I performed my required military service for Turkey in 2011. We had about an hour or so to spare during the evenings before going to sleep, and I took that time to begin what is now a pretty regular habit. I would write my learnings for the day in a small notebook. I repeated the exercise during each day of military service.
I recently reread the notebook and noticed how much personal progress I had made since those days. I’ve executed on a lot of the goals in the notebook, and have also improved my character in the ways that I had hoped to as outlined in the notebook.
I wonder if I would have made the same progress if I hadn’t performed the writing. My best guess is that I would have still made progress, but it likely wouldn’t be to the same extent as what I’ve achieved as a result of the writing.
Writing helps crystallize your thoughts by forcing you to express them clearly. It also makes you more likely to remember those thoughts during the upcoming days. This makes it easier for you to internalize the learnings which you express in writing.
I must have had a good feeling about the positive impact which the writing was having on helping me achieve the goals I had outlined for myself. This is why this has developed into a regular habit that I try to perform each evening. Rereading the notebook from the days of my military service reinforced this hypothesis.
I look forward to rereading the current notebooks that I’m filling a few years from now.
Also published on Medium.