10 April 2014

365 Days of Journaling [UPDATE]

Well, as of this morning I have been mostly successfully journaling for 100 days. It has been a roller coaster ride for those 100 days. I do not know if I have found my groove yet, but I decided I should at least update my progress and share with you the two biggest lessons I have learned.

Online Journals Have Advantages

One of the first items I had to decide was where it was I wanted to journal. I tried writing in a paper journal. I even found one with the perfect line spacing and a black cover. However, putting words on paper, while something I love, made me feel like a kid again, wondering if anyone was going to read My Diary and know my deepest darkest secrets! Perhaps if I were just jotting highlights of the day to later share with my children, a paper journal would work well. Something like this journal.

     I tried a small weekly calendar I got for free. It had about 5 lines each day, which sometimes forced me to use abbreviations or write only a word or two instead of complete sentences. Again, it was great for highlighting key points, but I didn't have the space to write out about my thoughts.

     I began a calendar in my Gcal just for jounaling. I called the calendar "Journal" and it was a calendar that was hidden from view. This was a little better because it allowed me to write as little or as much as I wanted. However, something just did not feel right, knowing I was writing unlimited thoughts in something as limited as a calendar.

     After trying multiple platforms, in March I returned to using 750words. It's a blank page, I can write as little or as much as I want, and maybe it's the kid in me, but I love the badges! Previously, I became a Patron. I'm still striving for the badge proudly proclaiming me successful at a one-month challenge. I firmly believe that if it were not for weekends, I would already have that badge! However, I will keep journaling and trying! One day I will be successful!

The Beginning of the Day Is Ideal for Writing in My Journal

Whether it was at the coffee shop on telecommute days or in the office before opening my email, I have found that writing in my journal first thing in the morning was the ideal time for me. 
  • First, it prevented me from "forgetting" to write. Did I mention I haven't yet successfully finished a one-month challenge?
  • Second, it gave my brain a bit of a wake-up scenario that didn't involve my job! I hate days when my first writing is a long email explaining why a project is going south!
  • Third, I had a great reason to brew some coffee. After all, writing and coffee, in my book, go hand-in-hand. (If you are into coffee, here is a cool blog about The Poetry of Coffee.)
Since I started using 750words again, I have also been able to record things like SLEEP (the number of hours I sleep), ENERGY (my energy levels when I wake), and MIT (my Most Important Task for the day.) I suppose one can do that in any journaling format, honestly. Oh, and I also love the feeling I have gotten on the days I actually wrote a true 750 words without having to copy/paste or randomly type to meet the word goal! YAY for me!

I'm glad I haven't given up completely. It is a nice feeling to accomplish a challenge, even if it was not in the exact manner you imagined. I'm going to borrow a quoted quote from myrkothum.com:
"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."
Here's to another 100 days of fine-tuning one of my personal challenges/goals in my life!

What is something you have been able to do consistently for 100 days?