I keep a journal–not a diary.
Off and on, for years, I tried to keep a journal. I couldn’t do it because I was never intentional about it. I never carved out time for it at the beginning or the end of the day. When I decided to become more intentional about this, by allotting time in the day, my journaling become a point of focus for me.
Five Reasons that I Keep a Journal
I had decided to restart the journal for a variety of reasons but here are the reasons that I journal now:
- I wanted to take some time to reflect on what had happened. How could I? My days are short enough already. With a family, a job, serious church involvement, community involvement, and then volunteering at my kids’ activities, days are just blurs. If I didn’t know what had happened, how was I able to reflect. This provided an intentional time to focus on a previous day’s events.
- I wanted to keep track of progress toward goals. When it came down to time to if I had read my Bible, whether I had practiced Spanish, my weight, exercise, if I was waking up consistently,etc., I realized that I had no place to store this info. “Your phone”, you say. But this is tangible, it travels with me.
- I wanted to keep a prayer list. I would say things like “I’ll keep you in my prayers” or “I’ll be praying for you…” but I wasn’t. Why not? Not because I’m a jerk but because I wasn’t writing it anywhere to remember. People don’t make it for weeks on end and page after page but they at least get prayed for once.
- Because I wanted to loosen technology’s hold on my life. I write in a paper journal. Every day I’m pounded with the use of my computer–heck, I’m using it now! I cannot imagine my life without a computer or my smartphone. Yet, there is a part of me that recognizes the need to let go of that to an extent. I don’t want to be sucked in by the tech. Besides, I feel like I have more time to think or rationalize if I write–there’s something about the process.
- I wanted to be able to verbalize future goals. I wanted to have a place to write down things I want and things I want to achieve. Do I want a promotion? Do I want to earn more? Do I want to raise my children to be adults of integrity? I have a place to write these goals down.
I published a video about how I’m journaling on my YouTube channel and that video is embedded below.
But, I’m not the only one who thinks journaling is a wonderful idea! Clark Danger writes about keeping journals in a variety of posts and videos. In a post, Michael Hyatt talks about why he keeps a daily journal. In the ever wonderful Art of Manliness, there are multitudes of posts about journaling–including this one.
My wife poked fun of me originally, but realized that I enjoyed it so much that my birthday gift this year was a good ink pen and a new journal. (Thanks, babe.) Currently, I use a spiral-bound notebook in the “Sustainable Earth” series by Staples. I couldn’t find a link to the design of my current journal. I’ve used a hardbound refill journal like this one (an affiliate link), and it has worked wonderfully.
So, ladies and men, a journal is a very useful tool. It’s worth the effort and I know that you’ll be glad to have done it. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the section below! Otherwise, grab that journal and get to it!