By Doreene Clement
Writing, expressing can heal us. It can focus, support,
and enhance our lives and well-being. Whether we
laugh or we cry, whether through sorrow or joy, we can
understand more about ourselves, and each other, through
keeping a journal.
Some Benefits of Keeping a Journal
Â· Reduces stress
Â· Sets goals
Â· Helps focus
Â· Can improve well-being
Â· Makes time for you
Â· Creates a personal reminder
Â· Becomes a treasured keepsake
On a piece of paper, write your answers to the question,
"Which 3 words best describe how you are feeling right now?"
When you are done writing, you have just journaled.
Writing about whatever is important to you right then and
there is journaling. Tracking what you have planted in
your garden is journaling. Writing about the family holidays
together, or coffee with a friend is journaling. There is no set
amount of words or pages that constitutes a journal. There can
be a set theme or topic in your journal, but there does not
have to be. I have written about soup, the weather, myself,
my friends, and my dreams for the future, in my journal.
A journal, which is the same as a diary, is a place where you
choose to store what is important to you.
When to start journaling
Any day of any year is a good time to start your journal.
The day you feel you want to start recording your experiences
and thoughts is the perfect day to start - Whether on January 1,
November 3, or today. There is no set time of year to begin
a journal or to start to journal again.
Some people like the idea of starting their journal on January 1.
They write their goals and ideas starting at the beginning of
the year. Others like the idea of starting the very day it occurs
to them that they want to write about their lives in a journal.
Whatever you choose, it is the right way for you, and that is
all that matters.
What to journal in
There are a lot of choices of where to record all those thoughts,
feelings, ideas, dreams, and desires. What you will write in
and what you will write with again is up to you. Try several
choices, several types of books, and several types of pens
or pencils. Find the tools that fit you. You can also record your
journal on tape, video, or the computer. Writing a letter can be
another form of journaling your experiences.
What to write about
I know of a woman who wants to be a comedian. In her journal
she writes a joke a day. Another person had been stuck for
several years writing her novel. She started to journal about
writing her novel and gained the focus she needed. She finished
her novel within a few months. Another person tracks every
penny he spends in his journal.
The beauty of keeping a journal is that it is your book.
You get to choose not only when to write, but what to write.
How much I write in my journal
Journaling is about what you want to express that day so,
you can write as much or as little as you want - A word,
a thought or two, pages, you choose.
Remembering to journal
Place your journal where you will see it every day. I do not mind
taking vitamins, but if I do not see them I do forget to take them.
Place your journal on your nite stand or where you have coffee
in the morning. I keep mine on my desk, where I will see it everyday.
Part of keeping a journal, for me, is skipping a day, or maybe
four. I usually write every day, but some days I do not. I forget
to write or I do not get to it, or I have nothing to say that day.
Skipping a day is a part of keeping a journal.
Keeping your journal safe
You may want to have a special secret place for your journal
so no one else can read it. You can keep it in a locked box,
or tuck it away. You can also ask the people around you not
to read your journal. It is private and only concerns you.
As you journal about specific events or people you can also
use code words for those experiences. It is important that you
feel safe writing about your thoughts so, think about how you
can create that for yourself in your own environment.
With the passage of time, we gain a different perspective.
Time is a healer. What was once hard, or unbearable,
can now make more sense, giving us a clearer picture.
Recording and tracking our lives, by keeping a journal, can
actually bring relief, clarity, joy, and laughter.
Copyright 2002 Doreene Clement All Rights Reserved
About the Author:
Doreene Clement is the creator of, The 5 Year Journal, a
journal where you can journal your life in one book for 5 years.
You can sign up for her free journaling newsletter and tour the book at www.the5yearjournal.com or order it