Category: Inspiration

[huge_it_slider id='2']

Our Purpose.

We exist to help you get the most out of every day. 

From the minute you wake up, to the time you go to bed, you get to choose how you spend your every minute. From what you eat, to what you do, each decision shapes your life.  Many of these decisions revolve around questions. What value will this bring to my life? What should I be focusing on? Am I happy?

Finding the right questions for you, at the right time in your life and in a way that is easy, is our goal. Because the individual who is grounded, clear and focused is the individual who can perform at the highest levels and can make an incredible difference in the world. By helping one, we help many.

Ultimately, we want to make sure you one day look back feeling proud of how you’ve lived. If we can play a small part in helping you reflect and grow each day, well that’s good enough for us. Because by being a better you, you make the rest of the world a better place. And ultimately we all win.

Thank you for taking the time to understand our “why”. Hope to connect with you during this journey!

Marc Champagne
KYŌ Cofounder
Toronto, Canada

[huge_it_slider id='2']

Why I Journal by Erin Willett

A Jung quote stuck with me while listening to a recent episode of the Startup podcast (Season 4, Ep. 3 for those curious): “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Carl Jung

I journal to find clarity. I journal to document the passing of time. It slows time long enough for me to stand still and reflect, in this moment, contemplating where I’ve been and where I intend to go.

I journal to give myself a moment for me. Working with clients, managing multiple projects, beholden to my google calendar and slack notifications, all while attempting to develop creative strategies that will lead to measurable results – you can imagine that it’s difficult to fit in quiet moments for me.

'I journal to find clarity' Click To Tweet

The influences of others

My practice started informally back when I was around 10 years old. I would document stories from my life with my mother typing as I dictated. We then printed the story and I drew images to accompany the words. This was often my way of working through tough moments of teasing.

My mother also taught me to meditate at bedtime. It was a way to slow time and bring calm before sleep. In retrospect, I realize that these moments in quiet meditation taught me the power of sitting in silence, sitting with my thoughts and reflecting, and ultimately, taught me the power of my mind. Though, I doubt my 10-year-old self would have described it in the same way — I do remember enjoying the experience because it allowed me to see patterns of colour and explosions of light behind my eyelids.

My father also played a role in my practice of meditative journaling. He was a collector of significant items, surrounded by rocks and slides of photos he took while travelling. He kept a journal for 30 years. He documented daily and kept them all lined up on a bookshelf. I remember looking at this bookshelf and seeing the encyclopedia of my father’s life. They were a treasure.

Fast forward to my current journaling practice and you can see both of their influences still today. My mother taught me to use journaling to move through tough moments, my father taught me the power of documenting our fleeting days.

0lu4vo5ifpm-greg-rakozy

My Journaling Routine

My journaling exercise is a spiritual practice.

I start each new journal with a sketch of myself and a declaration of where I’m at – in the last few, I’ve written: I am me.

I journal at night and the physical set-up is always the same. The glow of my tangerine light helps me to get to that reflective headspace. I do not write every night, but on nights when I feel there is something to work through. Sometimes on nights when I want to document a small victory.

'This journal is a place for me to state my intentions, my vision and my reflections on my evolution' Click To Tweet

I also practice positive self talk in my journals. I don’t belittle myself. I write in an affirmative tone. I ignore if, should and would and replace them with, am, will, and when. This journal is a place for me to state my intentions, my vision and my reflections on my evolution – this is not a place to put myself down, gossip or worry about the future. However, on days when I feel that worry has taken up all my mental space, I sit with it and write about how I accept my emotions, how I am not my worry and how nothing is constant – this worry will pass. I use the moment to remind myself that I am my biggest fan – that I believe in myself. Because, truly, if I don’t, who will?

My advice to a new journaler

1)Don’t set expectations. Just write, write about anything, see where it takes you.

2) Set the tone for the moment. For me, it’s the tangerine light. This will help you work it into your routine so you can really feel the benefits.

3) Don’t feel you need to do it every day. This should be a rewarding experience, not something that you feel you need to check off a list.

4) If you’re struggling with what to write, go to some self-love. Gift yourself a compliment or two. Use the journal to celebrate what you’ve accomplished.

5) If you aren’t feeling great, lean into the worries or the stress. Write it out. Be honest and release. It’s a surprisingly rewarding way to shake it off and far more productive than a nightcap.

6) Track your visions. Practice visualizing as you journal. Where are you heading? What do you hope to gain and what do you wish to let go? I truly believe that writing these things down is the first step towards achieving them.

7) Finally, and this one is my favourite, look back every once in awhile. Reflect on what you’ve learned. Enjoy how far you’ve come.

***

Erin Willett is the Founder and Brand Coach at the Tap In Team in Montreal, Canada. She offers brand coaching, strategy and workshops for entrepreneurs, startups and companies facing a turning point. #TapIntoYourIdentity

Images: Ben White & Greg Rakozy

[huge_it_slider id='2']

How Journaling Can Help Your Creativity

If you’re like us, you’re in a field that requires an incredible amount of creativity on a daily basis. Whether an artist, producer, designer or any other of the multitude of professions that require it, your days are filled with multi-tasking, projects, problems, and solutions. So why journaling? Below we map out several reasons why journaling can help your creativity, both professionally and personally.

 

Organization is key

Today’s professional is busy with “stuff” that needs to get done. How do you organize all that so that you have a clear and concise plan to attack your day? Sure, there are dozens of apps but many of them are reactionary. With journaling, it allows you to take a few minutes in your morning, for example, to sit down, have your coffee or tea, and be able to describe what you need to get done today. Whether on a piece of paper or digitally, the process of writing out what you need to do can help not only relieve an overall stress of feeling overwhelmed, but can also allow for inspiration to slip in where it might not have been able prior.

A photo by David Mao. unsplash.com/photos/m0l5J8Lqnzo

Inspiration can be one of the best motivators to your creativity. By being organized and not having to worry about what needs to be completed, your mind is now freed to be able to think about what inspires and motivates you. Here’s where the creativity is allowed to flow and can help with your profession, as well as your personal lives. Your mind only has room to do so much, and when clouded by stress and wondering, it will struggle with creativity. Set it free, get organized!

'Inspiration can be one of the best motivators to your creativity' Click To Tweet

Use the right tools

For many, a piece of paper and pen can suffice for their daily journaling. But in a digital age, sometimes you need a little more. While there are several options for journaling digitally, we aren’t here to discuss those specific tools, but rather why digital journaling is the right tool in today’s complex world. Paper and pencil offers simplicity and easy access, but digital journaling not only offers up the same concept, but adds more functionality. Imagine being able to easily save your daily entry, then be able to find and reference it at a later date. Maybe you took a great photo on your phone and feel that would make great inspiration for a journal entry. With digital journaling, the two can come together seamlessly.

The advances in technology have been incredible and whether it be a smartphone or tablet, we all have one of these devices with us at all times. It’s the reality of how we keep our lives organized but it’s also an easy way to help us capture moments, thoughts and new ideas. A digital solution isn’t for everyone but for many it can the means to seamlessly integrate journaling into their lives.

Ben & Cat Photoshoot

 

Ask the right questions

What would make today great? What am I grateful for? What are my affirmations? These are just a few of the questions you can ask yourself to help steer your journaling and day. Questions in journaling have a long history as being a key motivator in achieving goals and objectives not just for a day, but in life in general. Asking what you’re grateful for allows you to think outside of your normal day’s activities and appreciate what is in front of you. For example, if you’re sitting down with coffee and all you’ve thought about that morning is all the “stuff” you need to get done, asking a question can allow you to think in a different direction. What am I grateful for today? Well, having a roof over my head and a loving family.

'Think outside of your normal day's activities and appreciate what is in front of you' Click To Tweet

The ability to write out these questions and think about them is just one benefit to them as a whole. Seeing what others are asking themselves each day can also be helpful. We are all motivated and inspired by different things and such questions can vary. These variations can really help to open your mind to other opportunities. For example, seeing that someone has asked themselves “What were my top wins this week?” might be something you’ve never thought of before. Now, you can sit down at the end of each week and really think about what you accomplished and learnt.

So, where do you find these questions? Outside of asking people, our app, Kyō, offers a community aspect which will allow you to see what others are asking themselves. Sign up to be notified when Kyō launches here!

[huge_it_slider id='2']

Top 16 Journaling Questions

For anyone who journals everyday or is thinking about it, the name Tim Ferris is someone you should have on your radar. The entrepreneur, author, speaker and, yes, someone who journals, is a maven of inspirational material and books, most notably 4-Hour Workweek.

He’s also the author of the quote below and a major proponent of daily journaling. Why? Ferris believes that the act of writing down your thoughts every morning can help to organize your thoughts. By getting your thoughts down on paper, you’re then allowing your mind to start strategically managing them and move ahead with your day.

“Could bitching and moaning on paper for five minutes each morning change your life? As crazy as it might seem, I believe the answer is yes.”

One of the main characteristics to daily journaling, as well as Ferris’ approach, is asking yourself specific questions. These questions allow you to think in a certain way to unlock daily aspirations, inspirations, and, most importantly, possible direction. While some may think journaling is meant to solve problems, most notable people who journal, feel differently. Rather, it’s a mechanism to organize your mind, relieve stress, and feel like you have some measure of control in a seemingly uncontrollable world.

'One of the main characteristics to daily journaling is asking yourself specific questions' Click To Tweet

So, what are these questions you should be asking yourself while you journal? Below we mapped out 16 of them from our own journaling and following people like Ferris as well as other notable individuals who journal, such as entrepreneur Kevin Rose and photographer Chase Jarvis. These are only 16 of the many that exist. Feel free to shop around and find the ones that help you with your daily journaling the most. We also highly recommend joining the list for Kyō, our app that will include a built in community to help with questions and other characteristics of journaling.

  1. What would make today great?
  2. What are you grateful for?
  3. What are your affirmations?
  4. How are you feeling today?
  5. What amazing things happened today?
  6. What lessons did I learn today?
  7. What deserves my highest attention?
  8. What are my health goals today?
  9. What are your top wins for the week?
  10. Did I advance my goals?
  11. What are the biggest lessons learnt?
  12. What would you have changed this week?
  13. What are you looking forward to next week?
  14. What do I need to focus on next week?
  15. What inspired you today?
  16. What was the best part of the day?

The above questions can be used in many different journaling styles and formats. Oftentimes, individuals will ask themselves a question to start the morning or to wrap up the day. A question like “What would make today great?” can help to think about outcomes that you may not have considered with a usual busy start of your day. The same can be said for a question like “What lessons did I learn today?”

Ferris, when discussing his own journaling habits, continues, “History is littered with examples of successful (and unsuccessful) people who kept daily journals. It ranges from Marcus Aurelius to Ben Franklin, and from Mark Twain to George Lucas.” He couldn’t be more right. Journaling is a proven methodology for success and asking the right questions is a major characteristic of that.

Images: Tim Ferris, Blog: http://fourhourworkweek.com/blog/