Thoughts on Keeping a Daily Journal

img-5021.pngI began a new habit in 2019.  I took a few moments at the end of each day to write down a summary of what happened.  Nothing super in-depth.  Just a quick little note on how the day went, any note-worthy events that happened, and perhaps how I felt about it.  I have tried to take up journaling so many times before but trying to write long, in-depth journal entries each day tires me out very quickly.  So I knew, if this was going to stand any chance of becoming a habit, I had to keep it short, sweet, and to the point.  And that’s what I did.  Each day’s synopsis was no more than a paragraph.  Sometimes it was just two sentences.  But I tried to write something each day.  I missed some days, but for the most part I have something down for every day.

So, why am I telling you this?

  1. Because I’m so glad I did it.  It has been a great experience to look back on the year and see what has happened, how God has moved, and how I have grown (or how I’ve regressed in some ways, haha).  So many times, as I’ve looked back through the pages, I’ve been reminded of things that I completely forgot about.  Events that I get to reflect back on and laugh, smile, or give thanks.
  2. It has helped me to see God’s hand in my life.  Not every event is good, though, and in those cases, I look for ways that God has moved in my life since that moment.  And in every case, He has been there, slowly but consistently working it out for my good (Romans 8:28).
  3. It reminds me that life is quick.  We really are just a vapor (James 4:14).  Looking back at the moments from each day helps me to remember that each day is precious.  Every one of those days has now become a memory.  Each day is a marker of opportunities I took advantage of as well as opportunities I missed.  It reminds me to enjoy each day for what it is.
  4. It provides perspective.  This is especially true on the difficult days.  As I read back on those days, I’m reminded that I survived.  I’m reminded that those particular moments weren’t nearly as life-altering as I thought they’d be.  Yes, those life-altering moments do come along on occasion, but they’re nowhere near as frequent as they seem in the moment.

So, with all of that said, I would encourage you to take up the practice.  Moleskine makes the perfect weekly planner for the task.  You can get one here.  This particular planner gives you about a paragraph’s worth of space for each day.  Just enough space to jot down a few notes from the day but short enough to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.  But, you don’t have to have a weekly planner.  A simple notebook will do.  Just jot down a little bit about each day.  I can promise you that you’ll be glad you did.

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Now that 2019 is almost over, I’ve already purchased a new journal for 2020.  As I thumb through the empty pages, I can’t help but wonder what life events will fill them in the year to come.