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A Pen And A Crisp Piece Of Paper

February 28, 2012

I think back. I think forward. I think.

What helps me gain wisdom? Not make the same mistakes twice? Not dwell in the same negative mindset? And why do some people stay where they are and how they are for years and years and some people change?

I realized today that something that I never thought of as a help in life has been one of my greatest gifts.

Journaling.

I’ve always loved words, loved to write. I have journaled for years and years. It clears my head.

The words tumble out onto the crisp paper or out through my fingers onto the screen and they are no longer longing for a place to rest. My mind can be at ease. The words are out.

The gift that I have found through journaling however is reflection.

I look back. I see what I struggled with then. I wonder why I was so worked up about what I was worked up about.

I look forward. I see that I will still have struggles today and tomorrow. It is how I deal with them, not the fact that I have them.

They are different today than they were ten years ago. But they feel just as pressing an urgent. They cause anxiety and worry, if I let them.

The amazing thing is that I can flip through my journal and if I see I am still writing about the same thing I was writing about a year ago, something needs to be addressed. I need to figure out a way to work through the problem. Find a solution.

I had years of writing about the same struggles. Those were my days of passively responding to life. Those days are gone.

I now reflect a lot. At the end of each day, at the end of each week, at the end of each month, and at the end of each year. What a helpful tool! I reflect. I move on. I change.

Question: Do you journal and how has it impacted you?

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22 Comments

  • Reply Ann J Musico February 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I do and because I love to write and express myself much better in writing it is a wonderful outlet for me as well.

    • Reply Claudia Good February 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Wonderful Ann!
      Have you always journaled?

  • Reply Joe Lalonde February 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I journaled most of last year as I was writing a thankfulness journal for my wife. I wrote about that experience at http://www.jmlalonde.com/why-writing-in-a-journal-is-important/ and the impact it made on me.

    I’d planned on continuing but have not been consistent. Going to have to kick myself in the rear and get going again.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      Joe,
      Read it. Loved it. Did you get that idea from Darren Hardy?? πŸ™‚ I heard him talk about that and how it changed his marriage. I’ve been doing one for Jude. And a weekly/monthly one for Michael and I.

      Hah. yes. consistency. The key to any of the greats! πŸ™‚

      So, did you give your journals to your wife?

      • Reply Joe Lalonde March 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

        Claudia,

        Thanks for checking it out and enjoying the post. And yes, I did get the idea from Darren. Thought it was genius!

        Have you experienced any change in doing one for Jude and Michael?

        I did give her the journal, on our anniversary this year. She said she liked it. And bought me a journal for my birthday this year.

        Now it’s just busting my butt to get writing in one again.

        • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

          I have experienced change Joe!
          More than I ever expected! I think it will be a wonderful gift for all of us down the road.

          Hahaha yup, now you just have to start the process again πŸ™‚

  • Reply mpurcell24 February 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Very nice post, I have am trying to get a system in place where I am consistent about doing it. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Hey Mike!
      Nice to see you here! πŸ™‚

      Have you been a journaler in the past?

      I pretty much go bonkers in my head if I don’t get all my words out… so journaling has been amazing for me personally! I have a high talking need (some of my I wiring coming out) so journaling helps with that and it gives me wonderful perspective!

      Blessings as you pursue this wonderful gift!

      • Reply mpurcell24 March 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        no I have never really written in a daily journal before, but I can see the value. I’ll have to find a good way to do it so I can keep it up. I use a Franklin Covey type of day timer so maybe I’ll find something to insert into it. Do you journal electronically or do you write free hand? Thanks Mike

        • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 11:15 pm

          Mike,
          I have always written free hand for my journals. I never thought I would be able to think while typing. Oddly enough I have found it very freeing for writing these blog posts to just get on and start typing.

          I still find free hand is my favorite mode of recording my feelings and thoughts however.

  • Reply AnnetteDarityGarber February 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    I hear ya, Sister! How blessed we are to be literate… to be able to read… to be able to express our thoughts and feelings through the written word. I am indebted to the journaling process, though more often than I’d like to admit, my journal entries tend to repeat themselves. I know there has been change in my life, but there are other areas that I seem to wrestle with over and over again. I suppose my journal reflects my humanity… highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and failures, fears and questions and new insights. So glad that you, too, have found a friend in the Journal. And by the way… there is no doubt that you have a gift of writing… poetic and pure and honest. Keep it up!!!

    • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      Annette,
      Your words always encourage me. Thank you.

      Maybe our days of journaling started with the ‘notebook’ πŸ™‚ Where is that anyway?… do I have it?

      I have quite a few years of “repeated entries” in my own journals… big part of why I made the big change. I got tired of reading my same old pitiful story πŸ™‚ It’s time for me to write another story with my life.

      • Reply Annettegarber March 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        The green notebook! I thought the same thing when I was replying to you! I don’t know where that ever got to, but wouldn’t that be a hoot to find it!!! So many great memories, indeed! πŸ˜€

        • Reply Claudia Good March 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

          hmmm I will have to look. Maybe I have it stashed away with some of my journals?!

    • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      oops that was me, not Michael :-/

  • Reply Michael Wright March 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I have tried to journal in the past, but just didn’t “stick”. Starting a blog in January however is proving to be a great way to stay writing, even if it’s not about each day’s happenings.

    • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Totally true Michael!
      Blogging has played some of this role for me too! Although more than anything blogging has made me think more actively about life b/c I am always on the watch for ideas of what to write about πŸ™‚

    • Reply Annettegarber March 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      I finally became a person who journals when I stopped trying to journal every day. For some people, they thrive on this sort of committment. For me, I always “failed” and gave up. So I began picking my journal up when I was “inspired” to do so…. Usually that is at my highs and lows in life. Sometimes my journal will sit for months. Other times I am in it a few times a week. Don’t put pressure on yourself. A journal is a great tool but not to be enslaving. πŸ™‚

      • Reply Claudia Good March 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        I found this to be true for me as well!! It is my run to spot when everything is tumbling around in my head!

  • Reply robclinton March 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    It’s an amazing release for sure. I blog, write content and so forth, but journals are a different plane for me. They help me release, wake up, reflect, look back, look now, look forward, and get moving. Some mornings I write only a few sentences, but nevertheless I live by it… Great post, Claudia!

    • Reply Claudia Good March 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Right there with you Rob!
      I’m imagining years from now having boxes and boxes of journals!
      George Washington was an impeccable journaler and that is why we know so much about him now. Hey, it’s a great gift to our future generations!

  • Reply Claudia Good March 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Wow. Marianne,
    This is a neat story! I have always been picky about my pens and paper as well!

    That is cool that you have been able to journal through typing. Do you print it out periodically or just keep in on your computer? It would be a lot neater to read for me as well πŸ˜‰

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