Journaling - The Treasure Hunt of Life
Daily journaling has been a practice of mine for the last six years. I remember at the beginning of my experience, wondering what made this practice so highly recommended? In time, it became very clear that the significance of it would greatly impact my life. As my fingers would dance across the keyboard of my laptop rediscovering the events of the prior day, moments came to life. I began to recognize that it was like walking down my path of yesterday taking a closer look for hidden jewels. As I retraced my steps, I began to piece things together that I had missed in the hustle and bustle of the day before. For example yesterday, I found myself tempted to be overwhelmed with my "to do" list. I decided to pray and ask God for his help. I went on about my day and forgot about the prayer. I remember thinking several times about how well things were going. However, it wasn't until this morning in my journaling that I put two and two together in connection with the prayer I prayed. I sat there with a huge smile on my face as my faith was strengthened. If it weren't for journaling, I would have missed the treasure of awe and wonder I received this morning.
Just as retracing my steps of yesterday allows me to find the hidden treasures I may have missed, it also exposes thorns I picked up along the journey. Sometimes, it is easy for me to say in haste that things don't bother me or "I am fine," in regards to things that occur in relationships with others. However, as I journal, I sometimes notice an offense that came the day prior that I thought I brushed off but with a closer look, I can now feel the pain. With examination, I can get honest with myself about what occurred and take action to remove the thorn before it gets infected and turns into bitterness and resentment.
I am not sure if you are new to journaling or have been at it a long time, but a few weeks ago, I began to use Michael Hyatt's, a New York Times Best Selling author, journaling template. It has added a new and fresh approach to my journaling. I have left his notes in each of the categories to help you get started. I would love to hear about your experience with it. Happy Treasure Hunting!
- What did I do yesterday?
[I don’t chronicle everything, of course. I just hit the highs and the lows—those activities or events I want to remember later.]
- What lessons did I learn?
[I try to distill my experience down into a couple of lessons I want to remember. It’s not what happens to us but what we *learn* from what happens to us.]
- What am I thankful for right now?
[I journal in the morning, and this is one practical way I can begin my day with a sense of abundance and gratitude.]
- How am I feeling right now?
[Feelings aren’t the be-all-end-all, but they are an important clue. In the past, I just ignored or suppressed my them. This gives me an opportunity to check in on myself.]
- What did I read today?
[I record a list of anything I’ve read since I last journaled, including Bible passages. Occasionally, I record a lesson or insight.]
- What are my plans for today?
[I preview my schedule and my major tasks for the day, mostly to get focused on what needs to be done.]
- What one thing must I accomplish today?
[I like to know the one thing I must get done, even if I don’t accomplish anything else. This helps me prioritize.]