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How keeping a journal can benefit your habits (and your VA disability claim)

New year, new habits! It's one thing to set goals and intentions, and another to keep them going throughout the whole year and beyond. Whether you're a Veteran starting a new workout program or you vow to finally get more greens in your diet, keeping a journal of your progress is a healthy and effective way to log your progress and keep yourself motivated.

Not only can it benefit your life holistically, it can also help your VA disability claim… We'll dive into that below. Here are a few reasons why you should consider keeping a journal:

Tracking your progress (or symptoms)

Keep track of your progress – nutrition, exercise, daily thoughts and feelings – and all other efforts you're putting into healthy habits. Veterans can track their service-connected conditions, many of which can contribute to the inability to maintain regular habits. Notes about these episodes and experiences can help the VA understand what you've been going through.

Some Veterans choose to include a personal statement with their VA disability claim – a self-written explanation that provides a deeper understanding of your condition, health history, ways you manage symptoms, and how the condition affects your overall life. We wrote an entire blog on the topic here if you missed it. Keeping a journal of your experiences is highly supportive of a strong personal statement!

Stress reduction and a healthy mindset

Research from 2021 proved that journaling as a practice can help reduce stress. Jotting down your goals, along with thoughts and feelings, can be a therapeutic process that calms the nervous system. Not only do we feel great when we're lower in stress, it also makes it easier for us to keep going and maintain regular habits. Talk about a win-win.

A place to revisit and keep track of goals

Journaling is a force to keep the momentum going. It's a method of positive reinforcement, allowing you to acknowledge and celebrate your successes while also holding yourself accountable to keep going.

It's not just mental, either! This process is physical, too – actually activating the neural pathways within our brains. This makes it easier to continuously follow through on goals as time goes on.

Get ready to file a claim with all of your evidence 

With your regularly collected evidence, filing a VA disability claim will be even more impactful. Couple that with our team's expert documentation and you're on the way to getting the benefits that you deserve. Sign up for a chart review with one of our empathetic professionals. If you're not sure where to start, view our other services here.

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