Thoughts on Journalling

I was talking with someone from a group I belong to on Journalling.  I have been doing this on and off for years.  I think that I first started doing it on a more than simply casual basis back in the late 1980s, or early 1990s.  Before I graduated from high school.

In the past I have mostly done stuff in a free-form format.  That is I would just sit down and do it, and not really think all that much about what I really want to write about.

That worked well enough, though I am not sure it really “accomplished” anything.  It may have been enough to allow me to actually find some expression.

It has been very difficult maintain lately.  So here is where I am at right now.

  • A format is a helpful way to look at your journalling.
  • Be willing to change your format as you feel you need to.
  • Writing about what is working is crucial.
  • Looking at what is “not working” needs to be done through the lense of change.
  • It is very helpful to review what you have written over the past little while.

So, what I think will work with these ideas.

Why use a format?

It seems that if you use no format (no matter how you look at the format) it can be very easy to get stuck in a rut where you are writing the same things over and over again.

The use of the format will allow you to look in terms of reminding yourself of what you want to focus on.

What should you think about for your format?

Probably the most important thing about your format, is that you be willing to change what your format is.  That is, you have to be willing to say to yourself that if this doesn’t work, I can change it.

Why I say this is probably the most important part of it is, probably at least two reasons really:

  1. It keeps you from getting stuck trying to figure out your format.
  2. It allows yourself to change it when you have found that you have changed.
  3. It allows you to admit, that you have found something that works better for you right now.

That would be the first most important issue, and why of it so far we have:

  1. You have to be willing to change your format.

That’s great.  Now lets look about the other things about the format you choose for yourself.  The next most important thing I think is to put right into your format, is to make sure you write about what is working for you.  These can be little things or big things.

Writing about what is working for you is really very important.  Some of us (myself included) are very prone to end up getting into cycles of self-despondency where we have a very hard time getting to actually looking at what is working.  So let’s look at that aspect now.  Why is it important to do that?

  1. By writing about what is working, it helps break a cycle of self-despondency.
  2. Writing about what is working allows you to build a body of work for successes.
  3. Building on successes, and reducing despondency can lead to very major success in the long-term.

OK, now we have two key points, with 3 sub points which we are trying to remember about what to think about for the format.

  1. Be willing to change your format.
    1. Keeps yourself from getting stuck on what your format is.
    2. Allows you to change.
    3. Allows you to admit things have changed with what is working.
  2. Write about what is working.
    1. Breaks cycle of negative thinking.
    2. Builds a body of work of your successes.
    3. Building on success, and reducing negative thinking leads to greater success.

So now with those, let’s see if there may be some other points to look at.

This might be more of an optional in whether or not you even want to look at this.  A lot of people are quite happy with just leaving things where that is, and don’t really look in terms of things that are not working.  Or things that need to change or whatever.  But the thing about looking at this, is we want to look at these things which you want to change, through the lense of actually making change.

If you look at things from the perspective of what is not working at all, looking at what can be changed is really important.

  1. By looking at how things with what is not working, with the idea of change will allow you to see how to make that better.
  2. Trying to find ways to improve your life, usually leads to an improvement in your life.
  3. Avoiding getting stuck on the negative is very helpful in getting change to happen.

There we have 3 major points, each with less major points added to them.  So, the list now looks like:

  1. Be Willing to change the format.
    1. Keeps you from getting stuck on what the format is.
    2. Allows you to change.
    3. Allows you to admit to changes of what works for you.
  2. Write about what is working.
    1. Breaks the cycle of negative thinking.
    2. Builds memories of successes.
    3. Building success, and reducing the negative leads to bigger successes.
  3. When looking at what doesn’t work, look at what can change.
    1. Looking at what can change, allows you to start to make changes.
    2. Finding ways to improve your life, allows you to make those changes.
    3. Avoiding getting stuck on what is not working, keeps you looking in terms of growth.

Review was the other aspect that I was thinking is very helpful.

If we don’t look at what we have been doing, and how it is working can allow us to actually keep doing things that we have been doing because we are in the mistaken idea that it is “helping” when it really isn’t.  It also allows us to build on the other three aspects.

So why do we need to look at reviewing what we have been doing with our journalling?

  1. Review allows you to see where you might be getting stuck.
  2. Review lets you know where there is room for even more growth.
  3. Review can allow you to be more honest with yourself.

While this is greatly simplified.  We now have 4 major points.  And each has 3 minor points on it:

  1. Be willing to change the format.
    1. Keeps you from getting stuck on what the format is.
    2. Accommodates your ability to change.
    3. Admits that what works, will change.
  2. Write about what is working.
    1. Breaks cycle of negative thinking.
    2. Builds a body of memories of successes.
    3. By building successes, and reducing negativity, this leads to more success.
  3. When you look at what isn’t working, look at what can change.
    1. Change is a constant.  Being conscious allows you to make those changes yourself.
    2. Finding ways to improve your life, allows you to make changes.
    3. Avoiding getting stuck on what is not working, keeps you looking at growth.
  4. Review what you have been working on.
    1. Review allows you to see where you might be getting stuck.
    2. Review can allow you to see where there may be areas of more growth available.
    3. Review can allow you to be more honest with yourself.

I will stick with that about the “principles thing”.

What sort of format will I be using?

I am kind of looking at this in terms of what was presented by this friend of mine.  This is probably the best way I can understand what he was talking about in terms of the format:

  • Successes
  • Thoughts and Feelings
  • Goals
    • Short term
    • Medium term
    • Long term
  • Actions
    • Break down into steps
  • Review (may not happen every time)
    • Format?
    • Successes
    • Thoughts and Feelings (changes)
    • Goals (changes?)
    • Actions taken?

I think for now, I am going to leave this post here for now.  I will want to look back at what I wrote here, or at least this topic again before too long.

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One Comment

  1. JigmeDatse
    Posted 2016 February 27 at 19:58 | Permalink

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