Keep Yourself Accountable! The Art of Journaling

It’s quickly approaching the second week of 2019 - the time to review new resolutions, write down new goals, change routines, and look at what is no longer helping us in our growth.

Photo: Julia Hilao Photography

Photo: Julia Hilao Photography

Let’s get REAL.

Most people fall off the map in regards to attaining any of their goals or they get lazy, lose motivation, or feel incredibly overwhelmed and exhausted before the end of January. These drastic, mental and physical lifestyle changes can feel like a burden, especially if you are not used to monitoring escalating changes in such a short period of time. What activities can feel empowering for some, may also feel incriminating and defeating for others.


Write it all down.

Writing allows a simple coherency of clarity of the thoughts. Putting pen to paper and utilizing mental and physical effort to express patterns in ideas, poetry, facts or lexical jargon is a skill and talent we are all blessed with, whether we choose to exercise this habit on a regular basis or not.

The simple discipline of writing is taught from a grade-school age and has since become less popular with the rise of mobile devices, recorders, and digital tablets. Most people write down grocery lists, daily to-do lists, or even write down driving directions in a matter-of-fact manner. Allowing the mind to decipher through visual cues, memories, recent events, and lexical meanings, can create confirmation, affirmation, or a physical release from the mental or emotional attachment or a person, place, moment in time.

Writing is like Meditation.

Have you heard of automatic writing? The psychologist Carl Jung coined the term in the ‘60s, this process of writing autonomously with no expectation of reader or sender, no expectation to create, no validation that the mumble of words even creates.

By focusing presently on words that come to paper, rather than analysing and focusing on the reader’s intent, outcome, or shiny, revised revision that sounds poetic, pristine, and refined, come to a place where raw unpacking of the mental mind can fully begin.

Just like meditation, come from a place of non-judgment and patience. (Read: Meditation & Mindfulness: debunking the ancient practice) Wait for any random words to come into mind. If you need to set up a comfortable and quiet place to reflect and journal (as you would meditate), do so. Some moments, many words will flow surreptitiously; other moments, maybe a single sentence will form.

If it helps, set a timer for 5-10 minutes to start. As meditation does not come easy for many, so is the act of getting clear with your thoughts as you write them down. If you are not familiar with describing or coherently addresssing the thoughts or emotions as they come up, simply start with listing the physical surroundings, people and things around you. Using a prompt such as a candle, a piece of poetry, or a still-life object for your writing creates less conscientious focus on trying to get it right and just allows the process to let it all flow.


What is inhibiting you from living your life’s Purpose?

Draw a table of three columns.

In the first column, write down all the current activities that you are actively involved in. Whether this includes recreational sports, professional career, family/social obligations, weekly networking, etc., create lists of all the activities that you include yourself in on a regular daily or weekly basis.

In the second column, state whether each activity is serving you physically, emotionally, socially, psychologically based on the environment, its addition to your growth, its impact, your level of responsibility, etc.

In the third column, state whether you would like to keep or remove each activity from your regular agenda in the short-term or long-term future. Be realistic with this - you don’t want to remove something drastically because its timeslot interferes with another activity that simply enhances your immediate gratification. Consider if you can keep certain activities while simply moving around their timeslots of by changing their frequency per week/month/etc.

Review this table often, call it your list of “Current Aspirations” or whatever you feel guided to name it. You can always make a new table every month, or every season whenever you feel stuck or at a standstill in your search for wanting to create more space and find more fulfillment.

If you feel inclined to start or continue your practice in journaling,

Join me for an afternoon of Meditation & Journaling on January 26, 2019. We will be working on unleashing our Fears, wipe the slate clean from judgment, criticism, and jealousy, and re-enter a cycle in our lives where we can create strong self-affirmations to nourish our growth.