How to Document Your Future – While Dealing with the Present

How to Document Your Future – While Dealing with the Present

Recently a friend asked me the following questions about journaling: What do you journal about? Is it reflective, meditative, etc.? Would love your insights, recommendations and suggestions and tips for a new “journaler”.

To all those who do not journal, I know it is a mystery. Let me pull back the curtain just a little bit so that you can see behind the scenes of someone who has been journaling for decades.

Journaling today is so easy!

I don’t write, I don’t type – I talk. I use a little microphone on the smartphone, usually talking in my notes app, creating a page per month, with each day dated.

Not everyone can talk into one of these things. And it has taken me a lot of practice. It was not natural at first. There seemed to be a lot of pauses.

There are days that I rant. I pick a subject and I just go crazy talking about it.

Journaling is what you want to say. It is how you feel. It is a talk, a conversation.

I have friends who are computer whizzes that insist on hand-writing entries in their journals instead of typing online. I find that amazingly odd. But it is a process. And I do understand processes and that each person performs differently, comes from a different place.

I have a couple dozen notebooks filled with writing from the last few decades. I find that hard to do now, because my writing cannot keep up with what I am thinking. I feel writing slows me down.

Whether you talk or write, you can pour your heart out privately to the universe. Record what your inner voice is saying, and map out the direction you are supposed to go. Often times you do not know the answer to the question you are asking. But if you did, what would you say? Record that. Write it down.

The key is to be totally honest

Journaling is not just looking to the past and writing it down. It is not just documenting how you feel now, or the circumstances you find yourself in.

The situation is never as bad as you feel it is. Or your emotions thought it was.

What you write you can now read. Sometimes that helps to make what you just wrote not so critical or drastic. It will give you new insight – clarification. And you will be inspired.

One of the most exciting things about journaling is that you can create your story before it happens. You can predict the future. You can go out one, three or five years into the future and record where you will be: who you are, what your income is, where you live, and what ideas you are exploring.

You are alone to predict the future. No one can laugh at you or tell you those thoughts are crazy. These are your thoughts, your soon-to-be reality. You may not be wealthy now. But one day you will have the bank accounts to prove it.

Journaling not only proves who you are, but also shows who you’re becoming

The more you write, the more excited you will become. It really becomes insane when you go back and read what you have written months or years later.

You will see amazing growth. It will become evident to you that you are reaching goals as a person. You now have proof. This is sustainable development.

You can release all of your frustration. By the time you finish writing, the frustration will have evaporated.  

I never feel I’ve wasted a moment when I am journaling. I feel like I created a treasure. One that I now own.

Rarely do I get through journaling that I do not find myself in a totally different emotional state than when I started. I am happier. I can see more clearly. I am excited about the future. I have certainty about what to do with whatever was a concern when I started.

There are so many positive benefits of journaling that, once you get started and do it for 21 days in a row, I predict that you will do it the rest of your life. You will soon experience the benefits. And others around you will notice those benefits.

It is a total win-win proposition for you. You can’t lose.

Now stop reading. You’re at the end. Pick up a pen and start writing or fire up your smartphone and start talking.

Let me know how you did. I’d love to hear of your experiences, or – if you are already journaling – why you continue to do so…

Just FYI—this entire blog was talked and not typed.



  • Liz Packard

    Awesome! I need to start doing this ASAP!

  • Daniel Turner

    This is something I struggle with, I go a good month of journaling regularly and then it falls off drastically. Never thought about talking into my phone as a method of journaling. Great idea, especially all the time I spend sitting in traffic to and from the office. Thanks for sharing your methods

  • Just started doing this. Need to do it more. It’s therapeutic. Kinda like a free psychologist. Good and bad days. ESP on the bad days. I suggest one put it in a password protected area, so you know no one is looking 😉

    • ClickUp

      Haha! Good call, Colper 🙂

  • David Marlowe

    Voice was a key for me as well. Once you get the right rhythm of dictation – including having to speak your “comma”. “period” and “new line” commands – it’s great. Also, talking is the right pace for me – thinking is too fast and chaotic; writing/typing is too slow to keep up any kind of flow, but speaking at the pace that my software can handle actually makes me more precise and a little more thoughtful than I might be if I was trying to “get as much as I can” captured.

    I use Diaro, but only because that’s where I started last year. I could easily put this in any online space.

    Top 2 tips for beginners:

    1) don’t let the finding the right tools slow you down. Just get started with anything – the process will sort itself out the more you do it and find what you like

    2) don’t edit, correct spelling or otherwise change things. This is only for you and if you can’t be honest and unashamed in that space, then journaling isn’t your biggest problem. And if you are letting other people read it, well, that’s called “blogging”. Your journal is for you alone.

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