The Plus, Minus & Next Journaling Method

The key to getting better at anything is our ability to learn from our experiences. This does happen from experience alone.

We learn from Reflecting on our experiences. If you do not have a process for doing this then we are really missing out on a big opportunity to make progress in our BJJ journey as well as life itself.

The year draws to a close and this is actually a great time to consider these 3 Key ideas:

  • What worked: What did I do successfully? +++
  • What Didn’t work: What can I improve? —
  • What’s next: The Plan of Action for Change! >>>

We can draw this up into a simple table format on a piece of paper. Divide the page into 3 columns and at the top of each column a simple symbol to represent each category.

For every Plus or Minus you should write a subsequent action in the Next column. An example of a Minus- You forgot your drink bottle and got super dehydrated and had crappy rounds as a result! What’s Next- Pack Drink bottle in training bag the night before. Even if it’s doubling down on a WIN eg. Ate a great lunch and had good energy rolling at open mat. Use that as a positive feed back loop to encourage you to keep doing that is still worthwhile writing down. Just don’t overload yourself just keep it to 3-5 things.

This is a really flexible system for thinking about a jiu-jitsu class, a project you did for uni or reflecting on your week and thinking about what you can change to improve the next 7 days. This way of journaling is to think forward, acknowledge some things didn’t work but use that now write your action plan to fix it and keep moving forward.

Don’t dwell or self criticise. This is about learning from our experience so we have better lives on the mats and everywhere else. Whether you use this to reflect o the year that was, use it as a weekly summary or take it to class and use it to analyse your BJJ this simple approach should allow you to think more clearly about what happened so we can learn and take action to develop and grow.

Give it a try and let us know how you go?