Solitude is a subjective state in which your mind is free from input from other minds. [It] requires you to move past reacting to information created by other people and focus instead on your own thoughts and experiences—wherever you happen to be.” –Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism

Whether you are Abraham Lincoln leading the United States during the Civil War, Bill Belichick leading his team to an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl Championship, or the average human in 2019— solitude can be hard to find, but it is absolutely essential for you to be at your best.

Both Lincoln and Belichick as well as other great leaders throughout history all seem to share this common practice of solitude. One of the most practical and powerful ways to practice solitude is through the exercise of journaling. It’s one of the core tools I share in my book Calling Up.

The mental and emotional benefits of journaling are proven by extensive amounts of research. In my own experience, I have found it does one of these things for me nearly everyday:

I grow in self-awareness.

I make better choices.

The daily habit has taken me years to instill and tweak. It doesn’t look the same for me everyday, so I definitely don’t think it should look the same for everyone.

If you read my book Calling Up, it gives you a great foundation upon which to get started. Also, the Calling Up Coaching Guide PDF helps you to take it this practice up a notch as well.

3 Steps to Journaling

Now I believe this habit is essential to our growth as leaders, I developed the Calling Up Journaling System to help people build this habit in an effective way for their lives.

What is this system? It’s a PDF giving you 3 simple steps to implement journaling in your life + a list of activities to vary up your routine + habit tracking excel sheets and templates.

Want access? Buy Calling Up and email me your receipt to


Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport