Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

Make Journaling Work for You

You’re tired and busy. The last thing you want is to add something to your to do list. I get it. But may I suggest log booking or journaling? I am glad that when my kids were toddlers, I had a blog. I recorded many of the funny things they said and did. Things that now I don’t actually remember happening. But they did happen and I have proof. They love it when I tell them stories of when they were little.

Now, I’m not pushing blogging necessarily. Rather, I am suggesting keeping some kind of system so that when you look back over your life, you have a record.

There are two kinds of people who are reading this right now: Those mamas who have just perked up and those mamas who just groaned. Journaling doesn’t have to be daunting. It can take many forms and you need not have guilt over any of it.

Here’s how.

Why bother with keeping a record?

journalingYou can write to:

  • Remember the sweet, funny things that happen with your children and your spouse.
  • Focus your mind at the beginning of the day
  • Reflect upon or clear your mind at the end of the day
  • Have a handy place to keep lists
    • To-do
    • Things you have accomplished
    • Ideas for books you want to write or you wish someone else would write
    • Sketches of inventions that would make your life easier
    • Miscellaneous: photos, recipes, comic strips, song lyrics, prayers, and flowers
  • Unleash creativity
  • Vent instead of facing that person directly
  • Enumerate challenges/problems/difficulties allowing your brain to simmer while working on them
  • Set goals and keep yourself accountable
  • Express gratitude
  • Draw or doodle

How can I keep from getting bogged down in the details?

If you’re like me, writing is a way of expressing yourself creatively. Having said that, it’s easy to feel the pressure to edit and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. But your journal or log book doesn’t have to bog you down. Write (or list) as if no one will read it but you. Because chances are, they won’t.

Instead:

  • Make bullet points with sentence fragments
  • Paste pictures or sketch instead of using the written word
  • Create a type of shorthand using acronyms

How do I start?

Start small: don’t determine to do all of the things I listed above. Pick one or two things you want to record and stick with those. You can always incorporate other purposes for your logbook later.

Don’t let guilt take over. Does goal setting and answering life’s big questions seem too weighty of topics and you can’t stand not having answers all neat and tidy? No worries. Just start a new page and journal something else.

Above all, just start.

What do I write in?

Be excited about your journal, but don’t get overwhelmed.  I see a beautiful journal and I have to have it. I get it home, and my first thought is that it’s too beautiful to “deface” with my handwriting. Then I worry that I’ll write stupid stuff and somehow that messes up the book. It’s silly because the journal ends up not getting used at all. Defeats the purpose, eh? So pick something that you enjoy looking at and writing in, but not something that will overwhelm you.

Consider:

  • a spiral notebook
  • a phone app
  • loose leaf paper and three ring binder
  • daily/monthly planner
  • grocery list pad
  • waiter’s notepad 
  • moleskin journal

A final note.

Give yourself grace. Your writing or comic strip pasting will evolve over time. Let it. You are learning what will benefit you in the long run. That takes time to figure out. Don’t be embarrassed with how you start out. Things that seem like mistakes are merely proofs that you tried. It’s so much better than not doing anything at all.

Furthermore, what worked for one season of your life, may not work for the next. That’s okay! Even the changes you make in what you record will indicate the evolution of your growth. Go with it! Celebrate those tweeks and overhauls!

A quick trip to Pinterest will give you more ideas on different types of journaling and log booking. Of course, they run the gamut from beautiful flowery prose, all the way to bullet journaling (which, while functional, has its own beautiful aesthetic). The good news is that this is to serve you, no one else. Style is just as highly personal and subjective as is content.

Hope you have been encouraged to begin (or continue) keeping a record of the things that are important to you. 

Happy journaling!

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