I’m not into planners with all the stickers and the colored pens and the frills and stuff. It just seems like a big waste of my time.
But I frequently do informal journaling. I don’t feel the pressure to draw in a smashbook or place any stickers in a planner. Having something fancy is just overwhelming.
Journaling is a great way to be cognitive of little successes.
I’m always writing.
I keep a food and exercise journal on my smartphone.
I make notes for future blog posts in several places.
But this past year, and especially this past winter, I’ve gotten lazy and sedentary.
Some days, I look back and it feels like I did virtually nothing.
I recently began journaling my days to realize how much I do accomplish.
I don’t write down every little bitty thing, but I sketch out my day so I can look back and see what I did, because some days, it feels like I just watched Netflix all day.
I have just plain little spiral notebooks for my daily journal.
I read and write a lot.
And sometimes, it feels like I spend most of my time in the kitchen – prepping, cooking, and cleaning.
I was sick for a week, so I didn’t actually do so much. I needed to really rest and recharge. There wasn’t much to write about.
Then, I got back into gear.
Most of these aren’t great accomplishments by most standards, but they help me to feel better about how I spend my days.
I try to be peaceful and use my time wisely.
I don’t like to be busy or rushing. I like to move in easy rhythms with the seasons and holidays.
I love the daily examen from St. Ignatius:
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and focus prayer around it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
Download an Examen prayer card here.
I have some simple daily goals:
I want to read, exercise, complete lessons and read alouds and Bible study with my kids.
I also have a prayer journal.
I write scripture every day with monthly themed plans from Sweet Blessings.
I write prayers and praises – with dates so I can go back and look at it.
I write my exercises and travel experiences.
I recently got a recipe journal to track our favorite meals since I always tweak the recipes and forget.
Journaling is a great way to relax and keep track of events, milestones, thoughts, dreams…
Make a list of things you do every day.
Make a list of things that make you happy.
Compare the lists.
How journaling helps me:
- Stress relief – it helps me to stay peaceful.
- Personal growth – it helps me to learn about myself.
- Helps clarify my thoughts and emotions – it helps me to work out issues with my past and present.
- Problem solving – it helps me to be metacognitive.
- Purge emotions – I can write about troublesome issues privately.
A Baker’s Dozen Reasons to Journal:
- Exercise log
- Foods you’ve eaten, especially to rule out allergies or sensitivities, or to save favorite recipes
- Quotes you love
- Books you’ve read or want to read
- Movies you’ve watched or want to watch
- Wines or beers you’ve loved
- Daybook or daily log
- Prayer and/or Scripture