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8 ways a simple notebook can change your life - The Week

Stashed in: #lifehacks, #happiness, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, HBR, Writing!, Notebooks!

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A lot of research shows your brain sees writing differently than thinking or talking.

Writing forces you to organize and clarify your thoughts. You learn better when you write things down and are more likely to follow through.

So what should you be writing in this notebook?

1) Write down what you're looking forward to

People who devote time to anticipating fun experiences are happier.

So at least once a week, make plans, write them down, and when you need a boost, look at the great things you have coming up.

From Shawn Achor's The Happiness Advantage:

One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent. Often, the most enjoyable part of an activity is the anticipation. If you can't take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar — even if it's a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it. [The Happiness Advantage]

2) Write down your progress

Want to know your strengths and weaknesses? Make predictions, write them down, and compare against results.

This is an excellent way to see where your natural abilities are and if you're improving.

From management guru Pete Drucker:

The only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis. Whenever you make a key decision or take a key action, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or 12 months later, compare the actual results with your expectations… Look for patterns in what you're seeing: What results are you skilled at generating? What abilities do you need to enhance in order to get the results you want? What unproductive habits are preventing you from creating the outcomes you desire? In identifying opportunities for improvement, don't waste time cultivating skill areas where you have little competence. Instead, concentrate on — and build on — your strengths. [Harvard Business Review]

Making notes about your preferences and experiences can help you turn your notebook into apersonal handbook.

You'll know yourself better and be able to make better decisions if you record your feelings and expectations when things happen.

3) Write down your goals

set goal make plan get to work stick to it reach goal Imgur

You're more likely to follow through on things that you write down. Writing down obstacles and how you'll address them increases levels of hope — and success.

Writing about your goals can make you happier and even healthier.

Everybody knows they should write down goals and everyone has goals but no one does it. Why?

They take it too seriously and they're afraid. Don't sweat it. Just jot them down. Goals can change but in the meantime they will help guide decisions when you're stuck.

I'm unclear on whether we can write these things down electronically, or if only pen and paper will do. 

On #7, the guy says that the 3 good things you record can be electronically, or pen & paper. HOWEVER, there's research out there that indicates that the physical act of writing connects better with your brain than does typing. Read this, for example.

Thanks, Elizabeth, I missed that the first time. 

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