After a busy day at work, I often come home to sit on the couch and stare into blankness for a while. My head hurts, my mind’s still buzzing and it’s difficult to turn it off. Exercising helps to calm down the mind and body eventually, so does meditating or a glass of wine 😉 What’s also useful is to write down all the bullshit that’s going on in your head on a piece of paper. I find it relieving to “puke out” the clutter in my head and not bother anyone else with it either. I called it “bullshit pages”.
I believe that journaling helps you to understand yourself better, reflect on your thoughts and actions on a regular basis and eventually in setting more suitable targets for yourself, to become the person you strive to be.
I list a couple of journaling methods that I am currently using.
Adapted from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”, I like to sit down in the mornings and write down three pages into a notebook. The sentences don’t have to be coherent, meaningful or reasonable at all. The idea is to free your mind from the gaggle that starts in the moment the alarm goes off and probably only stops when we fall asleep again. I found this method to be extremely relieving. The first two pages are mostly just filled with dreams, plans and ideas for the day. The third page though is often the best. By then, my mind has released all the chaos and confusion, and comes up with astonishing thoughts that clarify a lot of my own emotions and behavior.
I just love my daily planner. The two columns in the middle section include space for appointments and the to-do’s of the day. I like to fill out these two parts in the mornings and thereby reflect on my daily schedule. In the evenings, when I come back home or just before going to bed, I like to fill out the rest of the page, which includes the top 3 of the day, the amount of money spent, what I had for dinner, notes and a daily gratitude section. You can get a sample page on their website. I am already looking into the designs for my 2019 planner, they are so pretty!
The 5-year journal has a couple of lines for every day on one page and space for five consecutive years. I am already in my second year and can read what I did last year on the same day, which I love! My journal also includes a question on top of each page and thus I can follow my personal progress during the years. I like to sit in bed, just before going to sleep, and write down what made me happy on that day. It’s good to remind yourself about the little things! I also wrote about this journal in one of my previous posts as part of my daily routine.
Since I started journaling on a constant basis, I understand myself better, my emotions and feelings. When talking to friends, I notice that only very few reflect on their days in the evenings and even fewer of them do so in written form. With the days going by so quickly, with so much going on in the world, in the office, at home, in our minds… I just feel like all these thoughts and ideas should be written down somewhere. Not just the obligations, to-do’s and appointments we don’t want to forget. But the good things that happened during the day. The funny conversations we had. The insights that came up during a lunch date. And the special moments we don’t want to forget!