What do think about when you hear the word journal? Some people think of a stagnant book where only the days happenings where recorded in a bullet style manner. Others think about the diaries of love sick young girls. If this is the way you think, then please keep reading. I hope I can change the way you think. If you’ve always enjoyed journalling, I hope this post inspires you to journal more.
I have found there to be many benefits to keeping a journal. Journalling helps gather my thoughts on a specific situation or issue. It also serves as a place to layout my goals and record an action plan. I find journalling a great way to discover and understand my true feelings. I can write a lot in my journal that I might not tell someone else. In my journal, I write about positive, happy feelings, but I also at times vent my anger and sadness. Writing down my feelings helps me understand them better. (Even if I later rip the page out!) Journalling is also a great way to keep track of important dates and record special memories.
Successful People Journal
Many successful and famous people have kept journals. Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, and Beatrix Potter are just a few noteworthy people who journalled. In looking at some of their journal entries, we can see their inventions, inspirations, or action plans taking shape. Their journal is where it all begin.
Making a Habit of Journalling
Many people, including myself, find it difficult to journal on a regular basis. Keeping a daily journal can be beneficial, but don’t be discouraged if that doesn’t happen. Sometimes, I go for weeks without journalling, but I try to keep my journal easily accessible for when inspirational thoughts come my way. I can grab my journal and quickly jot them down. I also try to remember to journal after important life events. Sometimes I journal when I am bored. Sometimes I journal when I need a way to express myself. Keeping my journal out where I can see it, reminds me that it exists. Journal writing shouldn’t be a chore that you have to check off your daily to-do list. It should be something that you enjoy. That’s why it is important to make the actual journal fit your personality. If you like the professional look, buy a leather bound journal and use black ink. If you like being creative, buy a colourful notebook and use brightly coloured ink. Whatever your style, make it personal. That way you will feel more inspired to actually use it.
Of course, I couldn’t write a post about journalling without giving you some concrete ideas of what to write in it. So here are a few ideas:
- Record the environment in which you are writing. (If you are sitting by the lake describe what you see, hear, and feel.)
- Describe a recent special event. (What was said and done and how did you feel? What did your like and dislike about it? Did anything humorous happen?)
- Make a wish list. (This could be items you would like to receive as a gift or places you would like to visit, etc.)
- Describe your pet(s). (What breed are they? What is their personality? What do you enjoy the most about them?)
- Write a fictional short story. (Use people, places, and situations you know well as inspiration but change the names.)
- Jot down a project to-do list. (Record the major projects you would like to undertake such as building a new shed, putting together a quilt, or planting a vegetable garden.)
- Record your favourite childhood memories. (Who was there? What did they say? What did you do? How did you feel?)
- Describe the neighbourhood where you live. (What style are the houses? Is the neighbourhood old or new? Are the people friendly? What kind of lives do the people live? Is there one word that sums up the atmosphere?)
- Make a list of pros and cons. (Is there an important decision you need to make? What could be the positive and negative outcomes?)
- Record meaningful things that people have said to you. (Did someone recently give you a nice compliment? Did your child say something special to you?)
- List your favourite books/songs/scriptures. (This is a great reference tool in the future.)
- Write down all your dreams and aspirations. (If you could do anything, what would it be? How can you work towards fulfilling that dream?)
I hope this post has inspired you to start or re-start the wonderful art of journalling. Please share your journalling thoughts and ideas in the comments below.