Discovering Your Why: The First Step in Creating a Transformation Journal

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Journaling

The purpose of this article is to invite you to explore your why before you start creating a content-rich transformative journal.

So what’s one of them?

A content-rich transformative journal is a type of journal that contains more than just a blank journal full of personal reflections or diary entries. It is designed to help your clients achieve a specific goal, learn a new skill, or transform an aspect of their life. A content-rich journal may include steps, frameworks, prompts, exercises, tips, quotes, resources, and other elements that guide the user through a structured and engaging process.

Why have a journal and not a book? That’s easy in a nutshell. They are shorter to write and publish, you don’t have to chase Amazon category bestseller status, you can create loads of other stuff from them to build your business, and they are a stepping stone to a book.

However, understanding why is a powerful motivator before you create or do anything.

The power of why has been popularised by Simon Sinek in his famous book Start With Why. The core idea revolves around understanding and articulating the fundamental reason behind an individual’s or organisation’s existence beyond just making money or providing a service. This concept is encapsulated in what Sinek calls “The Golden Circle.”

These circles, from the outside in, are “What,” “How,” and “Why.”

  • What: This is the outermost circle and represents the products or services an organisation sells or an individual’s job function. It’s the easiest to identify and is what most people and organisations focus on.
  • How: The middle circle represents the process or the unique selling proposition that differentiates an organisation or individual from its competitors. It’s how something is done, a product or a service is delivered.
  • Why: The core of the circle, and the most crucial part, represents the purpose, cause, or belief that drives every organisation and individual. It’s not about making money—that’s a result. It’s about why the organisation exists and does what it does, beyond just its products or services.

Simple but powerful in giving you clarity. I invite you to grab some paper and explore this.

With these in mind, you can go on to create a clear vision, which we’ll talk about another time. But before we explore further, I want to ask you why you are looking at your why. If you are at all.

About 18 months (ish) ago, I decided for personal reasons that I needed a break from book coaching. I’d been doing it and loving it for 13 years, but I had morphed into more of a ghostwriter, which I didn’t love. I also wanted to focus on a personal creative writing project. Stopping made sense because I’d lost my original why and motivation.

Taking time out to think about your direction and purpose is, I believe, the right thing to do if you feel stagnant or have lost your motivation. What you love and your why will come in the spaces.

Why Are You Looking At Your Why?

There are so many reasons, aren’t there? You may find yourself feeling stagnant or unfulfilled, and something is missing. You could experience a loss of passion or motivation. You may feel a desire to make a more significant impact and contribution in their industry or community. Then, there’s the wish to transition to something else and open up a new phase of your life or business. And not forgetting the good old, let’s get out of our comfort zone and explore other opportunities.

These are just a few reasons, and this is as good a time as any to ask yourself why you are looking at your why. By recognising and exploring these reasons, you can begin the journey of finding your why with clarity, purpose, and intention.

Why Is Finding Why Important?

This is pretty obvious. Your why serves as a compass, guiding your actions and decisions. When you clearly understand why you do what you do, you can align your efforts with your values, passions, and long-term goals. This clarity helps you stay focused, motivated, and resilient, especially in the face of challenges or setbacks.

I loved books and helping people share their stories, messages, transformations and ideas. I just didn’t love writing for others. What I did was start to create content-rich journals. I adored how you could create a process that could support someone through an area of their life. I use the Wheel Of Life to stay balanced and on track with my goals, so one of my projects was creating a workbook. Because I also helped others write memoirs, I created a workbook for this.

I’m currently working on a self-love series that I will offer for private label rights.

Doing something different helped me to reconnect with why I helped people write books originally. Now, the projects are smaller and easier to implement. I can also teach how to use a content-rich journal to create other content (e.g. lead magnets and courses) and build a brand and business.

Where To Start To Find Your Why

There is nothing new in what follows. It’s more of an invitation to stop, grab your journal or big sheets of paper and explore. There is no time like the present.

Start with Reflection and Self-Discovery

  • Take time out for self-reflection. Journal and explore. Does the Sinek exercise work for you? If not, perhaps explore your IKIGAI.
  • Reflect on past experiences, successes, and challenges to uncover patterns and themes that may point towards your deeper purpose.

Identify Core Values and Beliefs

  • Do you have a favourite exercise to identify your core values and beliefs? Go back and reflect on what these are.
  • Consider what matters most to you in various aspects of life, such as relationships, business, contribution, careers, health, and personal growth.
  • Distinguish between societal or family expectations and authentic desires, and remember the importance of aligning actions with values. Do things because they matter to you.

Explore Passions and Interests

  • Explore passions and interests, look at hobbies, strengths, and curiosities. Be purposeful about this. Just because you have always done something doesn’t mean that it will still light you up.
  • Reflect on moments of flow and fulfilment to identify activities that energise and inspire you. Energy is so important when doing stuff.
  • Stop doing stuff and see how it feels.

Connect with Personal Stories and Experiences

  • Explore their personal stories and experiences. Is there something that you feel that you should be sharing?
  • Reflect on significant life events, challenges overcome, and moments of triumph to uncover themes and lessons that resonate with your purpose.

And Finally

So, let’s presuppose that you are thinking about content-rich journals and associated products and services. Let’s finish with these.

Exploring Your Why

Reflect on the core purpose behind wanting to create a transformative journal. What change or impact do you hope to bring about in your clients’ lives? Write about a moment or experience that illustrates this purpose.

Understanding Your How

Describe the unique process or methods you will use in your journal to differentiate it from others. How will these methods cater to your client’s desired transformation or the transformational journey you will take them on?

Defining Your What

Detail the specific elements (steps, frameworks, prompts, etc.) you plan to include in your journal. How does each element contribute to the overall goal of the journal? Create a simple map. This will get your creative juices flowing.

Visualising Success

Imagine a client who has fully engaged with your journal and achieved the transformation it aims to facilitate. What does their journey look like from start to finish? Write about this transformation.

Connecting to Your Audience

Think about the ideal user/client of your journal. What are their needs, fears, aspirations, or challenges? Write a letter to them explaining why your journal is uniquely suited to help them.

Your Why in Action – A Visualisation and Writing Exercise

  1. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths to centre yourself.
  2. Imagine a world where your journal has already achieved its purpose. Visualise someone opening your journal for the first time, working through it, and experiencing the transformation you aim to provide. What changes do they make? How do they feel before, during, and after? See their journey as vividly as possible.
  3. Focus on the emotions and revelations your user experiences. How does their life improve? What specific elements of your journal facilitated these changes? Try to capture the essence of the transformation in your mind’s eye.
  4. Open your eyes and immediately write down everything you visualised. Describe the person’s journey, focusing on your journal’s role in their transformation. Use descriptive language to capture the emotions, changes, and impacts you envisioned.
  5. After writing, reflect on what you’ve written. How does it align with your initial ‘Why’? Use this exercise to refine or further define the purpose behind your journal. This written visualisation will serve as a great reminder of your goal. And it can guide the development of your content-rich transformative journal.

So there we have it… I hope this has helped you find clarity and inspire your creation process. With any luck, what comes out of this will be an idea (or a few) for a journal that truly resonates with and transforms your intended audience.

Ready to explore more? Join The Journal Blueprint Workshop. There are a few dates to choose from. You’ll get the replay and a workbook. Join me here: