Journaling from a special ops cognitive coach

Journaling for elite performance

This article was written by our friend, colleague, and former cognitive coach in US Army Special Operations Command. He spent years working those at the tip of the spear to elevate their mental, visual and cognitive performances. Recently he has ventured from the government side to the civilian side. Thank you Chad.

Journaling has gained recognition as a powerful practice that can significantly enhance performance. This article explores the research-backed benefits of journaling on performance, focusing on the realms of self-reflection, goal setting, emotional regulation, tactical analysis, learning from mistakes, and fostering a growth mindset.

black book journal


  1. Self-Reflection and Performance Evaluation:

Journaling facilitates self-reflection, allowing people to delve into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It becomes a valuable tool for evaluating performance, identifying strengths, and pinpointing areas for improvement. Regularly reviewing journal entries empowers people to make informed decisions, adjust training routines, and ultimately enhance their performance outcomes.


  1. Goal Setting and Tracking Progress:

By documenting goals and aspirations, people gain clarity and direction. Journaling serves as a tangible record of progress, enabling people to track their development over time. Celebrating achievements and milestones through journal entries reinforces motivation and commitment, inspiring people to strive for even greater success.


  1. Emotional Regulation and Mental Resilience:

Journaling offers people a safe space to process and manage their emotions. By expressing their thoughts and experiences, people can release stress, reduce anxiety, and cultivate emotional resilience. This, in turn, strengthens mental fortitude and equips people to overcome challenges, leading to improved performance.


  1. Tactical Analysis and Game Intelligence:

Through journaling, athletes can analyze their tactical decisions and strategies. By reflecting on past performances, athletes gain valuable insights into their decision-making processes. This enhanced game intelligence enables athletes to make better-informed choices during competitions, ultimately giving them a competitive edge.


  1. Learning from Mistakes and Developing a Growth Mindset:

Journaling allows people to learn from mistakes and setbacks, transforming them into opportunities for growth. By examining past failures and identifying lessons learned, people develop a growth mindset, embracing challenges and embracing continuous improvement. Journaling becomes a powerful tool for personal development and self-motivation.


  1. Practical Tips for Journaling:

To incorporate journaling effectively, people can follow practical tips. They can set aside dedicated time for journaling, experiment with different journaling techniques or prompts, and choose a journaling format that resonates with them. The key is to find a method that suits their preferences and aligns with their goals.


  1. Success Story

One athlete who openly talks about journaling is Carli Lloyd, a renowned professional soccer player from the United States. Carli Lloyd has emphasized the significance of journaling as a part of her training and mental preparation. In interviews and social media posts, she has spoken about how journaling helps her stay focused, set goals, and reflect on her performances. Lloyd has highlighted the role of journaling in enhancing her self-awareness, maintaining a positive mindset, and achieving peak performance on the soccer field. Her openness about incorporating journaling into her routine has inspired many aspiring athletes to explore the benefits of this practice in their own athletic endeavors.



Journaling emerges as a potent tool for enhancing performance across various domains. By incorporating self-reflection, goal setting, emotional regulation, tactical analysis, learning from mistakes, and nurturing a growth mindset, people can unlock their true potential. Through the simple act of putting pen to paper, people can elevate their performance, leading to greater success and fulfillment in their pursuits. So, embrace the power of journaling and embark on a transformative journey towards unleashing peak performance.

-C. Fong M.S.

Former U.S. Special Operations Cognitive Coach

Founder of Helm Mental Conditioning 

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