How To Use Directed Journaling To Make Decisions & Embrace Change

Debra Eckerling (author of Your Goal Guide) has journaling on the mind and how that can be used to set goals this summer.

Journaling is traditionally used for jotting down what’s going on in your life – tracking your actions, activities, and emotions. However, one of my favorite ways to use a journal is for decision-making and problem-solving. 

And who couldn’t use a little help figuring out your next steps?

As you get closer to the next phase of “the latest normal,” you may need to make a significant decision regarding your #career. 

Do you: 

  • Go back to work in the office?
  • Find a new hybrid or work-from-home job?
  • Or explore a completely new path?

Whether you’re pondering a career change or dealing with a personal matter, you may find yourself mulling it over constantly … and sometimes to no avail. However, when you take pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – you are much more likely to come up with an effective solution.

To gain more clarity about your future, try my Directed Journaling technique. Directed journaling is stream-of-consciousness writing spurts, focused on a specific theme, issue, or problem. 

Here’s how Directed Journaling works:

In your electronic calendar, schedule between three and five 15-minute sessions over a few days. Be sure to set a reminder. 

When you get the alert for your appointment, set a timer for 15 minutes, and start writing. Note: While there are numerous benefits to writing by hand, if you are more likely to complete the process by typing on a computer, go for it! 

During each journaling session, focus on the challenge at hand. 

Ask yourself questions, such as: 

  • What’s the problem? 
  • How can I resolve it? 
  • What are all the possible solutions? 

OR more specifically in relation to your job:

  • How do I feel about going back to the office?
  • What’s my ideal job situation? Is that a possibility in my current position?
  • Is there a way to grow in my current company or do I need to explore other options? 
  • What are my other options? 

When you do your journaling, think outside the box. Be as logical and as extreme as possible. Your journal rants are for your eyes only. And don’t worry about repeating yourself. The trick is to get everything out of your head and onto the page.

Here’s the Trick

Do not read any of these journal entries until you have done the process several times.

Once you have exhausted your thoughts on the subject, then you may read the journal entries. 

As you go through them, note the ideas you repeat – those are what you are most drawn to. You may also come up with solutions that seem to come from left-field. That’s what happens when you allow yourself to babble on paper. 

Final Thoughts 

When you open yourself to all possibilities and look at them objectively, you are more likely to come up with a successful solution or comfortable decision, along with a feasible plan. And when you have a plan in place, it’s much easier to face and embrace change!

Good luck. The power is in your hands. And you can do it! 

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What is your #journaling style? Do you use pen and paper? Do you type your thoughts? Or have a voice journal? Please share in the comments. 

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Are you an employer trying to discover the best way to keep your key people and teams at your company? Want to initiate a #corporatewellness program for your employees? Let’s talk. I am available for consultations and workshops. Message me to set something up.


Your Goal Guide by Deb Eckerling (small copy)

your goal guide

A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals

Start with a plan. One of the biggest reasons goals fail is that we often don’t put enough thought into what we really want before diving in. Your Goal Guide by Debra Eckerling starts with that first, crucial step: figuring out your goals and putting a plan in place. As a professional writer, communications specialist, and project catalyst with more than 20 years of experience, Eckerling is prepared to help you achieve success.