your wanderings at a later time.

Effective Journaling, lesson 2: In all of your writing, make sure you include feelings. How did you feel during the event, after the event, how do you feel as your writing about what happened? By writing about your feelings you’ll get into the habit of paying attention to how you feel in given situations. Your body sends you physical clues all the time to outside circumstances. Most of us just aren’t aware of our own body signals. For instance, I know from my own self study that when I create a success in my life I get goose bumps on the tops of my thighs and my heart races. There have actually been times when I’ve felt my body give me the reactions prior to my being aware of the success about to happen! You see, our minds get so caught up in our thoughts we often miss signals we are being given to lead us in the right direction! I’ve learned that when I feel my ‘success signals’ to stop and pay attention and see what I’m supposed to be seeing!

Effective Journaling, lesson 3: Lastly, make sure you do not write things down then stick them away never to be read again! Last week I wrote about a traumatic event in my life. I recorded my feelings, “I feel sick to my stomach, I cannot sleep, my mind is preoccupied, I cannot concentrate.” This week I read my journal entry and am able to see the improvements I’m making in getting through last weeks struggle. “I’m still having concentration issues, and my stomach is still upset when I think about it, but I’m sleeping through the night and I’m able to concentrate most of the day.”

Effective Journaling is writing then reading and rereading to allow yourself to learn and see the improvements you’ve made in your life!

Author's Bio: 

Jane Saylor is the author of “The Road You’ve Traveled, How to Journal Your Life.” You may contact Jane at to learn about her book or coaching program. Email contact: