You already know everything that you need to know

But you keep digging around more. You are reading more self-help and self-improvement books. You follow smart, successful people whom you want to emulate.

But have you learned something fundamental about yourself? Something that you could not have come up with yourself? Burning the metaphorical midnight oil? I doubt it. How? I've been there. And I am still there quite often.

Extra hour

The pandemic enforced extra time on us all. No commute or social obligations lead to an extra hour or two in the day. I've already been down the Netflix and PlayStation path in my youth.  So, I decided to focus on reading and writing.

As I looked around for recommendations, I focused on the overlaps between different schools of thought. The standout one to me was journaling.

Already knew that

Of course, I already knew that you should journal. Coach Dan John is meticulous about his training journals and has piles and piles of them going back decades. But I failed every time I attempted it.

If I couldn't maintain a training journal, could I maintain a journal for my day and for my life? Wrong question.

Am I okay with not starting a journal? Definitely not!

Analysis paralysis

There are 100s of options for daily journaling. From 5-minute journals to writing prompts, to open journaling. It is easy to get sucked in. At least, for me.

I gave myself a deadline of 24 hours to find something, or else. That empowered me to start.

No prompts, no nothing. Jot down everything. Over the last 2 years, I've refined my writing prompts for my journal.


Journaling has become an integral part of my morning routine. While I do not do it daily, I average a bit under 6 times a week.

The writing is only one part though. It is the periodic reflection that makes things compound.

I do weekly, monthly, and quarterly reviews. Or rather, I used to. Over the past few months, with the world reopened, I've stumbled.

But since this has already happened to me - I know it because I've written it in my journal - I know what I need to do. Which is to get back to weekly, monthly, and quarterly reviews.


Journaling is a valuable tool.

Spend 15 minutes daily, either at the start of your day or the end of your day, writing things down.

Review them every Sunday.

Make rules and guidelines for yourself, based on your journal entries.

For every other question that pops up in your head, figure out your own answer. It is better that way.

And this is to get you to start. Once you start forging your own path, you will come up with your own system.

It is vital to read books and interact with people more intelligent than you. They are able to say things that are in your mind in an erudite and succinct fashion. But as you apply it in your context, your journal will tell you how to be you.

Copy with aggression, and build on your own learnings.

And as with all bits of advice, take what makes sense to you and ignore the rest.