10 Amazing Journaling Techniques from Chip Franks

Below are my notes on an awesome podcast I just listened to. I made the notes for my own gratification but thought I would share! I absolutely adore listening to advice from people who love learning. Chip is Chief Miracle Worker at Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning company, based on the totally life-changing (really) book of the same name.

You can listen to the podcast episode here and it’s well worth a listen.

You can read my recent article on the power of journaling here. I’ll definitely be adding Chip’s techniques to my journaling repertoire.

Chip loves journaling as a way to have conversations with yourself and get objective about your thinking. He views it as building a muscle. 
It’s also a refuge for him where he can be utterly honest and bring down all the barriers he has put up in public.

Finally from a manifesting perspective, journaling can give you that magic moment where nothing starts to become something.

Chip’s 10 journaling techniques:

1.‘DEAR DIARY’ – a stream of consciousness that records what you did, or did not do, that day (or the previous day) and how you felt about it. 
BENEFITS: It can serve as a great tool for reflecting on what you felt you did well or badly, and how that has made you feel, and how to make amends in the future – this is a platform for growth. It’s also a record of your life and growth. 

2. DAILY APPRECIATION – Chip does it 2x day. Write 3-5 things that you appreciate for the day. He sees ‘appreciation’ as much more active concept than ‘gratitude’, which can seem passive. With appreciation you can really cherish these things more fully. The first 3 are dailies for him. When you’re in a state of appreciation you shut down feelings of fear and anxiety.

  1. Appreciate something profound – the opportunity to be here; the fact that we are soundly in our bodies; the fact that our loved ones exist in our lives; the pure beauty of watching your children sleep. BENEFITS: you get to cherish these things over again in your journal and really enjoy how happy they make you feel. 
  2. Appreciate something you usually take for granted – a hot shower, a beautifully engineered car that will keep your family safe. BENEFITS: Getting into this way of thinking generally makes you much more appreciative of all your surroundings throughout the day
  3. Appreciate an obstacle / challenge you’re currently facing – normally we wouldn’t appreciate these things but we find ways to appreciate this challenge, because of the person that it will help us to become. BENEFITS: This changes life tremendously as it helps us to understand how we can grow, and it helps us to find ways to overcome obstacles
  4. Appreciate people that are in your life and why you appreciate them. BENEFITS: It makes both parties happy when you share this appreciation with the object of your thoughts!
  5. Appreciate events that have happened and are upcoming. BENEFITS: Being appreciative in advance of an upcoming holiday for example, extends the pleasure of that event well beyond the timeframe of the actual event. 

3. THE GREAT DAY EXERCISE – What would make today an amazing day? It can be a brainstorming or intention-setting exercise – 3-5 things. BENEFITS: Imagine how much better (and more fruitful) your days get just by doing this! 

4. “HOW WILL I BE TODAY?” From Benjamin Franklin. To-do lists weigh us down and often subscribe to others’ agenda for our day. We seldom have a to-be list. BENEFITS: It can be so inspiring! It’s a way of writing a script for how you show up today. Brave? funny? goal-oriented? effective? a light for others? A refuge of kindness? We get to script our own behaviour. It makes  him a better person.

5. MY “WANT” LIST. What I want in my life, being very clear and specific on your top 3-5 goals / what you want in your life. Make it visceral. BENEFITS: When you write it down it becomes part of you and your subconscious will go to work on it and try to make it manifest in your life. It keeps your mind focused on the future rather than being reactive. 

6. THE “PERFECT DAY” EXERCISE. Write down how your perfect day looks like from waking to going to sleep. There are no limits to what you can imagine in this exercise! BENEFITS: Do it twice a year to set aside time for a date with your dreams. 

7. THE PROBLEM-SOLVER. We all have problems that fester. Write a problem down in great detail – it can be as dark as you like! BENEFITS: You’ll feel a sense of relief because it’s not confined in your soul – your journal can take it. Once we get specific about a problem or ask a question, our minds go to work on solving it. We are target-oriented.

8. THE “DEAR SELF” TECHNIQUE. Writing a letter to yourself. Often we feel unworthy of the success and happiness we have in our lives. This is awful thinking! We are all spectacular creations and this is to remind ourselves of this. Write a letter from what you imagine your 85 year old self would say to you, having accomplished all that you have in your head.  BENEFITS: This can be an incredibly emotional and validating experience – channel your older, idealised self. 

9. DAILY WINS. Helps to close the mental loops and helps you to sleep! BENEFITS: Often we don’t think we’ve accomplished much. But when we write down the small stuff, personal or professional, we should be taking note. If we suffer from a lack of self-love or confidence, this can really help. 

10. THE IDEA LIST. From James Altucher (Sara’s note – I really love his book Choose Yourself!, and his list-making strategies are incredibly effective). Write lists of 10 on any subject: eg 10 ways to make my spouse feel more special and loved; 10 books I can write that will change the world. One of Chip’s regular ones is 10 ways to improve my life easily, right now. BENEFITS: This is a great way of building an idea-generating muscle and getting your brain to work really hard on problem-solving and finding opportunities. 

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