When you think of journaling, what comes to your mind? Journaling has evolved over the years. The creator of The Five Minute Journal has been journaling since he was fourteen or fifteen years old.
The days of the diary still exist but in different forms. Developing a journaling habit must be intentional. Over the years, I have had several journals. Most of my journals have centered around travel. I shared some of my actual handwritten travel journal entries in my 40 for 40 series.
As I have grown in my understanding of journaling, I still appreciate the beauty of a handwritten journal; however, I now use tools that fit my digital workflow.
Journals help us …
- Process our thoughts and emotions
- Connect our mind and heart
- Lead to “aha” moments on a subject
- Create an environment of growth
- Show our progress
Do you remember the feeling you had when you received your first handwritten note in the mail?
I vaguely remember the feeling back then, but I remember how nice it is to return from a trip or rough day, and there is a note waiting for me.
It doesn't happen as much anymore with email and texting, but when you do get that card, it feels special.
In this age of texts and emails, the power of the handwritten note means a lot more.
At the start of 2017, I determined that I wanted to develop more habit goals than achievement goals.
A quick recap …
- Achievement or Outcome Goals – these have a deadline attached to them. For example, read 25 books by June 1.
- Habit Goals – these goals have a start date. For example, write every day for 30 days beginning February 1.
Each year, I set between seven and ten goals. These goals are a mix between personal and professional.
Whether I am setting personal or vocational goals, I use the app trackers to help me stay on target and making progress towards my goals.
Three Habit Tracking Apps
- Productive – this is a new app I downloaded at the beginning of the year. I heard great things about the app from people at Macstories and the Mac Power Users. It has a beautiful interface that makes it easy to track my habits.
It was about a year and a half ago when I came across Cover Action Pro.
Ray Edwards was sharing how he uses this product to create stunning product shots from different angles and with various perspectives.
The tool builds on top of the Adobe Photoshop platform – it's a plugin of sorts.
Over the past year and a half, I have used this product to create toolkit guide covers, magazine covers and the like for work and personal projects.
This week, the creator of Cover Action Pro released an all new version, and it is stunning.
The more I dive into learning, the more I see the value of podcasts as a leader’s secret weapon for leadership development. Last year, I listened to more podcasts than ever before, and it sparked new ideas for building my personal leadership.
John Maxwell said,
Leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less.
If leadership is influence then one question we must ask ourselves is, what or who is shaping our direction. For me, I choose to surround myself with leaders who are visionary, strategic, outside-the-box thinkers and personal mentors
Additionally, I am influenced by the books and podcasts.
I believe our growth as leaders is never a done deal; we must be continually growing. John Maxwell talks about the Law of the Lid.
The Law of the Lid states that our leadership will only grow to the capacity we have. For example, if the ability of a leader is a three (3) or four (4), they may only grow to be a five (5) or six (6).
However, if a leader's capacity is a seven (7) or eight (8), they have the ability to reach a nine (9) or ten (10).
Which leader would you rather be or follow?
Books are one of the best ways to grow your knowledge on a subject. Each year, I set a reading goal and try to read books on a variety of topics.
My brother loves books and reads fiction primarily. I am the exact opposite. I prefer books with actionable content that I can apply to my daily activities.
Without further ado, here were my top seven books I read in 2016.