I didn’t appreciate the power of writing things down until I tried it for myself. All I did was keep a mental note of things I wanted to remember which wasn’t that effective.
I did remember trivial things like chores and errands, but for life-changing activities like goals and visions, a mental note alone, was not enough – I slacked.
For instance, I could be in the kitchen washing dishes when my ‘creative mojo’ revs to full throttle, and the next big idea for a story drops in my mind.
At first, I would be excited to get things on the wheels, but by the time I finally get the dishes done, I realize something else; my adrenaline isn’t pumping anymore, or I would suddenly feel sleepy. And when I wake up, I may not really be vibing the inspiration any more.
If only I had just written it down. At least, just have it on paper or an e-journal, and closed it. Then I would have had my work cut out for me because those inked words will always be there to ‘haunt me’. Yep, you read right. My written words haunt me.
You know how they say ‘Your word is your bound’ or ‘your word is supposed to be your bound’? Well, that is what I live by as a rule, and I talked about it in one of my articles, ‘Why every woman needs a ready-made man’. I try as much as I can to say what I will do and do what I say. Pretty much same goes for what I write in my journal. It’s like a pledge I make to myself. So whenever I open my ‘vision’ journal, and I see any short term goals lying around, it pinches me, deep down in my soul.
Journaling is one of the ways I stay accountable to my growth. In fact, my reasons for journaling is exhaustive:
I. Journaling creates room for productivity
ii. Clears up my headspace
iii. Helps with mental health – the prayer journal and the affirmation journal which I will be talking about will do wonders for your mind.
iv. It enhances my mood – when I am going through a tight period in my life, I go back to my vision journal. Looking through my accomplishments puts my spirit on a different kind of high. It gives me the courage to, ‘Carry on. You are doing good girl.’
According to Psychologists, “Journaling makes us more self-aware and help us detect sneaky, unhealthy patterns in our thoughts and behaviours. It allows us to take more control over our lives and put things in perspective. Furthermore, it can help us shift from a negative mindset to a more positive one, especially about ourselves.” (Robinson, 2017)
According to HuffPost, “studies have shown that the emotional release from journaling lowers anxiety, stress, and induces sleep.”
Do you need more reasons to engage in journaling?
If you have a problem with finding a pen and paper(guilty! Forget that I am a writer. I belong to the school of writers who can’t manage to find their biros anymore. P.S. I have always been lazy) to catalogue your thoughts, please choose the simpler way – technology.
There are so many easy to use, and comprehensive journaling apps that you can install and journal on the go; Todoist for instance.
There are numerous types of journals bobbing around, so the choice of journal is all up to you. However, there are 7 journals you really should have:
Diary is not something that should have disappeared along with your teen years. There’s still so much documentation you need to do for yourself. You are growing, achieving milestones, going through mistakes, depressing times, learning to adapt to living on your own, your first job, your first lay off – ha! There’s so much to write down. Do you know what’s beautiful? Going back after a year or several months to read what you’ve written and watching yourself grow through the pages.
There’s only one reason why I shy off writing diaries – I read other people’s own. Shrug. Lol. I am kinda bothered that my penance would be other people reading mine. Horrible. Horrible. shudders. Don’t be like me people, don’t go reading other people’s diaries- I am baaaad.
So if you are writing a diary and you know you will be hot and bothered if others read it, then make sure you don’t leave it lying around.
Some diaries come with lock and key. Even mobile diaries come with passwords. These will help keep your diary locked, sealed, and PRIVATE.
What’s better than just owning a diary? Owning a diary that can write back to you.
There’s this interesting Diary I used to own on my phone, Dear Claire. The diary comes packaged in such a way that you can ask questions on issues bothering you and get a response within a space of a few days. You like?
Ideas can hit you at any time and place, but I tell you, if you are not running to write that stuff down, you will soon lose the vision.
Habakkuk paraphrased says, ‘Write the vision, make it plain so that they that see it will run with it.’
I have a list of things written down in my idea journal, and reading them regularly helps me stay on track.
Food journal/ recipe book
I like food and thoughts of a recipe journal excites my stomach juices. If you are a food enthusiast, think about all the recipes you could save, the new dishes you can’t wait to try out, or a particular cooking style you do not want to forget.
Cooking is therapy. Dreaming of delicacies – not dreaming per se, but meditating on delicacies- is a one of a kind cure to a bad day. So yeah, whip out that journal and go create something foodtastic.
Very personal. Very intimate. Worth keeping.
Especially for first-time moms or any mother at all that wants to appreciate her unique birthing experiences. Also, helps in remembering all the things you need to do during pregnancy.
You can also use sticky notes for this and Evernote if you prefer to use your mobile or pc. Affirmations will keep you in the right frame of mind all day every day.
Imagine going through a stressful time and you pick up your phone. The first thing you see is a sticky note that says ‘Remember, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’. Believe me, you won’t feel so overwhelmed anymore.
Try speaking these affirmations out loud too. Reading them puts you in the right headspace but speaking it out loud gives it the stamp of agreement ‘Yes girl, I am amazing! Do you know how amazing I am? Super amazing. All things are working together for my good!”
What are you grateful for? If you can’t at most, list out five things here and now, then there’s a problem. The issue is not that amazing things have not been happening for you. Nah, the problem is you don’t notice.
Writing in your gratitude journal at the end of each week or month allows you to be more appreciative of the growth happening in you, around you.
Even when it seems like everything is turning out so wrong for you, I know there are still, what I call little mercies we tend to miss. For example, a chanced meeting that sparks up delightful friendships, recognition of your effort when you thought no one was noticing, your nephew’s first steps?
Gratitude helps you live a happy, fulfilling life.
I cannot dare say goodbye without writing this one. Do you know how important a prayer journal is?! Nobody should be begging you to keep this one. It’s an ESSENTIAL.
There’s always a prayer on our lips and once it has been answered we happily skip to the next ‘God-this-one-is-a-do-or-die-affair’.
At the start of 2020, I opened mine and looked at the prayers I had last year. Just seeing how much of the prayers God answered made my heart swell with joy. It gave me the confidence that if God could do all that, then what won’t he do, what can’t he do, and what won’t he willingly do?
A prayer journal builds trust and takes your gratitude to an all-time high. So write your prayer requests down and remember to tick them off when he’s answered.
Tell me in the comments what journals are you keeping this year?
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