Most people don’t like it (at least not at first).
Many people say you should do it.
It never seems to stick for very long even when you do try it…
What is it?
JOURNALING of course!
I was reading a book over the last couple of weeks (which I might get into in another post), and the author mentioned getting into the habit of journaling each day. This is not a word I’ve cared at all for up to this point in my life!
I know I’ve tried this in the past and it never seems to stick.
But then the author proceeded to explain his struggles also with sticking to it. He would try and it would seem to go okay for a few weeks at the most, and then it would just fall away. I have had similar results.
And then he said he received a gift from a friend and ever since, he’s been able to successfully keep up with daily journaling. For the last decade or so!
So what was it that made the change?
His friend gave him a journal book. But NOT the typical or traditional journal with a page per day, or pages that provide a “guide” on what to write in the journal each day, that we usually find.
No, this was a 5 year journal.
I’d never heard of a 5 year journal!
But I continued to read. Instead of feeling the need to write a whole page or even a couple paragraphs every day (which, unless you absolutely love writing lengthy essays, can be a challenge to do), this 5 year journal takes one page, and provides 5 sections/rows to write in that span 5 years’ time.
This makes a daily entry small enough that I only need to record a couple quick thoughts, burdens, or joys about my day. Much more doable!
This helps me in knowing that I actually have a chance to build a habit, because I can take just a couple of minutes each day to record some thoughts or actions about that day. I don’t have to think of sitting down to write a book. Not that book writing is out of the picture – maybe some day we’ll have that opportunity. But for the sake of developing a habit and remaining consistent with this, this is a much smaller goal to attain to.
Another benefit of this is that a year later, I will start over in the journal and start filling in the second section of each page.
And as I go through year two, I have the opportunity to reflect on the same day’s thoughts from year one and see how things have changed. Maybe I had a burden on that day or an issue I was going through that I was praying about, and I can see the blessings of answered prayer. Or how an issue I wrote down that I thought was too big, turned out to be smaller than I made it out to be, and things worked out.
So whatever I wrote about the year before, I get the benefit of seeing the difference one year later! And of course the same will happen in cyclical fashion on year 3, year 4, and year 5!
I was really excited
to try this and get it going, so I researched some options for “5 year
journals” and found this great one printed and produced by Leuchtturm1917.
I like how they’ve decided to call it “the 5 Year Memory Book” instead of a journal. And the “Some Lines a Day” title is really accurate to its purpose!
As I’ve begun the process of journaling, I have discovered some benefits – some now and some that I’m looking forward to, that propels me to continue in this habit daily.
- REFLECTING on the day – what I did, thought, worried, or rejoiced about.
- RECORDING my thoughts – being able to put them on paper to remember them in the future.
- REMEMBERING past memories – being able to see how things have changed and how God has worked things out in my life from year to year.
- REJOICING over life – being thankful for God’s blessings – whether or not it’s on mountaintops or in valley’s.
Do you journal?
Have you struggled with being consistent with this, the same as I have?
What are your thoughts or ideas you might want to share of things you’ve done to stick with it?
I’ll admit – I’m still a novice in this, so I’ll try to follow up with this after a while and provide an updated on how this has been working out for me.
Let’s stick with it and see the benefits!