Increase Productivity With Journaling & Meditation
Before I moved to Los Angeles, California, I was a student at East Carolina University studying to become a health fitness specialist. As you know, you have way more free time during college versus the real world. I took advantage of the free time and dedicated it to my health. I slept 8 to 9 hours a night and lived in the gym. I would meditate every morning and exercise two hours a day. On top of the exercise, I would train 5 to 8 clients a day. My mind and body felt great. I was focused on my career which calmed my anxiety. But that all changed after I graduated and moved out to Los Angeles.
I was moving to LA to further my career in the fitness industry. I had to complete a 480 hour unpaid internship to graduate as a health fitness specialist. And plus, I could live with my cousin before commiting to a long term lease and moving there. So the move made plenty of sense. I was very excited, but with that excitement came anxiety and fear. I had to start all over again and this intimidated me. The first month was fun, new and exciting. But I soon became homesick and struggled to find my place for the next three months. It was hard, to say the least. I was living on my cousin's floor and interning at Equinox Downtown Los Angeles. Since my internship was unpaid, I had to make money elsewhere. So I started working for Handstand, an on demand trainer app. Between my internship and Handstand, I had very little free time and was busy from 5am to 7pm most days. I didn't have my car so I would bike back and forth to work. And then I would bike, uber, or metro to private clients on the side to make ends meet. My schedule had me up at 4am in bed around 8:30 pm. My social life crumbled. I was miserable. During this time period I stopped meditating. I was worn out and used it as an excuse. I played the victim card and thought I deserved a break, but this only made things worse.
As my meditation practice decreased so did my focus and drive. My mind felt scattered and the symptoms of depression slowly took over. At times I wanted to move back to New Jersey, but luckily my parents didn’t let me. My mom and dad forced me to stay. They told me I had to stay for at least six months and give it a chance. This was no easy task for me. I felt lonely and lost. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a sense of community nor a purpose. It felt like I was losing a sense of myself. I was clueless and didn’t know what to do. And to top it off, I was still an intern without a job. Halfway through the internship, I was offered an interview, but unfortunately, it didn't go well and I was turned down. My ego had got in the way and made me think I had all the answers. This was a crushing blow. I felt like Austin Powers when he lost his mojo. I had forgotten who I was.
Being turned down in an interview sucks. It doesn't feel good. After a failure, you have two options. You can learn from it and use it as fuel to get better or you can blame someone else for your mistakes. Luckily, I used the failure as fuel for motivation and forced myself to get my act together. I ordered the 5 Minute Journal and started to journal every morning. I wrote down my goals every morning for the day. I would keep it simple and write, “Meditate for 15 minutes this morning.” or “Listen to your boss and don't argue.” With each day of practice, my focus and sense of purpose started to come back. I forgot how good it felt to achieve a goal I set. This small achievement built momentum and allowed me to get back on track.
Eventually, my internship came to an end and I was hired. After getting hired I continued with my morning routine. I would wake up, meditate for 15 minutes and then journal my goals for the day. As the months went by my focus and productivity continued to improve. I soon climbed the ranks from intern to tier 3+, the highest ranking trainer, in record time. Most trainers take a year and I did it in three months. I am not here to brag about my success, rather I write this to show you the benefits of journaling and meditation. Both practices kept me focused on my goals and improved my productivity. I hope my story persuades you to give meditation and journaling a try.