Book Review: Journal Like A Stoic

A 90-Day Stoicism Program to Live with Greater Acceptance, Less Judgment, and Deeper Intentionality

The practice of journaling is one of those spiritual exercises whose value is evidenced by the fact that it has endured for hundreds and hundreds of years.

It’s inspiring to know that the writing we do every day can be just as important to us as it was to philosophers like Marcus Aurelius when he was writing his Meditations (his own private journal that was never meant for publication) way back in ancient Roman times.

For our Stoic role models, this was a daily practice, just as it should be for us if want to maximize its potential benefits.

It’s the compounding effects of these continued efforts that make it worthwhile.

At worst, journaling can help get persistent worries out of your head and onto paper so you can get on with your day.

At best, it can be transformational to your mindset by forcing you to really think deeply about the events in your life and how you are reacting to them.

If practiced regularly, journaling can help you:

  • Calm and clear your mind
  • Make decisions more objectively
  • Embrace the events of your life
  • Reflect on what you have learned
  • Let go of negative thoughts
  • Increase your sense of gratitude
  • Improve your writing ability
  • Explore and settle strong emotions
  • Boost your self-awareness
  • Plan for and prevent future troubles
  • Build self-discipline by making it a habit
  • Creatively find solutions for everyday problems
  • Track your progress in applying Stoic principles in your life

Simply put, journaling takes you closer every day to that ancient goal of “knowing thyself.”

Journal Like A Stoic

“The more consistently you journal,” writes Brittany Polat in her book Journal Like a Stoic. “The more impact you’ll see in your daily life.”

If you’re interested in starting a journaling habit or are seeking some new approaches to your existing practice, Journal Like a Stoic is an excellent resource.

The book begins with some introductory information on Stoicism: specifically its beginnings, tenets, and thinkers who have changed history.

From there you embark on a 90-day guided course covering three themes:

  1. Examining the Inner Critic
  2. The Road to Acceptance
  3. Living with Virtue

The full course starts with straightforward lessons at the beginning which prepare you for more complex ones at the end. The recommendation is to tackle this progression chronologically.

To maintain the habit and reap the full benefits, Brittany advises finding a consistent time and place to journal every day, or at least several times a week.

To give you an idea of what to expect, you can find the first three days of lessons and prompts in the gallery below.

Journaling can be a difficult habit to maintain but I really believe in its importance as part of a philosophical practice. (This is why I include journaling prompts in The Micro Morning Meditations emails).

In Journal Like a Stoic, Brittany has done a great job of making the practice accessible and provided a clear path that enables the journaler to progress in a manageable way.

Here is some closing advice from Brittany Polat that will help encourage you to pick up a pen today:

For best results, create a ritual around your journaling routine. This will help prepare your mind for serious introspection and make journaling pleasant and beneficial. Find a peaceful spot that allows for quiet reflection and consider bringing along a cup of coffee, tea, or water to get your thoughts flowing.

Brittany Polat, Journal Like a Stoic
Journal Like a Stoic