I am an unstoppable book pile creator. I love books. And I make nice piles of them everywhere like a nerdy-bougie animal marking their territory. A steadfast commitment to reading time and the classics evades me, but books are wonderful! I love them for their stories, but also for their shape, the pages, the possibility. So my affinity for bound volumes extends to those with blank insides.
The journal. Can you commit? I can barely. Often, we’re too tired one, two, five nights to really sit down and consider the day’s passing. Or, we finally get situated to write and write, but nothing come to us!
So here are a few journaling strategies I’ve benefited from:
If you’re a perfectionist like me, you know that struggle of numbering. Numbering should mean something right? So if I make a numbered list, it denotes a hierarchy. Oh dear, did I just write that I’m more thankful for pancakes than a loving friend’s encouragement since it made it to #1 and I forgot about her until #8?
Nix that. No numbers. Personally, I enjoy a little “x” over a dot or dash. (I’m a freak. Yes, it’s because dots and dashes out of alignment will derail the whole thing for me.)
Sometimes what I like to do is make lists totally out of context. Throw all your fragmented thoughts at once and shove off the weight. We can sort them out later, but journaling is meant to be freeing, so list your shackles away! Or the good stuff, totally! There are days when there are just so many wonderful things on our mind, we can’t fathom how we should be so special to experience them all. They’re important—list away.
This versus that.
This is a strategy for thankfulness and for wrangling direction. Venting is something we all need sometimes, but doing so in a journal will give you frustrating hand cramps! Unless you have endurance to finish the race of ranting—then it seems we have other issues to discuss.
They say naming your fears destroys them. Naming what our struggles are gets us closer to finding the solutions. Yes! Admit the problem, and put it on the table (or rather, page) so we can begin to trade it for something better. This versus that. Make two columns, and in the center, place either a greater-than or less-than sign.
Trashing my looks < Enjoying quirks that make me unique
Feeling an endless need to check social media < Texting/emailing a friend to say hey
Wasting time avoiding homework < The boss feeling of getting it done and moving on
Constant needs for approval < leaning on God in prayer
You’ll soon find yourself choosing the greater-than’s that are present in your life, visible or not.
“Value” lettering by me.
Got any journaling strategies of your own? What’s helped you reflect and hold onto joy?