Do you remember what you did yesterday? How about last week? Did your kids saying something funny, a friend do something thoughtful, or maybe it was just a beautiful day and you felt blessed. These should be memorable experiences, right? But in our fast-paced lives these things come and go so quickly, we lose the memory almost as soon as it happens. This is exactly why I journal. It allows you to put down thoughts and remember experiences that have made you the very person you are today.
I write about all sorts of things and I have a few different journals. I started one journal when my son was born. Over the years I’ve written about funny things he says, sweet things he does, or just the ins and outs of life with him. It makes me smile to read the entries and now that I’ll never lose these memories now that they’re written down.
Another journal I keep is more private; that one I keep on my computer because I can type faster than I can write! When it comes to venting or needing a time of deeper reflection, I choose this journal so I can get my thoughts out quickly. This is a great outlet for stress-relief. You’d be surprised how much better you feel just getting things “off your chest” sometimes.
I’ve also kept a “gratitude journal” in the past. This is where each day your write down what you’re thankful for. It really helps you to focus on all of the positive things in your life (which is nice because too often we dwell on the negative). You’re really reminded how blessed you are when you keep and re-read this type of journal.
Lastly I enjoy keeping a visual journal, which is a wonderful outlet for when I’m feeling creative and just for a quick reminder of what my day held. This is REALLY fun for me, I use paints, magazine clippings, quotes, templates from the computer, stamps, and anything else that inspires me. It’s a great way to let out your inner-child and whatever is on your mind or in your plans. Since I enjoy this journal so much, I thought I’d share mine with you so you can make your own. Here’s how I make a monthly template (notice there’s just enough room to jot down a quick daily recap – keep it short & sweet):
***I know it seems like a lot of things to keep up. BUT, I have no self-imposed rules about how often I write in each of these. They are simply for me and my sanity! So I use and enjoy each of them as I need them.***
It is so much fun to look back through my journals to see what I was doing this time a few years ago. I get to see what I was thinking about then, how my life has changed over time, and how I’ve grown (or still need to grow) in different areas. If you could use an outlet for stress, creativity, expression, or simply just to remember all of the amazing little things that happen in your life then pick up the pen & paper and follow your mind wherever it takes you. Your future self will thank you!