I journal. Not every day, like I’d like to, but sporadically. I don’t think about journaling unless my journal is in plain sight. And often I have it in my purse and I don’t take it out that often.
But one thing I have found that makes journaling incredibly useful is the fact that it can show you how far you’ve come within a specified amount of time. Like the end-of-the-year reflections a lot of people do this time of year.
Many do it in preparation for new year resolutions. Others want to give themselves credit where credit is due. Still others want to feel better about where they were compared to where they are now. I definitely fall into the last two categories.
But it’s hard to be objective or even remember a lot about where you were and how you were doing in January when it’s nearing the end of December. And that’s where journaling is amazing.
Journaling is a snapshot of that day. Whether you wrote all about your day at the end of it, or give little updates throughout the day, or even have to give a week or month update at a time, you are recording your state of mind for that day and your feelings about the period of time you are writing about. You are also giving details that you probably wouldn’t remember a couple months after the event. The way you describe the events also gives a bit of insight into your feelings about the events. Instead of using a more neutral term such as “good” or “bad” when describing your day, you could see something like “fantastic” or “terrible”, indicating either stronger feelings or a theatric mood.
You see events that you can get a better insight and analysis of because of the distance time allows. You can pick up on patterns of thinking and events, and that allows you insight into what you like and what you want to change. You can notice different things about yourself that you never picked up on before.
Journaling is immensely helpful to me. Going through them again is also helpful, no matter how painful the read through might be. It documents all of my escapades, the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of the year, when I read through the journal I kept, I get a better sense of what I went through and how far I’ve come in tackling my problems. Which is a long way. But I still have a long way to go.
Life is full of adventures. No one promises that they’ll be good ones. But they sure do make life interesting.