Journaling is perhaps one of the most versatile and useful skills you can adopt as an aspiring performer. It takes discipline and consistency but the benefits are well worth the effort. Unfortunately, journaling is perceived by many as ‘homework’ and is often brushed aside for later as we rush through our busy lives.
So this week I want to remind you of the many benefits of conscientiously keeping a training journal. In doing so, I hope to encourage you to pick up a pen and reap the rewards of this powerful technique.
Reasons to use a journal:
· Information gathering: A training journal is where you record any information regarding your preparation and performances. The more you write in your journal, the more information you have at your finger tips to help you resolve problems in the future.
· Communication tool: A journal gives you a tool to open communication between you and your trainer. You can record suggestions or ideas and track your progress. Together, you and your trainer can map your training program and develop common goals.
· Cathartic: Sometimes our thoughts get all tangled up and it helps just to get them out on paper. The simple process of writing them down slows our thought processes and gives us some time to make sense of the chaos in our heads.
· Comparison tool: As we record our preparation and performances we start to build a library of previous experiences to learn from. Once you have a few down on paper you can go back over them and make comparisons. Compare your top 3 performances; what did you do that was similar? Compare you worst three performances; what were the similarities there? Compare your best and worst performances; what were the differences? This allows you to go back and look for patterns of success of failure when memory alone may let you down.
· Goal planning: Write down your goals to track your progress and make you more accountable.
· Performance Reviews: The more detail you record about a specific performance, the more you can learn from that performance down the road.
· Pre-performance plans: This is where you get your plan of attack. Write it down to help boost your consistency as a competitor.
· Problem solving: Use the information that you have gathered in your journal to tackle obstacles along the way. Try out solutions and record which worked and which didn’t.
Keeping a training journal can not only increase your consistency in the show pen but can also speed your progress because it helps you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. For a little work, you get a lot of gain.
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