I don't know about you, but I feel like there is a progression in all things. We all begin somewhere, often with a minimum skillset. We start small, we practice, we get better, we expand and refine. I'm actually hard pressed to identify where this isn't the case, unless you're a prodigy, then I guess you speed to the end game. I'm good at many things, but I've yet to discover my prodigy level affinity for anything.
We all start somewhere and it's never too late, right?
I wanted to share a little bit about journaling and throw out some possibilities to get you started. If you don’t currently keep a journal, you have a few options to get started. First, decide on the format. Will you write on hard copy or electronically? If electronic, you can use any notepad app on your device or a Word doc. I am also a huge fan of Evernote, which is an app that allows you to create collections of notebooks and you can also create tags in your notes for even more organization. If you go hard copy, just grab a pen and notebook! If you prefer hard copy, you can have a lot of fun shopping for writing tools. There are entire sub-cultures out there dedicated to journaling. Google “bullet journal” if you want a glimpse. Search at your own risk; it’s a veritable rabbit hole!
Free writing is often suggested to get started. This is great if you already have something to say or feel like you have a brainful of stuff you need to let out. Free writing is wide open. You can write about your reflection on what happened yesterday, something you’re looking forward to, the to-do list that needs to get done, literally whatever is on your mind. This is your private space to put your thoughts on paper. Have fun with it. If you still struggle to get started, do a Google search on “journal prompts” for suggestions.
If you're not interested in filling the page, but you still want to keep track of your progress, a bullet journal might be helpful. There are a multitude of apps to keep track of habits. One of my favorites is Way of Life. But if you like hard copy, you can begin with a basic notebook to get started. The key is to get started. You'll only find the best system that suits you by practicing. You cannot get it wrong.
If you aren't sure a bullet journal is your thing, maybe you'll be interested in a focused identity journal. The purpose of an identity journal is to focus on how you want to feel and how you want to show up as your best self. Three prompts in my daily identity journal practice include:
Today I want to feel...
To ensure I feel that way, I will...
The best version of me is...
Some of the feelings that show up a lot in my journal are calm, organized, accomplished, connected. Answering what I'll do to ensure I feel that way has included: completing my morning and evening routines, intentionally connecting with my husband after work, making eye contact, and asking thoughtful questions. My answer to the best version of me is often things like: patient, compassionate or simplifies, takes action, finds the upside. My answers change regularly depending on what's going on in my life.
The headings in the image at the beginning of this blog are mainstays in my journal. Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S. (silence (meditation), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, scribing) are something I rely heavily on. Expanding on those to include identity reflection helps me set the intention for the day.
The point is to identify how you want to feel and show up, pick a few things to enable that feeling, think about who the best you is to bring it top of mind, so you can bring that version of you to the world. What do you think? Would you be willing to practice something like this? Drop a comment below. I'd love to hear your plan or if you already have a journaling practice.