Before journaling became really popular, and before all of the posts you see on Instagram and Pinterest, it was actually just a straightforward, practical method of writing out your thoughts and planning your schedule. There have been many benefits linked to writing out your thoughts, ideas & goals.
Here are some of the benefits you can find when incorporating journaling into your dancer lifestyle.
- Achieving Goals
- Boosting Memory
- Strengthens Self-Discipline
- Spark Your Creativity and Inspire Yourself
Let's expand on each one...
Writing your goals signals to your brain, "this is important," and the more detailed they are, the better. Give yourself instructions on achieving what you want; the more straightforward it seems, the less excuses your brain will come up with not to do it. It provides a mental blueprint and increases the likelihood of achieving them. This is why dancers will often write down corrections they receive in class or in a private coaching setting, to help them remember and think about improving.
You form words and ideas as you write, which causes the mind to compose or re-compose the ideas while journaling. This strengthens previously covered information and forces you to engage in cognitive recall. We've found this truly helps when needing to remember choreography!
Setting time aside to write, whether morning or evening, is an act of discipline. Like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. And habits formed in one area of life tend to spread; as rolling out your muscles every night can lead to you achieving a daily stretching routine, your daily practice of writing will domino onto other healthy habits!
Spark Your Creativity and Inspire Yourself
Write without thinking. Write your dreams. Write about people who inspire you. Write about things you're grateful for. Beyond overcoming writer's block, stream of consciousness writing brings out thoughts and ideas you never knew you had in you and loosens up your expressive muscles. Including even one page as part of your journaling will get your creative juices and happy endorphins flowing, leaving you feeling inspired and refreshed.
Patience and consistency are crucial in forming new habits. Begin writing perhaps three days a week, first thing in the morning or before sleeping. Like finding the perfect pair of pointe shoes, you may even have to sample different methods until you find the right fit.