I design solutions for human performance problems. One consistent piece of advice I give my clients no matter what the problem might be, is to journal daily.

For some this tends to be received with a squished up, just sucked on a lemon type of face. The type of face that says, I am not interested in journaling, period.

For others, the face is more one of dismay, maybe even fear, followed with; “I wouldn’t even begin to know what to write”.

Still others listen, and even give it the college try, but they often come back with the same sort of reaction; “I’m lost on where to start or what to write about”.

So here’s what I tell my clients to do now, and what I do every day, that helps keep my state of mind open to the possibilities, clears the mechanism, and helps me craft a positive and productive day.

There may be much more you can write about after reading this, but I suggest you get consistent at just writing these three things down each day first, then we can talk about where to go from there!

Why? Because consistency is the key to the outcome. If you don’t do it consistently, there will be limited positive effect, and you will determine (incorrectly) that there is no value in journaling.

So, heed my warning, give this a fulsome try, do it for a minimum of one full month every day (if you miss a day once in while don’t give up, just get back on the horse and keep rolling!), and I will guarantee you will feel a difference in your life.

What do you write?

First, decide when you want to journal and try as best you can to pick a time of day that is relatively consistent. This way you begin to see the trends in what you write, and it is in identifying or realizing those trends where all the gold is located.

Stay with me here!

First thing you write is what story or conversation you have been having with yourself today (or even the day before if you journal in the morning).

We often chirp incessantly at ourselves about a whole host of things, some negative and occasionally some positive, and often just repetitive themes.

A lot of times we have “what if” conversations about things that might happen to us, or we beat ourselves up about something we judge about a recent moment or encounter.

Bottom line, we have real conversations with ourselves that we would NEVER have with someone we love, or even someone we like!

We often talk to ourselves the way we might speak with someone we hate, but we’d likely not have that conversation because we wouldn’t give them the time of day. But we sure as do give it to ourselves! Nastily!

So, write the most recent conversation down on paper, experience your language, and realize on paper how insensitive you are being with yourself. Purge the ideas circling in your mind.

After you’ve done that, immediately switch gears and write something down that you will do today that you know will make you smile. What one thing are you going to achieve today (or tomorrow if journalling at night) that makes you feel positive. It might be as simple as calling a friend, or reading a book, or taking a walk, or it could be completing a project, making a sale, helping a friend of family member.

Bottom line is there is at least one thing you can do every day that you can appreciate as positive. I call this your smile factor!

Finally, write down the one thing you did yesterday that you consider a win. Something you are happy you completed or did, or experienced.

If you write your personal conversation, your smile factor, and your win from the previous day down in a journal every day, once a day for one month, you will begin to notice trends. Trends in your language, trends in the things that make you smile, and trends in the things that make you feel accomplished.

Even better is that by writing your smile factor and your win each day, you begin to inject positive thoughts into your daily process. Our brains love to be negative, so by injecting and recognizing the positive in your life, you begin to shift the balance of power in your subconscious from negative to positive.

Stay tuned because I will be back with what you can do with all this information to begin to really change your personal conversations, and take your life to a wonderful place. In the mean time, get started!

Originally published at medium.com