A daily habit for people who think too much

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My wife and I are talking about getting a new car. We’re considering a hybrid, talking about features, costs, and gas mileage. My wife asks me a question. “I think better on paper,” I tell her, and reach for a pad and pen.

By writing things down, I see things more clearly. I can weigh the pros and cons, do the math, and figure out what I think. That’s harder to do when everything is still in my head.

Author Joan Didion said, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

Yeah, me too.

While back, I talked to you about “keystone habits,” positive habits that have a ripple effect on other areas of your life. Regular exercise, for example, doesn’t just improve your physical health, it can improve mental well-being, give you more self-confidence and more self-discipline to develop other positive habits.

Journaling is another keystone habit. It can help you see what you think, work through problems, explore ideas, and clarify priorities. Benjamin Franklin kept a journal. So did Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, and many other great thinkers.

Take five minutes a day and write something in a journal. It might not make you a great thinker but it can help you figure out what you think, what you’re looking at, and what it means.

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